Darrington Library Blog

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sea Glass

Summer is in full swing! My favorite getaway destination is Ocean Park, WA . Miles of beach vistas, blue-flamed driftwood fires, stunt kite battles with my sons, and fabulous seafood cook-outs with old friends wash the cares of everyday life away. A treasured alone time activity is combing the beach for sea glass after a storm.

Sea glass is old broken glass bottles, buoys, or containers that have been washed by the sand and wave action into frosted, smooth edged bits of glass.
Sno-Isle has a couple of books on sea glass: Pure Sea Glass by Richard LaMotte and A Passion for Sea Glass text by C. S. Lambert.

For more information on sea glass check out Odyssey Sea Glass, Sea Glass Association, and the Sea Glass Journal an online sea glass collecting magazine.

Sea Glass
Discarded by the careless,
broken, unvalued,
Tossed by circumstances and environment,
in the waves and stones of life,
until all the sharp, painful bits have been smoothed
so you don’t cut others with your broken edges.
Found by someone hunting for a treasure,
wrapped with silver,
adorned with bits of crystal and precious stone,
hung on silk, to be seen for the prize you are.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teen Chicks Rule the Roost, Old Ladies Fly the Coop.

I have six teenage chickens who share a coop and yard with our three old ladies. Since they started sharing the same living space this spring these elderly hens have kept the newcomers firmly in check by keeping them away from the prized roost at night and away from any garden scraps that are thrown their way.

The six chicks were reduced to sharing one nesting box every night since they were first put in the chicken house. When fresh greens are thrown into the chicken yard, the chicks scatter because they were afraid, and rightly so, of the old ladies henpecking them.

One day this week the neighbor’s dog startled the old ladies and they managed to somehow open the gate and escape to freedom into the blackberry and salmonberry bushes nearby. My husband told me what had happened when I came home from work. Finding no sign of my chickens, young or old, in the chicken yard and fearing the worst, I peeked into the coop. There were the six teen chicks firmly ensconced on the roost, all fluffed up, wings extended, to completely fill the coveted roosting bar. The old ladies did return later that night, but now they’ve learned to share all the space and privileges in their communal home. I firmly believe the teen chicks will be leading the next great escape.

Raising your own chickens has been in the news lately with articles in The Herald on the Tour de Coop on Bainbridge Island, to raising chickens in the suburbs.

A recent article in USA TODAY states that “chickens” are a sign of the tough economy and harken back to the victory gardens planted by Americans in previous economic downturns and during the two world wars.

Sno-Isle Libraries carry lots of great resources if you are contemplating chickens in your life and backyard. You may not save money but the entertainment value is priceless.

Here are a couple of books to get you started.
The Joy of Keeping Chickens by Jennifer Megyesi
Raising Chickens for Eggs and Meat by Mike Woolnough

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gardening with Children

Two of my favorite things are gardening and children. So why not combine the two and see how it goes? The first thing in the morning I put on my rainbow colored gardening boots and dished myself up an extra helping of patience. Then I headed next door to solicit help from my three year old granddaughter.
“Papa already planted a ginormous garden,” she chirped. I answered thoughtfully, “I want to do something fun! And the most fun thing I can think of is spending time with you.”
With big smiles on our faces, we trudged to a neighboring ranch where we filled 5 gallon buckets with horse manure. Can you imagine the questions that were asked? With each careful answer, came another round of questions. By mid morning we had our buckets, boots, and seeds in place to begin planting our garden. My granddaughter had added many colorful words to her already bulging vocabulary, and I was ready for a nap. Rest can wait, but seeds and three year olds cannot.
So we began the process of digging, raking, shoveling, and planting. With each seed came another wave of questions. Each seed variety has a unique size, shape, smell and feel, much like children who are differently yet marvelously made.
Imagine our joy when a week’s worth of anticipation was rewarded with the miracle of those first tiny green leaves. Some of the seeds would keep us waiting for a few more days, and the pumpkin seeds took an extra week. Their fuzzy plump leaves were so worth the wait.
Now it is our responsibility to keep our garden watered and weeded. Have you ever noticed that weeds tend to hide around a look alike plant? My little helper noticed this right away, when chick weed sprouted next to the bean plants and horsetail next to the lacy carrot tops.
In a few weeks we will be picking and eating the fruit from our labor, or in other words, the veggies from our play time.
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy

Hollyhocks and Honeybees by Sara Starbuck