Archive for the 'Wildlife' Category


On my birthday in late March this year, I noticed a large swarm of honeybees in my neighbor’s yard. The weather was warm and perfect for the overpopulated hive to release some of its citizens to find a new home with their new fertile queen.

 

 

Then on April 8–Easter Sunday, my own Italian honeybees swarmed. Our hive had made it through the winter although the bees had battled hive beetles. But just as hubby and I were on ladders that Easter afternoon building a new trellis for our grapes, I heard the low hum of thousands of bees lifting skyward.

 

 

 

Grape arbor

Grape arbor

 

 

Sure enough, the new swarm had emerged from our hive. We dropped our drills, screws, and lumber. He banged on cooking pot with a wooden spoon (to disorient the bees and encourage them to land in a nearby tree) while I set up the extra hive box with empty frames.

 

 

 

Healthy bees on a frame

Bees on frames in a hive box

 

Suited up in beekeeper gear, my hubby clipped a couple of branches from the pin oak tree to make it possible to do a hard shake on the one limb the bees had coalesced around. He placed the prepared hive box beneath the tree. Our beekeeper neighbor joined us and helped. Then, a hard shake and boom…the entire colony dropped into the hive box.

 

 

We waited until after dark to ease the hive box lid in place and then take the entire box to its permanent location in a sunny, dry spot in the garden.

 

 

A healthy hive box with lid removed

A  hive box without its lid. The bees do a waggle dance to tell the bees still in the air that this is their new home

 

 

The work on the trellis that will serve as our grape arbor was nearly complete when the swarm occurred. Now the finishing touches will have to wait for another day.

 

 

 

 

 

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De-Bugging My Honeybee Hive Box of Beetles

Author: Meera, February 18, 2018

I’ve been dealing with a beetle problem in my honeybee hive since fall. When my knowledgeable beekeeper neighbor called to suggest opening the hive, I readily agreed.

 

The hive box "super" with ten frames of honey awaits separating and straining into buckets

Frames of honey in a hive box

 

 

 

The dreaded hive beetle–tinier than a honeybee–can destroy a hive. Its destruction isn’t on the bees themselves, but rather the comb, honey, and pollen. As the population of hive beetle increases and the destruction mounts, the bees will abandon the hive.

 

 

Previously, my neighbor had used two types of hive beetle traps in my hive–Beetle Bee-Gone was an all-natural, chemical-free sheet that looked like a fabric softener product for the dryer. We had placed this on top of the frames before closing the hive last fall. The other product was a narrow plastic tray inserted between the frames that held vegetable oil.

 

 

The drone (male bees) are vital for mating with the queen; after that, they are unnecessary and are elminated

The white hive box bee entrance; also an access for the hive beetle

 

 

We discovered that the sheet worked well, trapping lots of  hive beetles. But the frame with oil had no beetles. I dumped it. We checked the brood box–and were excited to see it full of unborn babies.

 

 

After harvesting eight frames of honey, we reversed the brood box, scraped away the burr comb, and positioned a super on top of the hive box with empty frames for spring honey. Before closing the hive, we inserted two clean sheets of Beetle Bee-Gone.

 

 

Today, the bees are active and out foraging for pollen. Flowers are everywhere and the fruit trees in the neighborhood have broken bud. It remains to be seen if the Bay Area gets any more rain or bitterly cold days ahead. Probably by April 1, I’ll hang the swarm catcher and hope to add a new population of bees to my colony.

 

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If you enjoy reading about keeping bees, growing heirloom vegetables and fruits, caring for chickens, or self care for healthy living, check out my Henny Penny Farmette series of cozy mysteries: A BEELINE TO MURDER, THE MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE, and HIVE OF HOMICIDES. Click on the URL below. Also see newest nonfiction for healthy living: RITUALS FOR LIFE.

 

 

http://tinyurl.com/ya5vhhpm

All available online and in bookstores everywhere

All available online and in bookstores everywhere

 

 

 

 

More than 150 rituals for sound mind, strong body, and meaningful connections to the people around you

More than 150 rituals for sound mind, strong body, and meaningful connections to the people around you

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A Chinese proverb states that “If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.” I think I was born with that green bough in my heart because I have always loved birds–and not only the songbirds.

