Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is Autumn Coming Early This Year?

I have noticed in the last couple of weeks that the leaves are changing colour. Very odd since we are still summer and August (usually) being the hottest month of the year. It is also the time when many people take vacations to the south of France. This year I'm sure many people are not too happy with the summer weather as it has been cold and raining.
Many berries are ripening and falling off their branches.
The birds like these berries (below)
One of the chickens from the "wandering chicken family." Yep, they're still loose in the village.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Baby blackbird update - 6 days

I have been caring for these babies for six days now and they are doing very well. Today they are learning to stand, flap their wings, etc. They are all very "fluffy" with the new feathers. Norbert made a new nest as the old nest was making them hot and they were panting a lot. New nest in a newer, bigger box.

This has been a serious learning curve for me and I can't believe these birds made it. I am very happy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Our "resident" toad

In the last few weeks there has been a toad that took refuge in my makeshift garden. Along our house I put flower pots with a couple of small trees, flowers and herbs/spices. I've noticed remnants of "somebody" being there but don't know who. Then one morning my husband woke me up to see the toad within our pots. I thought it to be unusual as toads like to sleep under ground, under rocks/wood or in holes. That being said I did notice the other day an indentation in a couple of smaller flower pots. Well here's my photo I took last night of my "new" neighbor. It's not a good photo, but you get the idea.

The last baby blackbird to open its eyes

This morning when I fed the babies, I notice the runt of the group has opened his eyes. I was so happy! I was really worried about this little feather baby as he had a rough time because 1) the tip of his beak was "chopped" off (and bleeding), but it seems to have healed big time. and 2) he is the runt of the group. Over the last five days he pulled through big time and is a very healthy eater.
The baby mentioned is the middle one.

Peanut Butter Sauce Recipe


1 14oz Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup of Smooth Peanut Butter
½ Cup of Heavy Cream


1) Add the heavy cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the cream mixture is hot but not boiling.

2) Add the peanut butter and whisk it all to combine and cook it for another 30 seconds or until the peanut butter is melted in with the heavy cream and milk.

3) Serve over ice cream

This excellent dessert topping is great for ice cream (preferably vanilla), cakes, pastries and anything sweet that would go good with peanut butter.

Side note: This particular topping would be good in a peanut butter smoothie.
 Ready for the fridge!
Topping after it was in the fridge for a few hours. If you want it "hot/warm" that's okay too.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Chicken family on the loose in Riverie!

I swear I'm on a bird kick lately!

I finally found the phantom chicken who for the past few days was clucking like mad. In fact it’s a whole family of chickens! I saw them huddled next to their owners door. I snuck a few photos before knocking on the door to tell him his chickens are on the loose. No one was answering and there was clearly someone there ( loud music was playing). A neighbor also noticed the family of chickens and tried to get the owners attention as well. 

Later on in the evening the rooster was on the roof of one of the village houses (unfortunately I didn't get a picture).

A few days ago there was one incident with an old man and his small dog versus the chicken. I heard the loud, angry clucks and I looked out the window and witness this rooster walking down the street, behind him the old man and his dog. The old man was seriously annoyed by the rooster and kind of scooted him away angrily. Writing this down doesn't do the visual justice as it was quite funny.

This chicken family is sweet on how they stick together. 

                           The hen is very pretty, if you look closely her baby is underneath her.

 The rooster got sick of my shenanigans, so took off running.
                                                         I am now stalking my victims.

 I like this photo!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Feeding Baby Black Birds

Here's a video of me feeding these baby black birds.

Another rescue a week later

I will start out by saying this is a desperate rescue. On Friday, August 1st my husband calls me to tell me he has three orphaned baby black birds. No feathers, eyes are closed! Apparently when a bunch of his co-workers were trimming/cutting trees one of those trees had a nest. One of the four babies died and one of them has an injury concerning his beak. Norbert took off work to deliver the birds to me. Meanwhile I'm looking all over the internet on how to care for baby black birds. I might add the gentleman who cut this particular tree was devastated. No one wants to hurt, much less (accidentally) kill an animal. I really felt bad for the guy as I would feel the same way. Well we are almost over our second day and so far so good. I hope they survive. Unfortunately  animal rescues are few and far apart here in my area.
Hungry baby birds! (1st day)
Sleeping baby birds (2nd day)

14 day old sparrow getting fed

My baby sparrow getting fed.

My new baby sparrow rescue

One of my favorite things about the spring and summer is occasionally helping orphan birds and then letting them go. I only help birds that I feel are in danger, ie; cats, children, cars, etc. It has been a slow year until recently. The birds leaving their nests are not landing on the ground but flying (pretty good I might add) to trees and on roof tops. It has been a pretty impressive year. We have seen very few casualties which makes me pretty happy.

Everything was pretty slow up until one week ago when I saw this tiny little sparrow hopping about in front of my window. I went to check on him, but couldn't find him. So I went about business as usual. A couple of hours later I saw him again, he looked a little confused. I went out to see him again and realized he was still too young to be out of his nest. He needed to be in the nest at least four more days. He still had his pin feathers!

It's been a week now and he's doing pretty good. I got him to eat on his own. I made him this baby bird food mash (you can get the recipe right here. baby sparrow care), fed him meal worms, millet and flies.

 He looks like he has a little mohawk in this pict.

In this photo, Bandit comes to greet the little baby, but instead bites my fingers. She's never aggressive towards me, but since I have another bird Bandit is not pleased. I think she thinks I'm going to put this bird in her cage, which I'm not. Generally I let Bandit fly around the living room, but since I got this new cage she wont come out.

It's been a rainy summer

I can't remember a summer where it rained so much as it has been for the last couple of months. Well except maybe in Ireland, but it was expected. I don't mind the rain, I'm just surprised! It's been a chilly summer as well, but that doesn't stop the baby animals being born. I wonder what autumn and winter will bring. The good thing about wet weather and a combination of sun, you get mushrooms. Mushroom season is early this year as it usually hits autumn. We're pretty happy about that.

One of the many rainbows this year. This is another reason why I like rain in the summer.
Rain drops on my hollyhocks.

Ranch Dressing (simply put)

I have tried many recipes and this has got to be the best. Of course everyone's taste is different, but it's always worth a taste. This recipe has a little kick.

Ranch Dressing


1 cup mayonnaise
¾  cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.