Monday, August 18, 2008

I really need to carry the camera with me more often

I was down near Frankencoop this afternoon, picking fruit from the old pear tree. My alpha rooster, Gimpy, started making a ruckus and I turned around to see a Great Egret come in for a landing right on the top of the chicken coop.

It was the first time I'd ever seen one. Standing at least three feet tall, it was one of the largest birds I've ever seen on the property - exceeded only perhaps by the occasional Great Blue Heron flying overhead.

Sadly, I did not have the camera on me. It was inside the house a few hundred yards away. The egret didn't hang around long either because Della, the usually quiet and reserved hound dog, started barking at the tall stranger. The bird took off to the east, flying over the goat pasture in search of a quieter place to rest.

I need to get back in the habit of toting the camera around with me. I stopped doing that when the laptop went into a coma but now, miracle of miracles, the laptop is working again. I have no idea what was wrong or if anything is still wrong. I'm operating under the assumption that the damned thing could conk out again any day so I make a point of backing it up every single day.

I'm still going to keep the blog over here at blogspot. Just seems easier that way for now. But at least now I can post photos again.

Della, my old hound dog

Lemon hanging at the beach in Michigan

The front yard has seemed awfully empty without Lemon. So many hot afternoons I would sit on the porch reading a book while Lemon puttered around in the shade under the porch. Sometimes, if she'd been quiet for a long period of time, I would call out "Bawk-bawk?" And she would respond "Bawk-bawk." I miss that.

There are a couple hens that now live up here by the house. They both fell sick last week and I moved them up here to isolate them from the rest of the flock in case they were contagious. Fortunately, they both recovered. I decided that, since I missed having a chicken close by, I would keep them up here.

There's also a rooster that I plan on moving up here soon. His name is Caleb and he was originally destined for the dinner table but I grew too fond of him.
He's a big adorable doofus of a rooster, weighing in at about 12 pounds, that follows me around like a dog. I'd originally envisioned bringing him up here as a companion to Lemon but he'll be just as happy with the other two hens. I can't keep him in Frankencoop much longer since there are already two permanent roosters there as well as three young ones who will eventually wind up as chicken salad or sweet & sour.

About a week ago, Caleb started following me up the driveway to the house - behavior I encouraged by tossing him garden treats like cucumber and melon if he completed the trip. It didn't take him long to just show up in the yard on his own. I was happy about this because I think it will make the transition that much easier if he's already familiar with the territory.

The only downside is that he now has access to the tomato patch. I wouldn't mind so much if he just ate three or four tomatoes and called it good. Instead, he takes just a few pecks at dozens of tomatoes, working his way through every red one he can find. Now, I have to be sure to pick the tomatoes every morning before he has a chance to get to them.

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