 

Crew Cut, our resident black phoebe

Crew Cut, our resident black phoebe

 

 

By offering food, water, and safe and dry housing as well as blooms for every season (flowering annuals, perennials, herbs, bulbs, and fruits and berries), I am able to attract many different birds into my garden.When birds are present, especially the songbirds, the garden becomes a special sanctuary.

 

 

A hummer's iridescent feathers shimmer as it perches in sunlight at the end of an apricot tree branch

A hummer’s iridescent feathers shimmer as it perches in sunlight at the end of an apricot tree branch

 

 

 

I hang feeders and fill them with various types of seed and suet cakes as well as syrup for hummingbirds. Food attracts local and migratory birds flying through this time of year. It’s best to choose a wide sampling of foods such as seeds, nuts,hulled sunflower, safflower, Nyjer thistle, peanut, millet, fruit, berries, raisins, and meal worms to draw interesting bird traffic.

 

 

Some of the birds we regularly see include scrub jays, wrens, finches, sparrows, red-tail hawks, mockingbirds, quail, mourning doves, robins, barn owls, hummingbirds, and crows.

 

 

Hawks like this one enjoy perching atop pine trees in the neighborhood

Hawks like this one enjoy perching atop tall trees

 

 

With food scarce in the wild, the birds visit the hanging and platform feeders. For ground feeders like mourning doves, I put out a large saucer under the apple tree and, yes, I leave a few apples on the tree for the birds to peck. For a list of birds and the types of seed and other foods they consume, see, https://www.wild-bird-watching.com/Bird_Seed.html

 

 

Mourning doves mate for life; these two are joined at the feeder by a third who has lost her partner

Mourning doves mate for life; these two are joined at the feeder by a third who has lost his or her partner

 

 

Some of our winged visitors stick around to mate and build nests in climbing rose bushes, brush piles, trees, or one of the many birdhouses we’ve hung. Only the owl basket high in the pepper tree remains empty, but we’ve heard a lot of hooting at night so we’re optimistic that owls will take up residence here. We live close to designated agricultural lands and the empty field behind us has a lot of mice–their favorite food.

 

 

 

This DIY birdhouse is crafted from a repurposed fence board. Not all birds will take up residence in a house, but many will.

My hubby built this birdhouse from a fence board. Not all birds will take up residence in a house, but many will.

 

 

Birds build nests in backyard birdhouses and brush piles as well as in trees, shrubs like climbing roses, and under the protected eaves of buildings (mourning doves especially seem to like these). Hummingbirds will build their tiny cup-like nests in shrubs (we found one in our Cecil Brunner climbing rose bush) and trees, from 10 feet and up in locations where wind isn’t a threat.

 

 

There's always plenty of action at the feeders when the finches discover the Nyjer seed

There’s always plenty of action at the feeders when the finches discover the Nyjer seed

 

 

 

A water source is important for attracting birds since they both drink and bathe in the water fountains and bird baths of backyards and gardens.

 

 

If you provide food, water, and a safe and dry shelter for the birds to eat, breed, and nest, you will be rewarded for not only the singing birds will come but other interesting species as well.

 

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If you enjoy reading about living close to the earth and a good yarn,  check out my Henny Penny Farmette series of cozy mysteries: A BEELINE TO MURDER, THE MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE, and my latest, A HIVE OF HOMICIDES.

 

These mysteries are chock-full of tips for keeping chickens and bees, growing heirloom fruits and vegetables, and backyard DIY projects. For more information, click on the URL.

 

Check out my newest mystery (Sept. 2017)

My newest cozy  mystery

 

http://tinyurl.com/ya5vhhpm

 

A HIVE OF HOMICIDES

 

 

 

 

 

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Heirloom corn shares space with vegetables and fruits in my potager garden

Several patches of heirloom corn shares space with vegetables and fruits in my potager garden

 

 

I’ve long been enamored of the traditional French jardin potager or ornamental, vegetable kitchen garden. The kitchen garden has its roots the medieval jardin de curé, described by garden author Jean-Paul Collaert in Kitchen Gardens of France, by Louisa James (Thames and Hudson 1999), as a “garden of lines . . . not dabs of color” as opposed to the English cottage garden and the traditional vicarage garden.

 

Most potagers grow the traditional four types of plants: vegetables, fruit, flowers, and herbs. What I love is the revival of interest worldwide in heirloom fruits and vegetables, which are perfectly suited for a kitchen garden. On my farmette, I grow plants almost exclusively from heirloom seed.

