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.
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.