Monday, May 21, 2018

Nature Is Out To Kill Us All

It's muggy and although it's not that hot, I'm sticky even after having taken a shower after my walk. It's raining intermittently, the sound of it comes and goes, one moment the sun shining brightly above all as if it had never rained, would never rain again and then as soon as you turn your head, it's gray again and the patter or flood continues. The frogs croak, birds are whistling for some reason near the back porch. Is there a baby in distress which the parents are talking about?
I hope not but nature guarantees nothing when it comes to the safety of a nest full of baby birds.
Mick appears a little stronger every day. He even crowed a bit this morning. I suppose that it's sensible natural instinct for a wounded rooster not to crow. He doesn't want to attract any sort of belligerent or threatening attention. Best to slip under the radar as best he can, simply following his girls around, calling them if he finds something tasty to eat. I cleared a few leftovers from the refrigerator today and split them up between the babies and the big birds which everyone seemed to appreciate but greens from the garden still seem to be the babies' favorite food. I picked them a kale plant today and they rushed to it with great fervor, standing on the stalk to get to the bug-eaten leaves and probably some of the bugs as well.
I don't know why but I simply love being able to give my chickens garden food almost as much as I love being able to serve it to my humans. It is a satisfaction. It is a thing I can do which just seems correct in all regards. When the greens are past our eating them, the chickens are so glad to take what is left. And as they eat these greens, they will grow faster and stronger and in a few months, will be laying us eggs.
If all goes well.
If there's one thing I've learned it's that not only is it unwise to count our chickens before they are hatched, it is also senseless to count our eggs until they are laid.
I am glad I have given them names. That is completely silly but still, I like being able to say, "Hello Pansy. How's it going, Dixie? Oh, Hawkeye, you are looking fetching today."
And so forth.
Of course no one but me ever remembers the names I give these chickens although Jessie may remember this flock's names, seeing as she literally has the sister flock.
Still. Humans like to name things whether with Latin names or common names or proper noun names. It is the way we are.

My walk this morning slayed me. The anti-chafing measures I took worked well so that was not the problem. I am going to blame it on the fact that it had been since last Wednesday that I had walked and also this humidity. I did go seven miles but had truly wanted to go eight. I had no real plans today except the usual housework stuff and going to Publix so time wasn't an issue.
For my mind, maybe.
It appeared to be for my body though which after about three miles was unhappy as could be but you know- when you're out there in the middle of nowhere there's not much to do except keep walking. You can't call a cab, as I have said so often.
And I felt beat down considerably after it was all over and honestly, still do. But I have kept going and done what needed to be done and even ironed a bit. The yellow flies are back and seem to be bigger this year than I've ever seen them. I got bit on my walk and also got bit several times when I was in the garden although I did take my time and slap the hellfire out of one of them on my leg, remembering what Kathleen taught me which is that they do not take off straight up when they are alarmed, but aim forwards as they try to escape and I killed that demon insect without doubt.
There was blood.
Motherfuckers. How I hate them. The bites hurt and itch and torment me. I am generally a very tolerant person when it comes to bugs whether they be spiders or caterpillars or beetles or even the little black sugar ants which get into everything I don't take the time to put away properly which means to put in the refrigerator.
But when it comes to mosquitoes and roaches and the yellow flies, I feel no mercy. It's me against them and although I know exactly who is going to win the game for planetary superiority, I still have to make my stand when it comes to my own personal house and body.
Ah, Florida.
I always think of my grandparents and some of their friends who, for a few years, spent their winters in Roseland where the weather was so mild and sunny compared to what it was like in their homes on Lookout Mountain, Tennessee and who eventually sold those mountain homes and moved to Roseland full time.
Yes, of course they could enjoy picking their own citrus off their own trees and yes, they probably saved thousands in heating costs but my god, suddenly they were dealing with bugs and snakes and critters and jungle and unrelenting summer heat which must have been a most unpleasant shock.
But they traded their wool suits for seersucker and they kept hoes and machetes to kill the rattlesnakes and coral snakes with and they bought fans which oscillated and learned to eat tuna salad for supper rather than pot roast and they played canasta and tended their fruit trees and loved their birds at the feeder and watched the sun set over the river and they did not whine about any of it.

Well, I am not them but I honor them and their ability to adjust, to cope, to learn to drink warm sulfur water and to burn Pic Mosquito Repelling Coils and to welcome the truck which sprayed what must have been pure DDT but which solved the bug problem for a little while at least.

Time to go make supper.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Just like the mosquito, yellow fly biters are the females. Hmmmmm. And may I say that I love your blog; I'm fairly new to it and already it is the first one I go to...and then Going Gently second, third is Paddington. I'm an old hippie in WI.

    1. Well, welcome Dianne! You'll find some lovely blogs in my sidebar if you care to explore. We have a wonderful community here and you are so welcome to be part of it.

  2. Last night in bugless southern California, Oliver came upon the most giant cockroach/water bug I have ever seen. Honestly, it was the size of a Matchbox car, and you would not believe the mayhem that erupted over its demise.

    1. Oh yes. I would believe it. When one of those roachasaureses show up here, we still get crazy. And it's hard as hell to kill them!
      Wish you had video. I'd love to see that.

  3. Word on the street up here in MN is that the biting black flies and gnats are extra bad this year. I wonder if it's just a buggy cycle.

    1. Who knows? Not me. Dang, I hate biting bugs.

  4. I remember the mosquito trucks that used cruise the neighborhoods at night. I'm so glad they're more careful these days (at least, I hope they are). Last night after several days of rain we saw the first lightning bugs of the season. I worry about them and the honeybees and all the other little creatures that might be harmed right along with the !@*$ mosquitoes.

    1. Me too, Jennifer. I worry too. We've been having lightening bugs for awhile and I've seen quite a few bees this spring. I'd hate for them to be poisoned.

  5. Many aspects of your life sound almost idyllic to me, but coping with bugs is not one of those aspects. I think seven miles in the heat with the bugs would have been the end of me.

    1. Oh, it's far from idyllic in many ways, Jenny! But I still love it. Suffering is highly underrated.

  6. Can you imagine what it must have been like to live in Florida before air conditioning? I don't know how my ancestors did it, either. It's so strange to be in England now. The bugs are so polite and mild here. They barely even come inside!

    Glad you got some walking in, unpleasant as it may have been at times. And I'm glad Mick is continuing to improve!

    1. Yes. I can imagine what life in Florida was like before AC. I lived it for a lot of the years of my childhood.
      It sucked. But we lived.
      Lucky you with the polite bugs. It's hard to believe that there are places on earth which are not tormented like we are here.
      Thanks for the good words on walking and on Mick!

  7. The paragraph that begins - "Yes, of course..." might have been written by William Faulkner or even John Steinbeck. Very evocative.

    When we visited the Hofwyl-Broadfield plantation house on the Georgia coast, the volunteer guide suggested that Florida is only inhabited in the summertime because of modern air-conditioning. He said that without it nobody would live there. I remembered that clearly.

    1. Thank you, Mr. YP. High praise, indeed!
      As to people living in Florida in the summer before air conditioning- oh, trust me. They did! And they had to be the toughest humans ever born. I am constantly in awe of those pioneers. Were they crazy? Hell yes!


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