 

 

Corn and cucumber share space with tomatoes

Corn, cucumber, and tomatoes share ground space; onions, garden peas, and eggplants thrive in boxes, table grapes spill over the fence

 

 

The medieval jardin de curé has been characterized by scholars as having plants in distinct beds laid out along formal lines (the Latin cross was popular). Gardening plots were defined by ge0metric shapes that could be quite complex (for example, the historic knot garden). Plants included herbs and flowers (many for medicinal uses), vegetables, berries, fruit trees, and ornamental trees and shrubs. This type of garden could be rustic or highly formal and could be found throughout France, from small farms and cloisters to country estates.

 

 

Cosmos, corn, pomegranate, and grapes

Cosmos, corn, pomegranate, and grapes work as disparate companions in the potager

 

 

Our farmette garden has characteristics of the jardin potager and also the jardin de curé, although it could not be  described as a true representation of either.

 

When we first moved to the farmette, we created and followed a master plan. The acreage  follows a large rectangular-shape perimeter with our small house situated in the middle. Behind the house, a lawn is lined with gravel pathways. The pathways are dotted with boxes of herbs and flowers, mint, and berries. Between the boxes, the apricot, cherry, apple, fig, and persimmon trees are flourishing and producing bountiful crops.

 

Lavender, lemon, yarrow blur the lines of the fence and walkway

Lavender, lemon, and yarrow blur the lines of the fence and walkway

 

In chaotic disorder, the beds of French perfume lavender and Spanish lavender that we planted have taken over one side of the property (much to the delight our honeybees), effectively erasing any lines that might have been obvious in an early layout. Interspersed with the lavender beds are iris, hydrangea, roses, lemon trees.  Where the lavender turns a corner, bamboo creates a privacy screen, and then the fruit and flower-lined gravel path continues to the chicken house.

 

We moved dirt from the back half of the property and built a retaining wall along an L-shaped gravel path leading to a vegetable garden. Both sides of the path are lined with trees–apricot, pear, and pomegranate. On one side under a massive elm is a bed containing white geraniums and a variety of rose bushes.

 

 

A potager can include space for a lawn and  boxes of blooms

A potager can include space for a lawn and raised beds, enclosed beds, or boxes of blooming flowers

 

 

We are following a plan for our own vision of a potager and, although I wish it had more of the lines of the medieval jardin de curé, our garden has the appearance of gentle disorder while being a prolific producer, in short, an edible landscape.

 

I love this living tableau. The appearance of the garden and grounds changes with the cycles of the seasons. Also ever-changing are the types of wildlife and songbirds frequenting the fountains and foraging on the fruits. There’s always something new to discover.

 

 

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If you enjoy reading about farmette topics, gardening, and keeping chickens and honeybees, check out my series of cozy mysteries from Kensington Publishing in New York. Click on the link.

 

 

Check out my newest mystery (Sept. 2017)

http://tinyurl.com/ya5vhhpm

A HIVE OF HOMICIDES

 

 

 

 

 

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I enjoyed studying botany and zoology in school, but never felt attracted to the study of butterflies, bees, beetles, and bugs with any kind of intensity. I regret that. Not only because some of these pollinators are beautiful, but many are also beneficial to gardens and orchards.

 

Between showers and periods of sunlight, this beauty showed up in the bee garden

Between showers and periods of sunlight, this beauty showed up in the bee garden

 

 

As a beekeeper, it’s my job to notice moths, hive beetles, and other flying and crawling insects. Though some are beautiful and beneficial, others can harm my honeybee hives. That’s why when walking around my garden, I pay attention to all sorts of creatures–whether winged or not.

 

 

I do love to see butterflies and Lady Beetles (also known as ladybugs, a beneficial garden insect) amid my flowers, bushes, and trees. Today, I spotted a lovely winged creature with black-and-white patterned wings and a blue body.

 

 

It stood out against the green leaves of plants in my bee garden and waited for me to run inside the house to get my cell phone camera.

 

 

I wonder if anyone can correctly identify this blue-body, black-and-white winged flier for me. Could this be an Arrowhead Blue butterfly? These, I know, are found in Northern California and the Sierras.

