Hide ’n Go Seek

There is a deep sense of accomplishment when you finally catch a runaway chick after stalking it for three hours. This little chick was well trained by its mother. Something spooked some of the chicks and three of them scrambled out of the woods and found a small opening in the wire fence. Two were easy to herd back to their mother. This one went the other way and disappeared into the brush along a ditch.

Impossible to find, I went to work, quietly clearing brush in the ditch, something that needed doing anyway. After a long pause, the chick started chirping for its mother, which gave me the chance to get close to it, and get it to move in the direction of the chicken yard.

Each time it ran a little distance and disappeared in the brush, and after working nearby, after fifteen to twenty minutes, it would chirp again, and I could get it to move closer to the chicken yard.

After three hours, it ran up to the fence of the chicken yard and I was able to corner it and catch it. As soon as it saw its mother, it went running to her.

The yellow iris are in bloom, attracting numerous bees.

The peonies are in bloom too, scenting the air with their sweet fragrance.

Friends have given us bags of pine cones, so I spent part of an afternoon running them through the shredder to turn them into mulch. The shredder says right on it that it can handle branches up to 2 and a half inches. Ha! I think when they were testing it, they were using a metric ruler and read 2.5 centimeters, not 2.5 inches. Try and run a branch that thick through the shredder, and you will give the shredder irritable bowel syndrome in no time.

The shredder sat unused for several years after we gave up on it the first year. I’ve made peace with it, am aware of its issues with colitis, and feed it matter in bite size chunks. Two cones, three cones at a time, and it will munch away contentedly for hours. The same with branches and shrubbery. Nothing too big, ignore the “up to 2.5 inches” label on the side, stick to sticks and branches not much more than an inch wide, and it will purr away, spitting out nice mulch all day long.

All this wonderful mulch, and to think that the carbon the mulch is made from was floating in the air, drifting round and round the world until the pine tree sucked the carbon out of the air and turned it into pine cones. People with very smart brains have yet to figure out a simple method to pull carbon out of the air, yet plants, with no brains, have it all figured out and do it easily. There is a lot of intelligence in plants. They know how to do rather spectacular things, remarkable for things with no brains.

The towering cottonwood turn silver when the summer winds blow their leaves inside out. Wisteria drench the summer breeze with their perfume. Out in the garden, one of the persimmon trees I planted last fall has sprouted. There are four more, and several of them look like they will sprout soon too. What joy. With luck, in three years we will have persimmons.

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