Monday, May 3, 2010

It's been raining for about 3 days straight. Not always the hard, driving rain. Sometimes it drizzles quietly and all night long. This is just what we need. Our mountains got very little snow this winter and we might have a bad fire season if our spring rains are sparse. The last few days of rain put us we only 1/2 inch behind for the year. That's pretty good. If it stays cool and wet, we might even miss the grasshopper infestation that is predicted for this part of the country this summer. Boy, I hope so. The grasshoppers were terrible last year. I've never seen such bugs.

I was standing at the kitchen window doing dishes in June, when I noticed what I thought was fluff blowing in the wind from some near-by cotton wood trees. But as I watched, I realized that the fluff was moving with purpose (flying) and was landing on my garden! And on the field grass. And on the porch. And on the window screens. The wind wasn't even blowing! They were grasshoppers of magnitude proportion. You couldn't walk across the lawn or any where outside without a moving, hopping mass of bugs jumping away from you in waves. No going barefoot; it was just too gross to step on those things. Even walking in sandals was iffy because grasshoppers would get stuck between your foot and the inside sole of the shoe, squishing it into you skin. (Bleck) Plus, they have green blood. (I've read accounts from the dust bowl era stating that the 'hoppers were so thick that they'd eat the drying clothes off the line.) So hopefully this cool rain means no grasshoppers.

The turkeys are really getting big. I found one outside the tub today. I think we are going to have to split the group into two tubs and put screens over the top of both allowing for more room and to protect them from jumping out. The little guy that had it's wing picked until bleeding is big. It only has a very small area of a scabbing left on the right wing. I tried to put him in with the rest, but they began picking at the almost healed area. So back into the cardboard hospital he goes. He is bigger than his friends now. I think not having to compete for food has helped him gain some in growth. They all have the very beginnings of tail feathers and most of the wings have filled out. They are going to be big birds.

The plants in the basement continue to grow in their small containers, waiting for true spring. We are expecting a cold front to blow into the area sometime tonight which should drop the temperatures back into the 20's. We are even expecting some snow Wednesday. I didn't tell the kids. I think it's a little disheartening. So we just wait.

The rabbits are content in their cages. It's interesting to note that the does seem to develop a quietness when they are "with bunny". I know that female animals are said to "settle" when they become pregnant. It's true with rabbits. I treat them to several handfuls of dandelion clumps a day through the spring, summer and into fall. They are introduced slowly because the green, juicy leaves and stems are hard on the digestive system all at once especially when the animal has only been eating winter feed for several months. Our yard has an abundance of dandelions. They are all due to kindle in three weeks. I'm glad the coop is cleaned out and ready for new arrivals.

The hens are generously laying 8-10 eggs a day and I got 10 eggs today. The roosters are active and take their husbandly duties very seriously. I just wish one of the ladies would decide to start a family and go broody. I think it would be lovely to have a new clutch of baby chicks.

We haven't seen the coyote for 2 days now. It could be the rain has kept her hiding out in the woods. I don't think I'd go out into the sopping, wet fields if I were a coyote. But I'm not hungry either. She was loosing her winter coat the last time I saw her, with great clumps of grey- brown fur peeling off her sides and chest. I bet she'll wish she had some of that warm, fur back with the oncoming storm. I'm glad our animals are safe and warm and dry in the little red coop. I'm very thankful it's weather proof.

It's getting dark again with another wave of rain clouds obscuring the setting sun. The wind is blasting from the west in great gusts that slam that side of the house. I'm glad that we too live in a sturdy, warm house that is safe and dry. I think I'll have a glass of red wine and fold the mountain of clothes that waits for me.....and dream of baby animals and freshly harvested vegetables.

Update: It's 8:00 pm and the blowing rain has turned to blowing snow. Dang it.

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