 

 

Another pollinator that “posed” for me earlier this year is the longhorn bee. It’s about the size of a bumble bee. Some of these fliers are so lovely, I could see spending hours taking pictures.

 

 

A longhorn bee is twice the size of a honeybee

A longhorn bee is twice the size of a honeybee

 

 

But chores and all the other farmette tasks take priority over photography. Still, I hope the pictures are clear enough for someone to identify the species when I can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NEWLY RELEASED–The Murder of a Queen Bee (Kensington Publishing, NY–Sept. 2016).

 

Discover recipes, farming tips, and sayings as well as sort out a charming whodunnit. Click on the link under the picture.

 

 

 

The second cozy  mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 29, 2016

See, http://tinyurl.com/h4kou4g

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first novel in the Henny Penny Farmette series

See, http://tinyurl.com/hxy3s8q

 

This debut novel launched the Henny Penny Farmette series of mysteries and sold out its first press run. It’s now available in mass market paperback and other formats.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Sprained Leg Can Spell the End for a Chicken

Author: Meera, October 12, 2016

Foxes have been routinely prowling my property and have claimed two chickens from my neighbor over the last few weeks. Thank goodness, they weren’t my hens. That said, one of my White Leghorns, a breed that originated in Tuscany but is widely raised here, developed a sprained leg, making her extra vulnerable to predators.

 

 

white chix lg web

 

I noticed she was having trouble standing a few days ago. Then yesterday, I found her cowering under the hen house steps because the flock had been attacking her. I immediately removed her and tried to find a solution that would allow her time to heal without simultaneously having to find off foes.

 

 

My poultry run has its fencing wire buried into the ground and pieces wired together over the top. It’s built that way to prevent entry by raccoons, coyotes, and foxes that dig as well as hawks that hunt from the sky. But what to do with a flock of chickens that will peck to death another hen that get sick or injured?

 

 

 

 

Hawks like this one enjoy perching atop pine trees in the neighborhood

Hawks like this one enjoy perching atop pine trees in the neighborhood

 

 

Yesterday, inside the secure run, I built an inner circular area using poultry wire. Locating a large cardboard box, I filled it with nesting straw and stapled part of an old sheet as a curtain over the doorway. Then I put heavy blankets on the box for warmth (it’s been getting cold at night). I put a water dispenser and food outside her box and hoped for the best.

 

 

When I checked on the hen this morning, she was standing upright on both legs. She explored the inner run and then hopped back into the box to wait perhaps for the sun to warm the run. As quickly as she is healing, I might be able to integrate her back into the flock in a few days or a week.

 

 

The rains are coming tomorrow–another threat for the poor creature–so I’ll have to figure out another option to keep her dry and warm and safe. Still, she seems to be on the road to recovery and I hope returning to her scratching and foraging soon because she has stopped laying during this traumatic period. And she was one of my best egg layers; she’d lay an extra-large egg almost every other day. See, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leghorn_chicken

 

 

 

*           *          *

 

If you enjoy reading about farm topics (including gardening, beekeeping, and delicious recipes), check out my cozy mysteries A BEELINE TO MURDER and also THE MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE in the Henny Penny Farmette series (from Kensington Publishing).

 

 

 

These novels are available through online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, and Walmart as well as from traditional bookstores everywhere.

 

 

The first novel in the Henny Penny Farmette series

Find more info or to order, see, http://tinyurl.com/hxy3s8q

Now available in mass market paperback, this debut novel launched the Henny Penny Farmette series of mysteries and sold out its first press run.

 

 

 

 

The second cozy  mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 29, 2016

See, http://tinyurl.com/h4kou4g

The Murder of a Queen Bee is the newest offering in the Henny Penny Farmette series. For more information, click on the link under the image.

 

 

 

 

 

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Predators on the Prowl

Author: Meera, October 1, 2016

Are they venturing out of the nearby dry hills and canyons for water? Or, in search of a fresh chicken dinner? Whatever the reason for their forays into our neighborhood, the foxes are back.

 

 

 

 

 

Hunting for food? Water? What brought these foxes into our neighborhood?

This fox pair  dug a den near a compost pile on the property adjoining our Henny Penny Farmette last year . . . now they’re back

 

 

 

My neighbor, who also has a farmette with chickens, bees, and fruit trees, alerted me first that the foxes had returned because they got one of his chickens.

