This morning I woke up and looked at the digital alarm clock to check the time. It said that it was 5:99 a.m. And then as I watched, it turned to 5:98…5:80… 5:40…5:99…I rubbed my eyes and looked again, and the clock was still timey wimey, wibbly wobbly. EJ woke a few minutes later and as he got out of bed, I said, “Do me a favor and look at the clock.” He did and then exclaimed, “What is going on?” and we started laughing. Obviously, we need to get a new clock. I browsed clocks at Amazon, but finally remembered that JJ has an alarm clock that he never really uses so I asked him if we could have it and he said yes.
EJ and I spent most of the day on Sunday organizing his garage. We still have to find places for a lot of things, but we both were amazed and satisfied at the tremendous progress we made.
Every morning as soon as it begins to get light outside, I let the chickens and ducks out, feed and water them, and collect Peeper’s egg. Peeper–the only duck giving us eggs–lays her egg first thing in the morning, while the chickens don’t finish laying their eggs until mid-afternoon. I have a clever system of gates to keep the chickens and ducks separated. During the day I have a fence that divides the pens and latches to the coop in the garage, but because I had to be able to close the garage door at night, I swing that fence out of the way at night and use an inner gate that divides them at night. When I enter the ducks’ side of the pen to open the garage door in the morning, Sassy, the alpha rooster, usually comes up to the gate to see what’s going on. He is always the first outside when I open the garage door so that he can check to make sure everything is safe for the others. Once I open the inner gate that divides the chickens and ducks at night, I have to step aside because the ducks stampede outside.
Sometimes things get a little crazy: For example, a few days ago as soon as I opened the dividing gate, Sassy chased one of the other roosters into the duck side of the garage pen. I had to let the ducks outside while getting the rooster on his side of the pen, but every time I got him close to the gate, Sassy would appear and scare him back into the duck pen. Finally, I got everyone where they were supposed to be.
Things can be just as funny in the evening when I close everyone n for the night. Most of the time things go well. In fact, usually most of the chickens are already in their garage coop when I go outside. Sassy is usually the last one in because he likes to make sure everyone else is safe. I always enter the outside pen through the duck side and herd the ducks into the garage. Sometimes one will escape around me, so I have to go back and get her. Meanwhile, the other ducks start coming back out of the garage. Some turn around back into the garage when I start walking toward them, but others escape around me. It can take a bit on those nights to get everyone in with some going in and others coming out. The crazy mornings and evenings make me laugh.
Meanwhile, for the last week we’ve had a mouse running loose in the house. The cats have caught it several times, but they keep letting it escape. The mouse is getting arrogant. A few nights ago, EJ suddenly exclaimed, “The mouse is walking right across the middle of the living room!” A living room filled with four cats. By the time I had grabbed a cat to show him the mouse, the mouse had disappeared. We miss Princess Winter, a cat we used to have. She wouldn’t play around with the mice. The moment she saw one, she’d ferociously pounce on it and we’d hear her crunch, crunching on its bones. It was rather macabre when we’d hear the crunch of bones under our bed in the middle of the night but…Princess Winter always got her mouse.
Yesterday I decided that I’m going to do my best to walk up and down the driveway several times a day for exercise. Yesterday I walked up and down five times. As I walked, I saw a flock of little birds walking on the driveway. They took off in a group whenever I got close. They looked sort of like sparrows, but not quite–and they didn’t really fly like sparrows. I wasn’t sure what they were. Then a Northern Michigan photography page at FB called McGill’s Nature in Motion shared a page of little birds that they identified as Snow Buntings. I compared their awesome photo to the not-so-great one I had managed to take of the birds in my driveway and I saw that they were the same. Cool! I’ve never seen a Snow Bunting before! I added them to my bird list.
The trees are still very colorful, but the slightest breeze causes the leaves to rain down and there are more and more bare branches visible. The night-time temperatures have also dipped down into the 30s, although this week we’ve had some warm days. I think today the temps reached up into the high 60s. It was nice.