On the One Cold Day

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On the one cold day the outcast rooster nobody likes gave me his sad eyes.

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Claire complained of cold feet as did the aloof white rooster who seems to get along with everyone in the barnyard.

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I searched high and low for my barnyard companion Oliver the cat . . .

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And found the naughty animal where he wasn’t supposed to be . . .

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I have no idea how long our “outside” cat napped on my bed or who let him sneak in, but isn’t he cute?

 

Country Living: Morning on the Farm

A volunteer sunflower in the raised bed.
A volunteer sunflower in the raised bed.
Misty morning in the vegetable garden.
Misty morning in the vegetable garden.

When everyone else is asleep I walk the garden on a rare sunny morning. I didn’t plant the sunflower. A bird did. Thank you, bird.

No two days are alike in the country. Everything is fleeting and many things are lovely. But there are worries. Too many worms in a goat’s gut and they’re dead. Not enough in a garden and maybe there’s a problem.

After weeks of rain everything smells fresh and feels mushy. Only one cup of coffee into the day but by the time I walk down to the quiet barn I’m awake. The big ducks quack in their house and the small ducks and chickens chirp-chirp around their feeder patiently until I open the coop hatch. Mother hen and her charges are the first out.

Have you ever felt like your kids were switched at birth? (they were)
Have you ever felt like your kids were switched at birth? (they were)

The Buff Orpingtons we’re raising for a friend (in exchange for turkeys) bound out the door next. I call, “Claire-Claire” as I enter the coop and greet our friendly Dominique chick. She came to us with curled feet. We tried splints and bandages but she refused them and the other chicks attacked her so she gets by with plucky  can-do attitude that makes me love her more. She will be spoiled–especially since she comes when called.

The b’hoys, Luke Cafferty, Matt Saracen and Tim Riggins cry out. They’re starved, they say.

Food, food, we want food! (and a little affection if you don't mind).
Food, food, we want food! (and a little affection if you don’t mind).

What’s that bumping up against my leg? You ducks! Wanting to bully the goats for their food–and you’ll win, won’t you! One day I’ll make the ducks behave–not. Every day is different in the country but ducks never behave.

The ducks have discovered goat feed is great.
The ducks have discovered goat feed is great.

Pet Chicken

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Egg-bound Gluck-Gluck
Egg-bound Gluck-Gluck

Chicken love. I never imagined such a thing, but every so often a chicken picks you to adore. How lovely it is each day to be greeted at the chicken house by an enthusiastic hen! When my chicken love, Gluck-Gluck sickened and died this week after 4 years of true friendship I felt a mix of relief and sadness. She suffered. There was little I could do but hold her in a warm towel after soaks and meds.

Such is life with animals, but if you’re lucky friendship shines on you again and so it is here at Middlemay. While mourning the loss of Gluck-Gluck I couldn’t help smile at Clarissa (Claire) a new Dominique chick with crippled feet waiting to be loved. Most of our new chicks don’t mind me, but they don’t love me.  Claire pushes her way through the crowd like a tough running back to jump into my hands whenever I’m around. She sits and coos and snuggles.

No one friend can replace another but isn’t it nice to be alive with the hope of new friendship?

Clarissa Chicken
Clarissa Chicken

Country Living: Rain

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A sudden storm surprises us.

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The goats run for cover and do what goats do . . .
The goats run for cover and do what goats do . . .

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Ferdinand and Sophie are very happy.
Ferdinand and Sophie are very happy.
Nala is NOT happy.
Nala is NOT happy so the goats ask her to join them and she finds a nest of starlings in the eaves. Now she’s happy.
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But what is that I here in the milking room? Mother hen is sitting on duck eggs. Look, do you see it? A surprise chick. Now where are the ducklings?

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