Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chickens in the City Update

Well, City Council has added this issue for discussion on February 11th! And Hanavan's been given a month's reprieve to keep the chickens! Huzzah!

Read the background on this story here.

More to come as it develops! Go chickens! :D

Hope for Wildlife to the Rescue again!

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of Hope Swinimer and all the folks down at Hope for Wildlife (located in Seaforth, which is a hop, skip and a jump from where we live!). They do so much great work rehabing injured wild animals. The paper today had a nice story of their latest save, a juvenile bald eagle. (I've copied the article and posted it on my website, as the Herald deletes its old articles frequently). This young eagle has been at the centre since last summer, so today is the culmination of a lot of hard work. Great job, guys!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chickens in the City

A family in Halifax is having to get rid of their chickens, after one (and only one) neighbour complained about the chicken feed potentially attracting rats.

Halifax has a rat problem (it's a sea port!), and a little chicken feed is not going to affect it much one way or another (she actually brings the feed in at night, so there goes that argument anyway). We have mice out our way that are attracted by our wild bird feed. So are they going to ban people from feeding birds? I don't see that happening. All I see here is someone trying to be a little more self-sufficient food wise. These chickens eat bugs, provide great compost fodder, and fresh eggs for her family and some neighbours. Sounds like winning all around. As long as there's a limit to the number you can keep, and owners keep the grounds clean, etc. I don't see a problem.

A guy has set up a Facebook page for people of like mind here (also contains the text from the Chronicle-Herald newspaper article on the topic), and a petition for people to sign to allow the raising of a limited number of chickens in the city. It's a good, wholesome, old fashioned pursuit that's useful in this modern world where food is often shipped thousands of miles from where it's grown (not so hot for the environment).

BTW, the chickens illustrating this post are specialty chickens from the Maritime Fall Fair last year, not the actual chickens in question. :)


We've all heard about telecommuting: the ability to work from home on your office work, so you gain the time you would have spent commuting and waiting in traffic on more meaningful pursuits, like hanging out with your family. But for some people, telecommuting means loneliness - they miss the social interaction between officemates. And sometimes the home office offers too many distractions, and they long for a professional space free of interruptions.

And it's not just office workers - some freelance writers, artists, and others who don't have traditional office jobs have the same needs.

Well, there's a very interesting solution, started by some people in San Fransisco, and they call it coworking. People who live in the same area get together, get an office space, set up Internet access, put on a pot of coffee, and presto! Instant office. It just happens that all the people in the space don't work for the same company. You get a short commuting time, and don't feel cut off from the world outside. Neat idea, no?

Check out the info you need to get a coworking space started in your neighbourhood at the coworking coworker wiki - or see if one is already set up here.

I found out about all this after watching the Colbert Report, featuring a woman who works for MotherJones.com. I went to the site, browsed around, and found this article: Works Well With Others. Kinda roundabout, but how many interesting discoveries on the Internet happen in just that way! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Birds make Snow Angels, too!

Birds, having actual wings, make much better ones than we people do! :D

This shape was created by a dove, sitting in the insulating snow yesterday (it was INCREDIBLY FRIGID yesterday, and larger birds spent a lot of time sitting and puffing up their feathers to keep warm). It's so pretty!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

BeanDreams 2008: If I were a rich (wo)man...

Dee dee dee dee dee dee dum...sorry, got lost in a Fiddler on the Roof moment...

I was making out my list of potential purchases from Vesey's the other day, and I thought, "Hey, why don't I just go hog wild, and make a list of stuff I wish I could get!"

Of course, if I were REALLY rich, I'd buy everything, and a farm to grow it on. :) I'm a total gardening fiend at heart. But for now, I must budget, so I can't go hog wild, heh heh.

Oh, and a note before we begin: the links are to the Canadian version of the catalogue, with Canadian Dollar prices. If you want to order from the US, you have to go to the front page and choose the US version of the catalogue, (or click on the link underneath the Vesey's name in the top left hand corner) and search for the product names through there.

