20111230

This is an odd pair to be sleeping together

 . . .  . . . . . . . . . .
 Simon Pigeon loves to cuddle and fall asleep on my chest when I'm laying back in the recliner while we watch TV together. But... Tuna Cat also loves to sleep on me too... so..they frequently sleep together.




20111020

My Security cameras captured a killer in action.

I often capture unexpected things (1 min video below) on my security cameras.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The cams are to monitor the status of the Chickens (need food? Water? temperature? eggs? everyone there?). A possum can be seen... a frequent but harmless visitor.

About noon a neighborhood cat appears, tries to kill my brown Polish lace, then creeps into the brush, hesitates, then pounces on one of the twin sister black chicks (Silikies) and kills her while another quickly pops out of the brush.  50 minutes later the cat leaves and a bit later only the one black Silkie can be seen.   I didn't miss the killed Silkie until bedtime. That very cat has killed 5 of my birds over the last 5 years (I have videos). I cannot find the cats owner...nobody knows.
;


20110803

Second time in a few weeks, Tornado and 80+ Mph winds thru my farm

The pic is of the first tornado... my neighbors on both sides had serious damage, I escaped with almost no damage, Now today an even worse storm in same area, Everyone lost trees, cars, tractors, roofs, shingles, etc. So Tomorrow We're again going north to the farm to check for damage.
Picture is of my old farmhouse I sold on the property next to my farm, right after the last tornado a few weeks ago. It got hit hard. The wind blew many of the window out, this one the frame and all, notice the glass is not broken, thousands of trees down. Everyone had some damage (I only lost one large tree, pole barn and cabin ok). Another neighbor lost his beautiful 100 year old barn and other buildings, scattered over 1/4 mile.
Both times they mentioned on TV news the extensive damage in the city where my farm is. So Tomorrow I'll head  up N with a chainsaw, then I'll know if my pole barn and cabin are still there ? ?  Pics to follow.

20110717

Feeling hot ? - 4-1/2 feet of melting snow to green leaves in 40 seconds.


One picture per day from March 6, 2011 to April 4, 2011, from Bert's Chicken Cam (skipped days where there was no change).
 

20110609

Picture Perfect - Steel and Glass - Light Bulbs

These are not ordinary light bulbs and this is not a static sculpture.  It's one of many pieces of art at an all night art show  (8pm to 7am) covering the entire Twin Cities. Most of the artwork required darkness to be seen. This sculpture performs in a most unusual and surprising way (Not part of PP, but see video below).
 

                                ----------  PP stops here. --------
 The above photo makes little sense without the supporting photos and video below.
At night the lights blink in a surprising manner.


This is what it looks like when you spin the camera.  The dotted lines reveal that the bulbs are actually LEDs.

There are MANY other strange and interesting exhibits.

Near the end of the 50 second video reveals what these lights do.  Notice the lights blinking. They are not blinking in a random manner.  "You cannot see the forest for the trees". 


20110426

Amazing software that can translate animal sounds into English words. What are they saying?


I was experimenting with Voice Recognition software trying to "train" it to my voice when all of a sudden it started wildly typing text on my screen that I had not said. Confused, until I realized it was picking up and translating the voice of my 8 yr old Modena Pigeon, Simon, who was in the room with me cooing with vigor .
Here’s what Simon said.  

This is what it actually typed
"and move and moo moo moo move the Moon and moo move and move move moo in and move and move move the move the move and move move move and moo move moon if in to move moon to moo moo
move the the move and move the Moon and the move and the the Moon and the Moon and the Moon and the Moon and move moo moo and move in and…" etc. - - - .
Now if I could just get him to express his thoughts a little more clearly…
 











This is the same fellow who likes to ride around on my dashboard (Video below).

20110327

It was 30 degrees outside today but it was 109.7 degrees inside.

Houses should be build like this....well, kinda.  Free heat, lots of it.  Yet in summer it will be as cool as under the shade of a tree (Reflective insulated covering).  Inside, the coop will be even cooler with free "air conditioning".               (30F = -1C,... 109.7F = 43C)


This is the first winter for my new aviary addition. The Chickens and Pigeons love it. It's safe, dry and warm. They love to take dirt baths and they lounge around laying in the warm sun like tourists on a beach. They're free to go outside, but prefer inside.


Whenever the aviary is over 50 degrees a thermostat turns on a fan to draw surplus heat inside to the insulated coop to warm it so the coop will remain warm all night long (free). The pigeon nests near the top are the warmest...the sand floor (about 85F degrees, 30C ) acts a bit like a heat sync during the day so at night the aviary is always about 10-15 degrees warmer than ambient, the inside coop remains well above freezing. It's all free heat. Even on cloudy days it's about 15-20 degrees above ambient.  On those minus 40 degree nights a tiny elec heater (40w hair curler) keeps the coop above freezing. The elec bill for all winter is less than $5. 
  
For more information click on Coop Design (temporarily disabled)

20110306

This is my favorite light bulb, we've been together for decades.



So what's so special about it ??? At my farm this 300 watt bulb was in the granary (My garage) for many years of daily service, shinning brightly. When we bought a house in town 10 years ago I brought the bulb with me and it's been in my garage here now, still burning brightly... now nearly 30 years old.
? Why is that ? There is nothing special about it. No name on it, it's just another bulb. Maybe it likes me?
(Almost All my other light bulbs are LEDs, but I just can't part with my favorite 300 watt bulb).

20110302

Picture Perfect - Three - Birds



Practicing to be Nursing home therapy birds (soon).
This is Mary at a seniors apartment where my Mother lives. She was delighted with the birds and still talks about them. I gave Mary a copy of this and she has it framed and proudly displays it on her wall.
I took my German Shepherd therapy dog, Diesel, to nursing homes to cheer up the residents until he himself became too old..... now it's the birds turn. Seems they are off to a good start.  It's a good feeling to see the residents smile and that makes me smile too.
(A Silky Chicken and two Ringneck Doves)


20110301

July 7, 2005 - March 1, 2011 R.I.P. Betty

They were the same age... Betty and Bert. When I came home I found Bert huddling over her trying to keep her warm.  Bert would not leave her side.   All the others had gone into the warm coop like they always do, but Bert and Betty had stayed behind in the Chicken shelter...it was dark and freezing cold.. But it was too late. Betty had just died a very short time before I found them.
 I took her inside because it seemed she may still be breathing, but...too late. She was special... she would come to me for affection. She loved to be held in my arms. She would close her eyes while I petted her.
     Betty at 3 months.
She had not been well for several weeks. I've kept her inside and I've been giving her antibiotics daily. She seemed to be getting better. Today was the first day she seemed more perky. It was warmer today (40+) so I put her outside...I hope she enjoyed her last day.



Betty just a few days ago staying warm by the fireplace.