Whenever I have a day like today when I haven't taken any pictures for one reason or another, I can almost always find Jack and take a picture of him because he sleeps about twenty hours a day. In this shot, he's demonstrating his excellent napping skills in the guest room which is where he likes to sleep when he's not sleeping on our bed.
Today started out sweetly and it's gone that way all day except...
I went out this morning to take Moana some treats and let her out of the hen house. As you know, we have been shutting her up tight in there every night to keep her safe. I sprinkled some of the fancy bird food with peanuts and sunflower seeds on the ground in the coop after I'd opened the sliding door to the hen house so that she could come out and I waited for a few seconds and when she didn't appear, I opened the big door to the hen house and there she was. Bloodied and dead on the floor.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
Mr. Moon went out later to deal with her remains and he said that something had managed to dig under a wall where the wire fencing he had buried had deteriorated. It was no doubt wither a possum or a raccoon and I'm betting raccoon. Once again, the only part really missing was her head.
So. That is it for chickens. If they aren't even safe in the roost at night, there is no way I'm going through this again. And I just have to deal with that reality.
Bless her heart. Moana- our last hen.
Mr. Moon tilled part of the garden I'd cleared and planted the potatoes. He was certain I had not bought enough but there were plenty. We have an eternally ongoing joke about my inability to visualize how much of any one thing can fit into another thing. Like leftovers. I'm just terrible at gauging what container to use to put leftovers in. But he is terrible at over-buying seed potatoes. He vowed and declared that the amount I'd bought was not nearly enough but after he planted three good rows, he agreed that I had gotten just the right amount. I kept waiting for a "but..." in there but there wasn't.
I am so proud of myself.
I planted the sugar snap peas. A nice long row of them on the east fence. At least we no longer have to worry about the chickens snatching the sweet and tender vines from the other side of the fence as they grow up it. We haven't had a decent crop of peas since we started keeping chickens and it's a trade-off I would gladly keep making forever but that is no longer going to be a problem.
I did some more weeding in an area I want to plant onions. No matter how much we weed for the next ten thousand years, there will still be betony and dollar weed coming up in the garden because those two things send out similarly thick roots from the yard around the garden which come up to choke anything they can get those ropey roots on. So it's a ridiculous and fruitless battle but as I have probably said before, there is something quite satisfying to me, troweling up those plants and following the roots and pulling up everything attached to them. You have to be gentle and yet firm, because the roots will easily snap and yet, they go deep.
This sounds like a metaphor for something, doesn't it? I am not sure what.
But I knelt in the wet dirt and dug and pulled for quite awhile. As I worked, I listened to a small collection of short stories by Robert A. Heinlein called "All You Zombies."
I was the latter. I have to say that reading that book in high school absolutely ruined me for a whole lot of what was considered to be socially and culturally correct in the 1970's including not having sex, and religion.
Yes. Let's blame it all on science fiction.
Now let me tell you that much of what Heinlein wrote is horribly misogynistic and sexist in some ways but he broke new ground in presenting women with as many rights to physical pleasure and satisfaction as men and as able and competent as men in many regards. And he was without doubt, a genius. Some of the things he wrote about in the 1940's, 50's, and 60's which were completely beyond anything imagined in those times have turned out to be startlingly prescient. Two of the stories I listened to today were way beyond my brain to comprehend, one having to do with time travel (and a trans man!) and the other a story about a man who built a house which was basically an unfolded tesseract. I mean- really?
No. My mind cannot go there. I'll take his word for it.
Oh god. More freaky shit to worry about. As if we didn't have enough already.
"Well then forget it," I said.
So sorry about Moana. You did your best.ReplyDelete
I don't get watching team sports. I can understand tennis and golf and that kind of sport, but teams running about and colliding and falling down , not so much.
Me either. I think there must be a genetic component. You and I do not have it.Delete
Sorry to hear about your last chicken, that really sucks. But short of making a concrete fortress there just seems to be no way to keep the damn predators out. I grew up reading Heinlein, got it from my Father, he was a science fiction fanatic.ReplyDelete
I have no idea who directed me to Heinlein. Could have been a friend of mine. But it changed my life. It really did.Delete
Stanford stuns no. 4 Arizona. An astounding basketball game last night. I watched none of it except the replay on a Youtube clip. Unbelievable.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry about Moana. The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on; and all they piety nor wit calls back one word of it, nor all thy tears wipe out one word of it. Omar Khyam. He impressed me when it was easier to remember pretty words.