 

 

With that worrisome news, I’ve decided against allowing my chickens to free-range forage around our property. Instead, I’m keeping them safe in the chicken run that also has poultry wire across the top to protect against high-flying predators like hawks or cunning little climbers like foxes.

 

 

 

Although we live fairly close (a mile or so) away from designated agricultural land, ours is still a neighborhood of families with pets. Some of us keep chickens and bees and even goats and horses and burros. I sometimes hear braying or neighing while having coffee in my garden on a bright, crisp autumn morning.

 

 

A flock of wild turkeys roams through our property this time of year, too. We don’t mind the turkeys but foxes, large raccoons, coyotes, and wolves can attack small dogs and cats. For that reason, we all stay alert and share news with our neighbors of predators prowling about.

 

*               *                *

 

 

If you enjoy reading about farmette topics (including gardening, beekeeping, and delicious recipes), check out my cozy mysteries A BEELINE TO MURDER and also THE MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE in the Henny Penny Farmette series (from Kensington Publishing).

 

 

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway–September 29 to October 6–for a chance to win a signed copy of a first-edition hardcover of The Murder of a Queen Bee. Three lucky winners will be chosen.

 

 

These novels are chocked full of recipes, farming tips, and sayings as well as a charming cozy mystery.

 

The books are available through online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, and Walmart as well as from traditional bookstores everywhere.

 

 

The first novel in the Henny Penny Farmette series

See, http://tinyurl.com/hxy3s8q

 

This debut novel launched the Henny Penny Farmette series of mysteries and sold out its first press run. It’s now available in mass market paperback and other formats.

 

 

 

 

The second cozy  mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 29, 2016

See, http://tinyurl.com/h4kou4g

 

NEWLY RELEASED! This, the second cozy mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, is garnering great reviews from readers and industry publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Birds that Eat Bees

Author: Meera, August 18, 2016

 

Lately, I’ve noticed a scrub jay visiting my apiary. The bird most often lands on the bubbling water fountain near the front of the hives, but it visits other fountains in the yard as well. A favorite spot is the pink birdbath near the Pyracantha bush and stand of bamboo.

 

 

The bird eats its fill of bees corpses on the gravel path in front of the hives. Occasionally, I’ve seen it snatch a bee out of the air–something I don’t like. After washing down its meal with water, off it goes.

 

 

 

 

Blue jays are omnivores and eat nuts, seeds, berries, and insects, including bees

Western scrub jays are omnivores and eat nuts, seeds, berries, small rodents, reptiles, other birds’ eggs, and insects.

 

 

 

While bees aren’t the primary dietary food of scrub jays, the birds will eat bees that are dead or alive.

 

 

Purple Martins, the largest type of swallow in the United States, eats bees in flight, too, provided the insects zoom high enough to enter the Purple Martin’s flight zone.

 

 

 

Other birds that eat bees include flycatchers, tufted titmice, swifts, and shrikes (because of their feeding habits, some shrikes are known as “butcher birds” because they impale prey on thorns). European beekeepers must deal with Bradfield’s swift and the Green Bee-eater; both eat bees that are flying about to forage or mate.

 

 

The majority of bee-eating birds belong to a relatively small group of twenty-four species that feed mainly on honeybees but also devour bumblebees, dragonflies, wasps, ants, butterflies, hornets, beetles, and moths as part of their diets.

 

 

 

But back to the scrub jay–these birds serve a custodial function for my apiary. With dead bees attracting hornets and yellow jackets, the scrub jay is doing me a favor by cleaning up around the hive entrances. This is especially true in the autumn, when the worker bees preparing their hive for winter, push out the drones (male honeybees) to die.

 

 

*          *          *

 

 

 

If you enjoy reading about farmette topics (including gardening, beekeeping, and delicious recipes), check out my cozy mysteries A BEELINE TO MURDER and also THE MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE in the Henny Penny Farmette series (from Kensington Publishing).

 

 

 

These novels are available through online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books, and Walmart as well as from traditional bookstores everywhere.

 

 

The first novel in the Henny Penny Farmette series

See, http://tinyurl.com/hxy3s8q

Now available in mass market paperback, this debut novel launched the Henny Penny Farmette series of mysteries and sold out its first press run.

