Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Early summer kitchen garden: update

Four years of garden updates have accumulated into my own personal farmer's almanac. Which is great because it's helpful to know what I planted when and how successful that timing was. Three summers ago I planted my strawberries. The first two summers were lack luster, but this summer, this summer the plant is finally producing hearty and plentiful strawberries! Fingers crossed the chipmunks stay away...

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Beltline Bike Tour 2014

Today was the annual Beltline Bike Tour. 30 miles roundtrip - starting at the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park and making a clockwise loop around the city of Atlanta. The bike ride took the Beltline everywhere it's paved and completed; the rest of the route was street cycling through neighborhoods where the Beltline will someday connect. Two thumbs up to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition for organizing this impressive event! (If you're not already familiar with this organization please look them up. They are doing so many important things for street cycling in the city of Atlanta.) 

1. DAMN ATLANTA IS HILLY. Yeah, okay, I know we're technically the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and Peachtree Street is a ridge that was once a native American footpath - but all that information became real life when I was pedaling up a couple of crazy hills. Specifically the vertical incline just after Ardmore Park. But I was high fiving a million angels after I made it up in granny gear!! No pushing the bike up the hill for me! Sweet.
2. Going into today's ride I was anticipating the route's uncomfortable contrast between blighted low income neighborhoods and posh "1%" parts of town. The southwest side was worse then I imagined: so many boarded up and burnt out homes. But it made me happy to see that despite the disadvantages, southwest Atlanta still has some of the city's best bike trails and parks. If you haven't been there before it's definitely worth a ride (during the day - with a map and plan, with friends - not alone). 
3. Don't underestimate your ability!! When I signed up for the ride I wanted to be in the "quick" group but O hesitated and thought it best if we hang with the "intermediates". To the surprise of us both - we ended up "breaking away" from the intermediate pack and pushing well into the fast group. We even had time to stop at Mellow Mushroom on Peachtree and share a Bells Two Hearted Ale! Ya know, for the carb loading... 

Friday, June 13, 2014

City Chicks ATL: Day 15

It's been two weeks since we brought the chicks home. Watching them grow has been way more fun and entertaining then I would have guessed. Their interactions with Topher (and vice versa) have been everything I hoped for. So far, so good, on all fronts! Photo updates below. 

Do you see the chick!? Starbuck and Topher get comfy on the love the seat. 

The girls checking out their reflections in an old make-up compact. 

Starbuck and Lovey tour the construction on their new coop.

Topher tolerates Lovey for a little laptime snuggle.

Topher negotiates with Blackbeard.

All 7 back in the box they traveled home in two weeks ago. They're already so much bigger!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Meet the chicks!

Our fledgling* little flock is comprised of two breeds: Ameraucanas and Silkies. When adopted, the Ameraucanas were 5 days old and the Silkies were 2 weeks. Their adult coop is being built inside a ship shaped tree house so we decided the chickens' names should stick with the theme; silkies are sailors/pirates and Ameraucanas are from Gilligan's Island.

Their live video cam is embedded in the post below. 

*After using this word I questioned it's true meaning. And hey, I've just learned something new! Fledge - the act of a chick's parents raising it to a fully grown state.