Tag Archives: catching up

There may be no keets this year

Ugh, it’s always awful logging in and seeing how long it’s been since I last posted.  Almost a whole month!!! I will try harder!

It’s been an action packed month though.  Major personal changes, and a whole lot of dental work.

The toothache I’ve been “toughing out” (not a recommended course of action) for months, outlasting the waiting period for my dental coverage, needed a root canal, so that finally happened this week, sweet relief!! but there’s more to do.

There are five new chicks, little baby Cheeks’!, to two moms, Velvet and Ghost, who insisted they were determined to have babies, and they are scampering around, little fuzz nuggets.  The “old chicks” are half-grown now, and they fight with me every night for their right to sleep in the tree.

The keets are all gone, unfortunately.  They lasted only a few days and disappeared over three.  The hen would hide somewhere at night with them, going to bed early.  Of course, there isn’t really an option to interfere with that, and then one day there were two missing, the next day down to five, and the next day, down to one.  The first two losses I thought were her negligence, but no, it is likely a fox.  Why wouldn’t it harm her?  Why only a couple at a time?  At any rate, there’s something in the woods.

When there was one keet left, I kept it alive for several days.  Evening time, I had to capture it (peeping bloody murder, getting rushed by the adult guineas), and then carry it into the greenhouse.  I’ve never gotten the guineas in bed for the night so fast.  All of them surged in behind me, bristling, I dropped the keet off in the peppers, and then locked them all in.

Then I had to go back in again and again as it got dark,  to knock mom down from the perch where she tried to roost with the grownups instead of taking care of her baby.  Eventually she would stop flying up and settle down in the tomatoes with it.  Then one evening there was no keet left at night to grab.  Sad.

The other two hens that were setting also came in (I only knew of one for sure, the other white one who would show up to wolf down some food and then leave again).  She rejoined the flock keetless.

The last hen, whom I hadn’t known was out setting, was much more vocal near the end.  She would howl every morning and night, so I knew roughly where she was nesting, and I’d see her boyfriend heading out there some nights to sit with her instead of going to bed in the GH.  In the morning she’d be yelling before I released the others, and they would go out in that direction, to visit, I’m sure.

Then one night this week I heard her shriek in the night, and I stumbled out, shouting and getting all scratched up thrashing the weeds, until I felt like a crazy person in the foggy silence.  In the morning she was waiting outside the GH for her friends.   I’m glad she was unharmed, but no keets from her either.  I can only assume her nest was raided and she narrowly escaped.

If only they would be so accommodating as to nest in the GH, or take over a coop.   It seems unbelievable now that one ever nested in the skycoop; they are so wild and insistent on doing it their way, as ill-adapted as their ways are.

Context


Here I am, back for a bit.
Sorry about the absence.  It’s been a tough summer.

I feel like I’ve lost the core of my blog, not being in a place where I can have a garden.  Without that object of learning to produce food at the center of it all, it’s been hard to write.  Not to mention, I feel off balance in my whole life without that central focus.   As it’s turned out, though, instead of growing things and practicing what we’ve learned and learning more (our plan A), everywhere we go we find ourselves helping others in small ways to grow food.  That’s not so bad.  There are a lot of people making moves towards gardens, chickens, compost, and permaculture.  It’s wonderful to meet so many along the way.

It has been quite rough, but we’ve made the best of it and things are looking up.  Since my husband and I were forced suddenly to live in the U.S., we’ve been roaming the PNW, somewhat frantically finishing up the camper on the fly so we can travel in it, and depending more on the goodwill of friends than we probably ever have had to before.  People are wonderful.  The strangers who’ve reached past their comfort zone to offer us space to rest for a little while have become friends I value so much that whatever’s been hard about this has been worth it for the unexpected friendships we’ve gained.

The camper is finished to a point of being habitable and non-embarrassing, we are safe, and we are healthy.  H.W. still brings me little bunches of wildflowers tied up with grass.  We eat the best we can, read, write, sew, work, build, recycle, and ride our bicycles.

“Plans” became a sort of mythical beast, or a particle that pops in and out of probability.  Nothing we’ve planned has happened accordingly, and all our schedules and intentions have thoroughly fallen apart.  I’ve given up and resigned myself to being like leaves, never knowing ahead of time where we’ll be blown off to, just doggedly working away on what’s at hand.  It seems like a desirable thing to do, Buddhist even.  Funny, it’s easier to let go of attachment and expectation when your life is ripping it all away from you.  When you don’t really have a choice but to surrender, it’s much easier.

But that said, we continue to aim for a place with enough space to build a sustainable model of life and agriculture.  The current target is Nova Scotia, but I know enough after this summer to say, Who knows!?  It could be anywhere along the trajectory, and maybe where we’re supposed to be will just reveal itself along the route (literal or figurative.  Did I have to spell that out?).

I have some posts on deck from the last months that might come wildly out of order now.
Sometimes I’ll write a piece, but then not post it because I haven’t posted the more mundane bits that create the context.  So those posts languish until some imaginary future when I’ll “catch up” – we all know how that turns out.  Sometimes I do catch up, though.  There’s a little batch of catch-up coming right up – a symptom of difficult internet access.

Thank you for following.