Our girls loved visiting the local elementary school. The Garden Club was the perfect crowd as the chickens -- Racy Lacy, Agnes & Rita Bonita -- nibbled on all sorts of bugs and worms in the Wildcat Mountain Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, CO.
We've had our girls for two months. The daily changes in their appearance have amazed us. They are no longer fluffy chicks or gangly teenagers. They are bonafide chickens with beautiful plummage, capes and strong, bright yellow shanks. There's something so peaceful about watching them free range around the yard pecking at worms and grass. Now we just have to watch for the two red-tailed hawks that cruise by every day, eyeing the area for prey.
Took some time to refinish the fire pit -- a bit of sanding to remove the rust and a fresh coat of paint. Our summer traditions include many evenings with kids in the backyard roasting marshmallows and making s'mores while the adults sip on wine and wonder about life while looking up at the starry sky. We enjoy the warmth of the fire on a crisp Colorado night and create relaxing evenings awash with memories of simple summer nights. 
These are helpful and quick lists for the right balance in a compost mixture: browns (carbon) materials & greens (nitrogeneous) materials. And what not to use.
  • leaves
  • hay & straw
  • paper & cardboard
  • woody prunings
  • eggshells
  • tea bags
  • sawdust
  • vegetable peelings
  • fruit peelings
  • grass clippings
  • coffee grounds
  • fresh manure
  • green plant cuttings
  • annual weeds
  • young hedge trimmings
  • meat & bones
  • poultry & fish
  • fatty food waste
  • whole eggs
  • dairy products
  • human & pet feces
  • pernicious weeds
  • treated wood
Don't forget the worms!

Every Spring the beautiful rosy breasted robins are attracted to our blossoming apple trees. Here's an April day capturing the robins as they flutter among the small white flowers and snowflakes of a late snow flurry.
There are many backyard ranches with a goat or two. This DIY cheesecraft kit caught my eye on the Daily Grommet because although it doesn't call for goat or cow milk, any backyard rancher might enjoy making their own cheese!
It's Home Farming Day! To learn more about "the movement" check out this website sponsored by Nabisco's Triscuit, www.homefarming.com. Triscuits are delicious and have a variety of flavored crackers that go excellent with:

  • fresh tomato slices
  • sprinkled with a gourmet sea salt like Sal del Mar
  • confetti of just picked basil
We planted lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots and flowers. We are so excited to see the small sprouts pushing through the dirt! There's still a fear of frost so we are not able to transplant our plants yet. Meanwhile, we push our pots out into the sun each day and my son gives them plenty of water. We watch them grow and celebrate when they make it!
One thing I've learned quickly is that a rancher's life is filled with daily wins and losses. After 141/2 years, our faithful, resilient lab found her final resting place. After two ACL reconstructions, a long life filled with chasing wildlife and residences in several major cities throughout the U.S., our old lady is now in dog heaven. Probably chasing prairie dogs or rabbits through a field. This time I bet she catches one.
It's common for ranchers to lose livestock from time to time. Coyotes. Hawks. Weather. Illness. There are so many factors out of our control that can contribute to a loss. Unfortunately, this doesn't make it any easier. We lost our Buff Orpington chick. I named her "Butter" and grew attached. Ranchers know not to get attached and I've learned that lesson early on in our backyard ranch. My plan is to wait until next year to replace her. We'll see how we do with our Rhode Island Reds and the Silver Laced Wyandotte through this year and then if all goes well, we'll buy another Orp. She was the only chick that had that traditional, cute, fuzzy, yellow likeness and I miss seeing her with the other girls.