Just like children in their Sunday best can’t resist stomping in mud puddles, swans love troddling through muddy fields. How they stay pristine white is a mystery. True, they don’t roll around in the mud like swine. Having long necks helps, as do sturdy, webbed feet. And if they get mud on their feathers, clear water for washing is just a flap of the wings away.
Swans, geese, ducks, make up the biological family of waterbirds, Anatidae, which comes from the Latin for ducks, anas, plus idae which denotes a family of animals.
One thing missing in the descriptions of Anatidae, is how much these birds talk. Close your eyes and listen to a flock of swans, geese, or ducks, and you hear tens, hundreds, thousands of conversations going on all at once. They are as chatty as parrots.
It’s the darkest time of the year. It’s dark when I wake up. Dark when I go to bed. The darkness keeps the chickens on their roost far longer than during the summer. Do they get bored out of their minds, waiting for the sun to lighten up the skies?
Since the bamboo bloomed and died, I’ve been wondering what to do with them. The seeds seem to have dropped out of their pods before I could harvest them. But, the bloomed bamboo entertains the chickens. Maybe enough for them to dream about and keep them from getting bored on these long, winter nights.
It’s time to put up several crocks of miso. Soybeans soaked overnight look plump and rested in the morning. This lot became tofu. Another lot soon will become miso, and take a long, long rest to age gracefully.