I remember Omar Khyyam's words being prevalent on posters during the seventies. And that quote is beautiful.Delete
I am crestfallen to hear of Moana's demise. Damn. Keeping hens is just not to be anymore, is it? NO. I've thought of revisiting Heinlein.......read several of his books many years ago....... Superbowl on here....not huge fan, but I sort of pay attention and am more interested in the ads than the game. I'm waiting for Clydesdales maybe? And now to finish prep on our dinner (hubby's request) of BLT sandwiches and potato salad.! Woohoo! Salad made this morning.....bacon to be fried now.ReplyDelete
I do love a BLT with all my heart. And potato salad? Oh yes. Please. Enjoy your evening, Susan.Delete
So sorry about sweet Moana! Lord knows she pushed out some magnificent eggs for you!ReplyDelete
I don’t watch the game but I did watch a bit of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet which is so cute and so much more fun for everyone including the puppies!
I've heard that Puppy Bowl is amazing. I'll try to catch some on Youtube.Delete
I’m so very sorry. I know your chickens brought you so much delight and comfort. Not a football fan, it just seems a devils bargain to trade the health of your brain for money and fame. We were Heinlein hippies in this house too, though I don’t think I’ve read that one.I’ll look for it.ReplyDelete
I mostly just don't get how the fans get so emotionally involved with what the players are doing on the field. Somehow basketball makes more sense to me. You can actually see what the individual players are doing. Also, it moves a lot faster.Delete
I'm so glad you were able to have chickens for as long as you did. Besides the joy (and eggs) they brought you, they enriched my life a lot. I bet there are a lot of readers who can say that same thing. And indeed what the hell are we shooting out of the sky? Bizarre.ReplyDelete
I just don't know how life really works without chickens anymore. It's weird and uncomfortable. And it feels poorer.Delete
So they aren't ruling out ET's? WTF?
Well darn. So sorry about Moana.ReplyDelete
As I mentioned elsewhere to Boud, Superb Owl Sunday was celebrated here. Count me in as another Heinlein fan. We were recently winnowing books from our overflowing shelves - Heinlein stayed.
Chris from Boise
Gotta keep your Heinlein!Delete
An unfolded Tesseract house? I would love to see that and walk through it.ReplyDelete
I'm so very sorry to read about Moana though :( :(
Well, according to Heinlein, walking through an unfolded Tesseract house is not an easy thing to do. And getting out of may be almost impossible!Delete
So sad, Moanna, such a lovely little hen. Dammit. BTW I found Mormon story podcasts...Fascinating, weird.ReplyDelete
Aren't they fascinating and weird? The funny thing is, I fall in love with the people who tell their stories- the mostly exmo's. They are such truly nice people! And that damn church steals their lives and minds unless they do one day wake up and start to question things. The first stories I listened to were interviews with Michael Coe, a very well-known archeologist. Those interviews was from WAY back before John was excommunicated. Anyway, they grabbed me. Coe is no longer with us, sadly. He's written some fine books.Delete
I am so sorry about Moana! I was gifted Heinlein books in college but haven't read one in decades.ReplyDelete
Sometimes it's fun to reread something with many years of perspective.Delete
We just finished watching the half time show. I didn't really care for the music but it looked like she was pregnant again. Good on her.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry about Moana.
When I was a kid, there was a time that I only read science fiction. Loved it and couldn't get enough of it. I have a friend who writes science fiction. We used to have a book club and when she retired, she moved out to the west coast and writes full time.
I got the dogs out today and we had a good walk, even Lucy. I made a loaf of banana bread and that was about it for the day. A good day.
I loved science fiction too! Bradbury was perhaps more a favorite than even Heinlein. What a mind! I could never write sci-fi. I ain't smart enough and I know it.Delete
I'm glad you had a good day.
I too read and loved Heinlein when I was in high school. Although I didn't think too deeply about it.ReplyDelete
My brother credits me, and Heinlein, with making him a reader. He was dyslexic (undiagnosed) and not really reading. I introduced him to Heinlein, he fell in love with the books and the genre and through that love figured out how to make reading work for him. So I have a great fondness for Heinlein.
I LOVE that story, Susan! I bet that Heinlein would have loved it too.Delete
Just like there comes a time when we have picked up our kids for the last time, there comes a time when we have kept our last chicken. I see that time looming in the future for me as well, not too far away. I'm sorry your yard bird days are over, Mary.ReplyDelete
It's hard, lady. It's really sad.Delete
Thanks for the tip about that book - I'll download a sample to see if I like it! And I'm so sorry about Moanna, such a shame!ReplyDelete
Which one? The Zombie one or Stranger? Go for Stranger in a Strange Land is you can.Delete
Poor Moanna..... to die in a place where she should have been safe!ReplyDelete
I know. It's horrible.Delete
I'm so sad to hear about Moana. My mental picture of you always includes having hens pecking around on the ground and making that nice little sound they make when they are happy. But it's heartbreaking to have them killed by predators all the time, no matter what you do. My daughter and her family used to keep hens but despite building them a coop like Fort Knox the foxes got them. They just had to call it a day. Now a family of foxes has established itself in a derelict back garden near to their home, and they have become interested in the fox family (from a distance). They have 2 cats so the foxes have decided not to enter the house. A pity the cats couldn't keep them away from the hen coop. I have believe it or not never heard of Robert A Heinlein. I will look out for his books. I don't think he was ever part of the British cultural scene, even as a US import. From what you say I imagine his work as a more hippie version of Ray Bradbury but daresay I'm wrong.ReplyDelete
All the cliches and sayings about foxes and chickens and hen houses are based on cruel reality. It is very much a pity that cats can't protect chickens from foxes. People kept telling me to get a dog but I do not want a dog. Too much responsibility and I'd have to leave it out all night and that doesn't seem right.Delete
I don't know.
That's so odd about Heinlein not making it over to GB. I love Bradbury too and he is probably the better writer of the two. I don't think that Heinlein was much of a hippie. He just sort of predated some of the more radical hippie thinking about certain mores.
I wouldn't want a dog either but get Mr. Moon to build a robotic one that is motion sensitive and will bark, I can't believe that someone hasn't already designed such a thing. The farm store must have some answer for this.Delete
I'm so sorry about Moana. That's so frustrating. She had a good life with you, though, even for a relatively short time. I wonder...what if Mr. Moon basically carpeted the coop with chicken wire on the ground, and fixed it to the walls maybe a foot or so up, so that nothing could get access from below? Would that work? (I say this having no idea how much time or expense that kind of project might entail!)ReplyDelete
I have never heard of anyone doing that and it would be very difficult to do. Probably easier to build a hen house roost on stilts and take the ladder away at night. But raccoons and possums both can climb trees and so can foxes for that matter so forget that.Delete
Oh gees. Poor Moana! Poor you! I like Steve's suggestion. That's the way we plan to do it.ReplyDelete
I don't know what we're shooting out of the sky, but now there is one over Lake Huron. There are Chinese and Russian warships off the coast of Alaska. I'd say we've got two rogue nations working in tandem, but that is just a hunch which reeks of hopeless negativity.
Well, hopeless negativity or not, it could be true. I hope you're wrong.Delete
Rhianna's half-time show went very well. She has so many hits and it was choreographed well.ReplyDelete
I am reading The Whalebone Theater that you recommended and you were right - it's terrific!
Sorry about your chicken.
I heard that Rhianna blew it out last night and her pregnancy was the talk of the internet this morning. Pretty cool.Delete
I am so glad you're enjoying the Whalebone Theater! I surely did.
I'm bummed about the chicken situation. It seems like if you can't breed chickens and keep them away from "too much nature," then who possibly could? What do you think enabled them to live so long in that flock you had years ago?ReplyDelete
I was a big science fiction fan, still am, and yes, Heinlein! Stranger In A Strange Land, yeah, me too.ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry about Moana. I still can't quite imagine you without chickens.ReplyDelete