 

 

 

 

The second cozy  mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 29, 2016

See, http://tinyurl.com/h4kou4g

The second cozy mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 27, 2016, is now available on Net Galley (netgalley.com) for professionals and readers who write reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Obama administration has proposed new animal welfare standards that ban common practices governing chicken farms. Currently, an organic chicken farm may allow chickens outside to roam on concrete. The new rules specify the chickens  must have access to the outside and to soil.

 

 

 

 

Young chickens free-ranging

Young chickens in the outdoor chicken run on the Henny Penny Farmette in N. California

 

 

Currently, certified organic farms allow chickens to have a specific amount  and quality of outdoor activity. But that doesn’t mean access to dirt for scratching, pecking, and dust bathing that are instinctive behaviors for chickens.

 

 

Under the proposed new rules to be certified organic eggs, the chickens producing them must be allowed 1.5 square feet of space per hen indoors and 2 square feet of space outdoors. Outdoor space must be at least half soil and not have a permanent roof or flooring.

 

 

 

A hen from a neighbor's farmette that flew onto our property.

Egg laying hens are happier when they can free-range forage on grass and dirt all year round

 

 

The new rules means chickens can scratch, peck, and bathe in soil instead of being caged where they do not necessarily have access to soil.  Current egg producers will have five years to implement the proposed changes that also specifiy no de-beaking of chickens.

 

 

Already, McDonalds and other large food corporations have advised that they’ll be making the transition to certified organic along with Walmart.  Certified organic eggs under the new rules will mean more humane and better life for the chickens producing those eggs than for chickens whose eggs are labeled “cage-free.”

 

 

Currently, cage-free eggs mean the chickens producing those eggs do not necessarily get access to the outdoors as the new O’bama administration rules propose.

 

 

There will be a sixty day comment period before the rules can go into effect. But for animal protection advocates and supporters of the organic food movement, the new proposed rules are a welcome change.

 

*          *          *

 

 

If you enjoy reading about farmette topics (including gardening, beekeeping, and delicious recipes), check out my cozy mysteries A BEELINE TO MURDER and also THE MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE in the Henny Penny Farmette series (from Kensington Publishing).

 

 

 

Both are available through online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart as well as from traditional bookstores everywhere.

 

 

The first novel in the Henny Penny Farmette series

Now available in mass market paperback, this novel launched the Henny Penny Farmette series of mysteries and sold out its first press run.

 

 

 

 

The second cozy  mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 29, 2016

The second cozy mystery in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Sept. 29, 2016

 

 

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Eggs Don’t Get Fresher Than This!

Author: Meera, June 13, 2016

The chickens were making a ruckus this morning just after sunup. They often do that when one of them is occupying a favorite nesting box and another wants in. Finally, I got up and trudged out to the chicken house.

 

 

My Black Sex Link hen, Blacky

My Black Sex Link hen, Blacky

 

 

 

When I let the chickens out of their house into their run today, one of them–the Black Sex Link hen (Blacky)–hadn’t quite finished laying her egg.

 

 

 

But as they always do, the hens made a run for it when the door opened. Blacky included. They hopped out and followed the Rhode Island Red in the pursuit of grass and worms and other things chickens like to eat. That’s when I noticed Blacky waddling along, trailing the other hens. That’s unusual for her.

 

 

 

The Black Sex Link hens lay brown eggs

The Black Sex Link hens lay brown eggs

 

 

 

It soon became clear why. She had a fully formed brown egg halfway out. I’ve seen some strange things since raising these hens from when they were baby chicks housed in a big tub in my kitchen. But this was the strangest.

 

 

 

I reached down to see about giving the egg a bit of pull when Blacky decided to push. I caught the egg before it hit the ground.

 

 

 

*         *          *

 

First book in Meera Lester's Henny Penny Farmette series of cozy mysteries

First book in the Henny Penny Farmette series of cozy mysteries

 

If you enjoy reading about gardening, keeping bees, raising chickens, and creating delicious recipes, you might want to check out my novels from Kensington Publishing.

 

 

The Henny Penny Farmette series of cozy mysteries are available online and in tradition bookstores everywhere, in hardcover, kindle, and mass market paperback formats.

 

 

Novel #2 in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Oct. 1, 2016

Novel #2 in the Henny Penny Farmette series, available Oct. 1, 2016

 

 

The MURDER OF A QUEEN BEE will be released in hardcover October 1.

 

 

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