It seems the weather these last few days has been trying to make up for the cooler than normal July. It has been 30º C + every day with the humidex making it feel even hotter. Needless to say, I've been hiding inside with the window air conditioner unit running as often as possible. However, that hasn't been as often as I would prefer since I've had a lot of chores to get done.
The biggest chore has been getting the chicken's coop and enclosed run finished. We're nearly there. As of yesterday we only have a little decorative trim, painting, and the storm windows to build. I'm actually pretty happy with the final results even if it has taken far longer than planned to get it complete. The girls, and Putz the rooster, all seem to appreciate the coop at bedtime, though they prefer to free range during the day.
I'm still unsure about letting the chicks free range except during supervised playtime. Besides the possibilities of predator attack there is also the chance the chicks may wander into a neighbours yard, which would be very bad. To give the girls more room to run and fresh grass to graze on they still use the tractor, with one very important addition. We've added a dust-bathing bowl to their tractor. We had a copper "bowl" from a patio fire pit that has been recycled into the dust bath, using simple construction sand. The chicks love it and we often see 5 or 6 all jostling for the best place in the bowl at the same time. It is quite fun to watch.
That is Putz, front and centre, sleeping with his beak in the sand. He is actually a cute thing, if somewhat of a bully with the girls, and doesn't seem to mind being picked up and carried from the coop to the tractor. He even challenges Dunny, our big dog, if he gets to close to the tractor. So far he hasn't shown much of a mean streak toward us which is a good thing. He also hasn't started crowing yet, the only reason we haven't re-homed him yet.
The heat has done wonders for the garden. Everything has finally started producing, well except the broccoli which has flowered in this heat. The pole beans are loaded with pods and the sweet potatoes are growing like crazy.
I can't wait for the sweet potatoes to bloom later this fall. The sweet potatoes have beautiful purple and white blossoms all over their many vines. With the plants being in pots this year, and their vines trained up cages, they should make very striking flower pots in the yard this year.