Friday, August 22, 2014


I finally turned on the AC today. That says it all, I think. For the first time this summer, the air is hot, sticky, still. The cheepers hate it and they scratch huge holes underneath bushes where they can rest their feathered bodies in the cool earth. Unless we bring out scraps of food for them. Hot weather or not, the cheepers are programmed to run then, chasing us in a way that is so unbelievably cute that I always wish that I could have my camera out and ready for this moment (they're too fast, so I don't even try).

Breakfast? Oh, we do go out on the porch. The sun is temporarily behind something that is a cross between a fog and low lying cloud cover. So this is it -- our moment outside!


Friday is Ed's machinist meeting day and my grocery shopping day (a split so completely gender predictable that it makes me laugh) and so the muggy weather is rather irrelevant. It comes as a bit of a shock to learn that my '93 Escort has a functioning AC, which I don't use going to the store, but most certainly crank up coming back. And am grateful that the commute is such a rare event for me.

In the afternoon, when I go out to collect eggs and clean the coop, I notice that Scotch, for the third day in a row, has not laid an egg. There are the known reasons -- of shortening days, a molting interlude, etc. One of the white hens had a period of rest and then leapt right back into full production within a week.


In googling things to consider with chickens who pause (or stop?) laying, inevitably I come to the text on the aging chicken. Scotch isn't aging, I don't think. Her owners claimed she was a year when we got her (of course, that is what you're going to tell the enthusiastic new chicken keeper!). Still, inevitably she will get old, as will the others. And it strikes me that we will have to deal with that. There are many Internet instructions on how to kill your chickens. And this is when I realize how short-sighted we were when we get involved in chicken care. With cats and dogs, the vet conveniently does the job for us. The animal is old or sick, you say your good byes, shed a tear, move on. But an old chicken? Get an ax, calm her down and be sure to let the blood drip out before you throw her into the pot.

And if you're not saying ewwww to yourself yet, then maybe you should be the one keeping chickens! And maybe we should be thinking of what happens to these cutest of cute birds when they get old.

But, we're not programmed to think like that and so for now, I close the lid on internet searches and go back to hoping that Scotch is just having a pause. To rejuvinate herself for the months, (years?) ahead of her.

Supper? Well, we have a pot-luck to attend. We're mightily interested in the future of the land around us. In addition to liking the quiet of the farming community, we worry about the potential impact that any large scale development will have on our waters -- springs, lakes, wetlands. And we are surrounded by waters: we live in an area of nine natural springs, feeding the marshlands south and east of us and ultimately, draining into lake Waubesa.  So we go to community events (such as tonight's pot-luck meeting) and we listen to the latest studies and findings and we continue to hope that the prospect of high revenue (we are so close to the city center that we definitely tempt development) for those who have stakes in the land here wont lead others to stay blind to the impact this will have on the quality of the wetlands and the ecosystem supported by them.

I make a mediterranean chicken quinoa salad for the potluck. Why? Because we have the garden tomatoes and the cucumbers and the garlic and the onion, (we have the chicken, too, but as you can see, I'm not ready or willing to wield an ax over our hens, so the meat ingredient has to come from the store), and Ed really wants me to move the quinoa out of our cupboard and onto someone else's plate. Honestly, the man seems to have no stomach for good foods!

Flowers from today: still delightful. From just by the porch: