Glamour Shots

What do you get with a 3’x5′ mirror and a whole bunch of chicks, varying in age from 1 week to just about 4 weeks?

Chicken glamour shots.
That’s what you get.
πŸ™‚

Berg’s brown laying chick…

Columbia Plymouth Rock X Red chick…

C.Rock X and Berg’s brown in the back…

This is one of the 18 easter egger chicks we got a few weeks ago…I don’t know breed other than that.
Hen or rooster?
I’m sure someone with more bird experience than me can tell, but I don’t know. πŸ˜‰ It’s just cute…in an ugly bird sorta way. lol

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Pumpkin Wine

I started my first batch of pumpkin wine back on November 5th, 2017.
I bottled it this past weekend.

I’ve had a few people ask about the recipe I used, so I figured I’d share it here, with my review of the bottled product. πŸ™‚

I’m going to assume anyone who’s looking for a pumpkin wine recipe has basic wine making knowledge. If not, trust me, Google is your friend.

Pumpkin Wine

20 lbs of pumpkin
~ I weighed my pumpkin after gutting and cubing. Then, I roasted it to bring out the sugary goodness of flavours.
I also used a pumpkin I like the flavour of…don’t use one of those watery jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Use something like a pie pumpkin, with lots of natural sugars.

10 lbs of white sugar
1 1/2 cups lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp pectic enzyme
3 tsp yeast nutrient
1/4 tsp potassium metabisulphate
1 tsp tannin (optional…I figured I’d try it)
Water to 23 liters
Yeast

Now, I used a mesh bag for my pumpkin, which makes racking out of the primary so much easier…and cleaner.
I also added the water *before* putting the bag of pumpkin in…so know that you are going to need a bigger than 25 liter pail to start, because once that pumpkin goes in, the liquid level rises.
A.
Lot.
My starting gravity was 1.070 and it finished fermenting at .990
When I racked to the carboy I added 2 cinnamon sticks.
I could have added more, but I wasn’t sure how strong the flavour would be.
I could have doubled the amount easy, or even added 1 stick per gallon.
I also think adding some ginger, either in the primary, in the secondary, or both, would have been beneficial.
I may try that in another batch.
When all was done, I stabilized and back sweetened with 2 cups of sugar.
This, of course, is done to taste, so it takes trial and error with smaller amounts and then…math to know how much to put in the big batch. πŸ˜‰

So, after months of waiting to get to the end product going into bottles, and finally getting a good taste of the wine, what did I think of my pumpkin wine?

This:

Pumpkin wine review…

Now, keep in mind, I like a strong, bold flavored wine. Typically reds and heavy on fruit flavors.
This pumpkin is…interesting.
It’s a white. It’s beautiful. Clear and just plain pretty to look at.
The scent?
Again, not being a white wine person, I find it off putting.
But, there are very few store-bought whites that I like the scent of. In fact, right now, I can’t think of any, sooooo….yeah.
The flavor is nice. It’s not sharp, it’s smooth with a nice finish.
I didn’t back sweeten it as much as I would a raspberry or a blueberry, so it’s drier than I normally drink, but that’s because I found it cloying with as much sugar as I’d normally use.
The flavour doesn’t say “pumpkin” to me, but there is the barest hint of cinnamon to it (I added several cinnamon sticks in the secondary) which makes it interesting.

All in all, it’s not bad.
It’s not, however, one I would personally rave about.
It’s not a green tomato wine, to be sure. πŸ˜‰
But, anyone who likes a semi dry white, I think will really enjoy this.

Now, that said, would I make it again?
Yes.
But I would tweak it.
Add in more cinnamon, leave out the tannin (not sure it brings much to a white wine anyways), add some fresh ginger, and then I’d back sweeten with a fruit syrup or juice instead of just plain sugar. Something that adds a little more flavour to the party.

All in all, I’m glad I made it.
It’s not a favorite, but it’s a good recipe to play with to find what, exactly, I like.
Besides, how can you not love this label??

Arrrr!!
Cap’n Max says this wine is his!!

Sunshine

I cannot tell you how much I’m loving these longer days.
I mean I could, but words aren’t quite enough, I think, to explain how much the sunshine is a balm for the Spirit.

We call Astrid “Little Red” for a reason…as she sheds out her winter coat, she shines like a copper penny.
Here I was looking to capture the glow of the sun on her emerging blonde streak.

This is what grabbed my attention, and drew me to grab the camera, the other day.
Her mane was gently floating in the breeze while she ate her beet pulp. It looked so pretty, I simply had to capture the image.


After finishing her bucket, she moved over to lick out what was left of Astrid’s pail, which gave me a chance to get this shot.
I can’t wait until Sable is fully shed out, with her golden summer coat and those gorgeous dapples.
I have photographic plans for her. πŸ˜‰

And, thankfully, she’s a cooperative model and works for food, snuggles and scratches.

 

Prolific

“…an artist who creates
lots of work
probably experiences
prolific days and
slower days”
~ Buffy Sainte-Marie

100% truth.
Which is why it’s nice to have images that I haven’t edited yet both on the hard drives(s) and the memory card.
I don’t always get a chance to get out, camera in hand.
Life is incredibly busy this time of year, y’know?
When I don’t I can still share images from the FarmYard…

The SuperModel of mares…

Covered in muck and manure, only half shed out, lying in a pile of straw and she looks like a model…that mane blowing perfectly in the gentle breeze, ears to me and looking right at the camera.
That Sable is a photographer’s Dream!

Eyes closed, basking in the sunshine…

*sigh*
So. Damn. Pretty.
πŸ’ž

Chicks

Yesterday, the first of our chicks arrived.

Look at that box of cuteness and happiness. πŸ™‚
18 of ’em.
Now, they’re too young to tell who’s male or female…or at least they are for a newbie like me…so I’m sure we’ll have a few roosters in the mix.
My hope is for at least 6 hens, and that they lay green and/or blue eggs.
And, if we get a nice rooster out of the bunch, we may just keep him around.

How adorable is that little face?

Next up, we have to order our standard brown layers (which we’re also starting as chicks this year) and a first round of meat chickens.

It’s looking to be a busy summer, prepping for next winter.
One can never start too soon when the growing seasons are short!

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader for Sparks:28 and Comedy Plus for Aww Mondays.