More chick pics - and other stuff too!

The first of the lilies to bloom - really beautiful. (I would have had a pink one already but Angelina plucked it before it could open!)

Here are some of the ladies hanging out on the ladder into the run.

Trinity down by the barn feeding clover to the chickens.

Angelina joins her.
The ladies are now quite fond of seeing Trinity seeing as she is typically a source of clover! Inside the barn... on the right is the viewing/ventilation window I cut out of the coop. On the left the window looks into the run and the kids can throw the chickens treats through the larger openings. I stacked hay bales so the kids can climb up and see.

View from window looking into the run.
Chillin' in the pop hole. The screen on the right closes at night for added protection from predators.
The feeding zone.
I caught a couple of the ladies working on eggs this morning.

Since we got the hens on Sunday we have collected 21 eggs. I like the motto, "My pet makes me breakfast." Eventually we hope one of the hens will go broody and raise us some roasters too!

 The Chickens Have Landed

Well, we wanted chickens -we got chickens. We just adopted a flock from a couple who lost their farm in the floods. They are relocating to Wisconsin with friends and needed to find a home for their chickens. They live about 3 hours from us, so we met in the middle today and made the exchange. We got 7 laying hens and 1 rooster. (not to mention everything you could want to take care of chickens - feeders, waterers, heat lamps, bags and bags of food, grit, seeds, oyster shell, etc.) Instant chicken farm! We turned the enclosed room in the barn into the coop, which I have named Cluckville. I cut a big viewing/ventilation window out of one side and stacked bales of hay there so the kids can watch the chickens. The window out to the open stall is their pop hole and we have closed the front up with harware cloth and half buried chicken wire. The next step is to lay concrete all around the metal walls to deter digging predators. I think the chickens will be safe. (hoping, praying - lots o' predators around here)

Anyway, here are the chickens after arriving at Cluckville.
Still in the box...

Venturing out....
I had just put in one long roost, but their "mom" told me that they liked to huddle together to sleep. When I saw them all piled on top of each other by the pop hole I knew they weren't going to just adapt to the long roost. I slid another board in and all but one is sleeping there now.In case you were wondering what they are wearing, those are called chicken saddles. It is to protect the hens from getting torn up when the rooster climbs on them. Machine washable too.... :) (apparently, the rooster, whose name is Randy, is well....named appropriately! ha-ha!)

Here are the girls from the other day. Trinity pulled the outdoor furniture pad off to sleep on and Angelina of course had to follow suit. She got her pillow and blanket and they laid down in the yard. Such silliness... where do they get it?!?!
Finally, a beautiful rainbow after a quick downpour the other night.

 Strawberries and Maximus

Latest pics of life here in Iowa. The girls helped me pick strawberries in the garden. I did the picking, they held the container for me. Otherwise I fear we would have no plants left in short order. They spilled the strawberries and were picking them back up.

Here is Trinity showing off our harvest after they got them all picked up again.
Now it is Angelina's turn to hold them. She wants to do everything her sister does.
Trinity giving a big kiss to Maximus.
I swear that cat is smiling!

 Flood Pictures

I am going to post some kid pictures before I get on with the flood pics. This day was baby doll day. Trinity and Angelina were taking their dolls everywhere. I missed the shot, but they had gone down by the firepit and were sitting side by side with their babies in their arms...soooo cute!
Here Trinity was playing dress up and of course Angelina has to get in the picture when she sees the camera come out!
Dinner time smiles. :)
Last week we had not only Katie, but her brother Jacob over for playtime. (now that he is on summer vacation) Everyone had a blast, including mommy since it was a rainy day. They all played and entertained themselves nicely and made it a lot easier on me.
Thankfully, our home is up high. But, we do cross rivers to get home. We have had to go back roads in and out of the countryside lately. Our road is finally open (or at least, we can get past the road closed signs!) and water is receeding everywhere. Hopefully, the water will continue to go down. But here are some of the sights we have had lately:

This is getting ready to cross the Des Moines river on 2nd Ave. You can see the sandbag levee holding back the water.
I am not actually over the river yet, so you can see that the park along the riverside is completely flooded.

Crossing the river - you can see the treetops in the water.
This is the road in Carlisle that we would normally take to go to the waterpark.

This is one of the roads out of Carlisle.
This is the river that overflowed and flooded the road. This is normally just a glorified creek.

These are shots of the road side driving to our road.

This is our road. The flooding was just only going across it a little at this point. The road is eroded away badly on the left hand side now with the receding waters. It was scheduled to be paved this year anyway, so hopefully it will all get taken care of in one fell swoop. By the way, there is normally no water in sight here.

Again, no water around here normally.

This is a field along the roads home again, usually where hunters stalk in the fall.

More flooded fields.
This is water coming up out of a manhole near downtown. This road was closed.
Here are shots of the river that we cross to go home but this is the bridge on Rt 5, vs. our road. You normally would only barely be able to see the river from this vantage point. To my right was like a river flowing in from the fields and joining into the middle river.
This is back along the roads home. This is the bike trail along the south side of Carlisle.
This is the bridge that we cross on our road. It is hard to see through the brush, but the water is almost flush to the bridge arches.
Here is the bridge closed off.
This is from the bridge, looking out at the river. I will take a photo in the future of normal levels and post them side by side. That will make a more dramatic statement. For now I can only say that those are tree tops that are floating in the river.