Life Without Rhubarb is No Life At All

Hard to believe that last spring, the lush row or rhubarb didn’t exist, and were just small, round seeds I pushed into the soil. Life without rhubarb is no life at all.

Sunday night when I went out to the tofu cabin to soak soybeans, I heard the cries of a chick in distress. It was dark, and using the light of my phone, I found one of the Bielefelder chicks on death’s door, impaled on the thorns of a blackberry, dangling nearly lifeless. After rescuing it, I placed it under its mother in the chicken coop, fearing the little one would not make it through the night. But it did, and yesterday it was scurrying around with all the other little chicks as if nothing had happened.

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All the Good There Is

Watching tofu cooling in clear, cold water is so soothing. It’s an opportunity to reflect on all the good there is.

The marjoram has gone to bloom, dainty pink flowers decorate the path out to the tofu cabin. The chickens walk past these flowers all day long. What do they think of them?

The latest chicks arrived Wednesday morning, Bielefelder cockerels and Cuckoo Maran pullets. The chicks took to my broody hen right away, and Thursday morning, she had them out exploring the world.

There are no Bielefelder pullets so I got some cockerels instead. The other roosters don’t know it, but I have sinister plans for them as these Bielefelder grow up, that is if the Bielefelder turn into the grand roosters they are reported to be.

A mother hen’s devotion to her chicks is evidence that given sufficient billions of years, star dust will turn into kindness.

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Luxury of a Cool Summer

Some of the hens have decided to lay eggs in luxurious alpaca fur nests. I’ll have to note on the eggs how special they are. Of the tens of millions of eggs laid every day, how many get laid in nests lined with alpaca fur?

Emma’s ducklings are as nearly as large as she is. The ducklings are still whistling, though on occasion I hear an almost quack coming from them.

The nights and mornings these days are tinged with fall’s coolness. This summer we’ve been spared the smokey skies of the last few years caused by forests burning in the Cascades and Canada. With summer coming to an end, plants are busy blooming and setting seed.

Compared to many places, summers are cool here. There’s no need to venture up to a mountain retreat to escape summer heat here. You can enjoy the luxury of a comfortable summer just by stepping outside.

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Home Sweet Home

Snow and her two brothers are settling into their new home on the pond. We moved them there last week so they wouldn’t harass Emma and her ducklings in the garden.

They surprised me two nights ago by appearing in the chicken yard in the evening. I guess they feel more protected sleeping in the protected chicken yard with the chickens than out by the pond. They were inside with the chickens last evening too when I went to close the chicken yard.

It’s nice having them in the pond, and it takes them but seconds it seems to swim from one side to the other. When snow goes back to laying eggs, finding her nest may take some doing.

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Too Far to Go

I found a bee sleeping on a daisy yesterday morning. It’s a common sight in the summer, to find a bee who decided to spend the night on a flower instead of returning to the hive. I suppose if you’ve gone too far and been caught by a setting sun, a daisy makes as good a bed as any.

And when your life is over, for a bee, a daisy makes a nice final resting place. Such short lives bees live.

A new nest brimming with eggs explains why I haven’t been gathering as many eggs as usual. When the number of eggs in the nest drops, it is a good sign that some of the hens have found a new place to lay eggs.

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We Will Not Be Moved

The wasps which built a nest at the base of a bird feeder under a pear tree were becoming a problem. Walk too close to the pear tree, and they’d sting. The one time I got stung, it felt like I’d walked against stinging nettles, and realized it was those wasps.

At night, I covered the nest with a bag and carried it off and hung it under a cedar far away from places well traveled.

The next morning, the wasps were back under the pear tree, buzzing furiously, and determined to rebuild where their nest used to be. I don’t mind as they eat a huge number of insects. I just need to warn anyone who visits to stay clear of the pear tree.

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A Dewy Web

It’s a cool, July morning. During the night, a spider spun a dewy web in the grass.

The Barred Rocks are fully grown. I haven’t spotted one on a nest yet, but I am finding pullet eggs so I’m sure they are starting to lay.

The forest is a favorite place for mother hens to bring their chicks. How many chicks are in the picture? They blend in well to the forest floor. Every mother hen has her own rearing style. Most don’t start roosting until their chicks can fly up with her. Maybe because it is summer, or maybe because she was raising so many, she went back to roosting after two weeks, leaving her large brood to huddle together on the floor at night, but during the day, she calls them all, and leads them on great treks through the woods and out beyond the cabin.

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