Some of my favourite moments in life are those when I find myself just being. No plans … no words floating through my head … no schedule. I found myself doing just that as I sat with the goats this morning. JUST … THAT.
I noticed this little pink wildflower blooming on the rocky hillside clear through to late October. Go Pink! I noticed the squirrels chasing chipmunks away from their acorn stashes. I watched the Blue Jays hiding peanuts in the arms of the oaks. I listened to the Nuthatches cackling to each other in the woods. And I sighed … ’cause I know that moments like these are precious. Well worth noting and being grateful for!
The jennies are just recovering from Darby’s bout of ‘new moon grumps’. Things were becoming ridiculous. Poor Bella and Rosie were having to keep one eye on Darby at all times – which is difficult to do when you are eating hay from a bin. As soon as I’d leave them on their own Darby would chase the others either up the path over the hillside or into the barn. And she would pin them there with a glare. She knew perfectly well that I would be angry about that – and would keep glancing to see if I noticed. Eventually I would intervene and the minis would come racing out to put me between them and Darby. Finally I made myself stop – and sit – and try to think like a donkey. Darby’s grumpiness seemed to pique when she would see the others … So – I dumped all the bins and instead filled up eight hay bags. I hung them in six different locations – none within sight of the other. Est voila! Peace in the paddock!
Yesterday I spent the morning shovelling and dragging a new sand base into the chicken ‘porch’. This little space is their morning haunt while they wait for me to get out of bed. Last winter I filled it in deeply with wood chips. I was aiming for the ‘warm litter approach’. It was warm. But also incredibly hard to clean out come the spring. Now that the flock has the larger chicken palace on the other side of their coop they can use that space to stay warm during winter days. This side will be much easier to keep clean as I can easily rake their poop out of the sand every few days.
It is great to see how much these guys are loving their palace (aka chicken fort under tarps and surrounded by windows from an old trailer). I arrived late in the afternoon to find them all basking in the disappearing sun – all cozied into the straw bales against the southern windows. I found time to tarp in the north corner of that space. I was loathe to do it much earlier as the northern winds have been bringing fresh air throughout the fall. But today’s temperatures really dropped. Tomorrow’s weather will bring a strong north wind driving heavy rains. Time to close it in. I lucked out big time finding a perfect piece of leftover tarp from our roofing adventures – no cutting required! The palace is lit with patio lights. Once I had the tarp up the space suddenly seemed much brighter! Lots of reflecting going on. AND … suddenly chickens that would normally be heading into their coop to find a perch for the night thought maybe not … seemed like time to rally! The Tweedles decided to check out the shiny mirror … Lily and Sophie were on a hunt for more bugs and Goldie assured me he did not have to cut short the snooze he was enjoying on my lap. Alas … I had to call it a day. So I flicked the lights off … and just like that … the five of them paraded off to find their night’s roost. Love watching as they follow each other – nattering away – through that little door to pop up onto their ledges. They talk to each other the whole time – complaining about who is in the way – making sure the ‘oldies’ get the best roost at the highest level – Goldie scolding and scolding because all he wants is for them to quiet down and settle in so he can back into the floor box that he has claimed as the Man Cave. And then all goes quiet … and I tiptoe away to stow away their feeder overnight and to close up all the doors to keep them safe.
Time for me to get warm and cozy in my own human barn! Wicked weather coming over the next two days. Appropriate for Hallowe’en! 😉