Happy Finds a Home

On Sunday, Happy, a four month old Buff Orpington rooster came to live with us. His kind owners in the city were not able to keep him once he started crowing, and asked me if I could take him. I kept him penned Sunday and most of Monday. Monday evening, once I closed the chicken yard, I let him free so he could roost with the other chickens.

Yesterday, he went outdoor with the rest of the chickens, and spent the day foraging with them. My first rooster, Billy, was a Buff Orpington, and the best rooster I ever had. I do have a handful of other roosters that are ready for the dinner table this fall. As I clear them out, I’m hoping Happy will become a rooster the hens adore.

Please don’t think that I’m running a rescue home for unwanted roosters. That is hardly the case. Happy is an exception.

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The Last Daisy

The October sun reaches to the forest floor. With the summer market over, there is time to work on the forest trails, build new fences, mend old ones, and work on a list of projects that will keep me busy until spring and beyond.

The last daisy of the season blooms all by itself. In the garden, the bees are still busy, buzzing around the remaining flowers. The shungiuku 春菊 are still blooming like crazy.

In cool weather, shungiku thrives. I should have fresh shungiku greens until a hard freeze zaps them. Once that happens, the kale sweetens and will provide steady greens as long as a foot of snow doesn’t smoother them.

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First Frost Certainty

This morning’s surprise was a fine lace of frost on the grass and ground covers. First frost is something worth celebrating. You always know when it is the first frost, however, in late winter or early spring, you never know if the frost you find on cold mornings is the last one until much later. There might be another frost the next day, the day after that, or on a cold morning a week later. Not until warm weather has arrived for good, can you look back and say for sure, “That was the last frost.”

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Thank You

A rare, cloudless sky blessed the last day of this year’s Mt Vernon Farmers Market. We could not have dreamed of a better October day to close the season. Many thanks to all of you who came by. It was a great pleasure meeting you and sharing with you these last six months.

On the way home, I spotted one small cloud, hanging like a lost party balloon above the valley. With no clouds anywhere, how did that one little cloud end up there?

I had a good laugh when I read these words of wisdom at the Allen Fire Station.

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One Lucky Person

October’s cobalt blue skies continue. There is no rain in the forecast until the end of the month. The cottonwoods towering on the other side of the pond are starting to turn. It won’t be long before their golden leaves tumble to the forest floor.

Emma and the four Welsh Harlequin ducks love to swim. After watching how much ducks love to swim, I can’t imagine not giving ducks a place to swim. I’m working on plans to give them a much larger swimming hole in the garden, a duck pool I can easily flush clean without drowning the surrounding garden.

Tomorrow is the last Saturday market of the season for the Mt. Vernon Farmers Market. It’s time to gather Emma’s eggs. She has been on a roll recently, laying an egg every day. When she is not on her nest, she covers the eggs to hide them.

There are seven eggs in her nest, and one lucky person will take home a half dozen of her eggs tomorrow. I wonder who it will be, and who will go away disappointed when they arrive too late.

Gathering her eggs is a reminder than nearly everything we eat is alive, or was a living thing at one time. More than anything, living things need clean water, clean air, clean soil that is teeming with life.

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Golden October

October is golden under clear, blue skies. Humans have yet to invent a word to adequately describe autumn’s beauty. It will soon be time to pick up the rake and gather in a harvest of a million leaves, to blanket the garden and give the earthworms and a zillion other soil creatures plenty to munch on through the winter months.

Takuma 拓真 isn’t sure what I see in the leaves. Dogs must find us as amusing as we find them.

Down in the valley, the blue skies seem to reach to infinity above the Chuckanuts. There aren’t that many who are so lucky to have such a beautiful trip to get to their post office. It won’t be long, three weeks maybe, before the blue skies are laced with white swans spending their winter here. Some winter days, they fly so low, I can almost touch them.

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October Mysteries

The chill October days mean it’s time to pick the last of the berries, and bring in the last of the tomatoes. Another season of gardening is coming to an end. It’s a time to reflect on some of the mysteries of life.

Like, why is tofu white? Soybeans aren’t white. Even inside, they aren’t white, but a pale yellow. So why does blending them with water, and wringing out the soy milk result in a product so white?

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