Stuff 'n' Such
  • The Climbing Cage - an incredible expanding and collapsing spiral that anything trailing would love to grow up! From Sweet Peas to Tomatoes, this looks like a super-cool and compact way to grow your trailing favorites!
  • Palm Peeler - a cool vegetable peeler that you slip on your fingers that fits in the palm of your hand! As a person who has troubles with regular peelers (I never learned to peel towards myself, so I always make a mess), this looks like it would be pretty darn handy.
  • Mezzaluna with Cutting Board Herb growers would love this little gem, a double bladed herb mincer. Looks really easy to use (read: ergonomic)!
  • Foxgloves 'Grip' & Tub Trugs: Gotta have a matching set of a durable/flexible lugging bucket & comfortable water-resistant gardening gloves - in hot pink! Oh yeah!!
  • Soil pH Meter and/or Soil Testing Kit - good tools for organic gardeners, so you know how your soil is doing. (Now I just have to find out what to do once I've got the results. My soil needs more nitrogren, now what? I'm sure it's online somewhere... :))
  • Earthworm Castings - yes, it's worm poop. But apparently worm poop is a great soil enricher!
  • Garden Inoculant : for beans and peas (including sweet peas) it is bacteria that provides nitrogen around the seed, which it needs to get a great start in life. Supposed to make beans and peas grow bigger, faster. Never used it but wanted to try it for years. :)

For Birds (they love to eat the seeds at the end of the season):
Fun Veggies
  • kohlrabi, a funky looking relative of the cabbage. I'd love to taste it for myself and see what it's like! This pic was one I took at Agrifest a few years back - it looks like a space vegetable or something!
  • Papaya Pear Squash - a fun looking alternative to zucchini - supposed to be good in stir fry!
  • Tumbling Tom Tomato - sweet little tomatoes you can grow in a pot or hanging pot on your patio. Sounds easier to cover if we get early frosts, as we sometimes do in this area.

So that's just some of my favorites! They have a lot of cool stuff, be sure to check it out! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Apple "gets" the cool factor

You just wonder, WHY does Microsoft not get it??!! Apple, every year now, is coming up with super-cool GOTTA HAVE IT NOW NOW NOW NOW oh I want iiiiiiiiiiiiitttttt products! And Microsoft just seems able to come up with new ways to annoy and frustrate its users...


If I had $, I would totally be pre-ordering me one of these new MacBook Airs...holy cow, it's incredible!!! It's as small as a clipboard for goodness' sake!

So between wanting an iPhone (and I don't even have a "normal" cellphone yet!) and now the Air, I'm thinkin' I am rapidly becoming a Mac Girl! :D They just get it - people like cool, useful stuff!

Get one:
Apple Canada
Apple USA

And Learn More...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Redpolls are back!

Haven't seen these guys since February of 2006 - glad to see these Common Redpoll back again! Wasn't able to get pics this time around, they spent most of the time in the trees or on the ground, not at the feeder. :)

So pretty, with the bright red dash of color at the top of their heads - otherwise, the females look like ordinary sparrows!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Merry (Eastern) Christmas Eve!

Here I am, earlier today:

Hope everyone out there celebrating with me have a great time! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What is wrong with the world?

I was up really early this a.m., and thought I'd put the tv on for background noise while I worked on my computer (if there was anything worth turning it on for). And when I looked it up online, I saw this was the sched for A&E:

WHAT?! *sigh* That just doesn't seem right...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New Year, new(ish) birds

Haven't seen these guys since November, but here they are back again. Gorgeous birds, the Evening Grosbeaks, the colours are just so bright and beautiful.

We also have a new kind of sparrow (there's about a bazillion varieties of sparrow, it turns out!). This little beauty is a Swamp Sparrow - fittingly enough because we have a lot of swampland in this area. The deep grey on the head is really pretty.

I love his squatty-bird stance, very funny!