On Friday evening we were planning to visit EJ’s friend and his wife. They live further downstate but were camping this weekend at a campground near us. EJ met the man on Facebook and they went fishing together this summer. EJ says he’s a really good guy. I met the guy briefly when he stopped by at the end of their day of fishing to look at my chicken set up and ask me questions. I think they were considering getting some chickens of their own. Anyway….the couple had to cancel their camping trip because the wife wasn’t feeling well.
Although we were sorry we couldn’t get together with the couple, it seemed wise to cancel the trip because not only was the wife sick, but it was actually forecast to rain all weekend. Further south of us had several inches of rain on Saturday–some places more than 4 inches!–and more was expected today. Those places are being flooded. It didn’t rain much in our area until last night. It rained all night and is pouring buckets right now. When I went out this morning to care for the ducks and chickens, I noticed that Shelob’s hole is almost completely closed. She closes up her hole when there’s rain. Sometimes she puts a duck feather over it to shield it. I think critters are amazing.
Early last week one of EJ’s favorite work friends died unexpectedly. He was having seizures at work so his daughter took him to the hospital. The hospital couldn’t find anything wrong with him so they sent him on his way. He asked his daughter to stop at work so he could get his stuff from his locker before heading home. When he didn’t come down, she asked someone to check on him, and he was found dead in the locker room. I think that is very sad. We stopped in briefly for visitation at the funeral home yesterday. EJ knew only the deceased co-worker and I didn’t know anyone at all so we didn’t stay long. I told EJ on the way home that I felt like crying even though I had never met the co-worker.
On the way to the funeral home, near Meijers, we saw hundreds of little birds sitting on the power lines. I hurriedly got out my camera, but I didn’t have time to get a very good shot. The birds in the photo are only a small segment of what we actually saw. They were everywhere! On the way home, EJ pulled into the road leading to the store so I could take a video of the birds. He loves nature as much as I do and indulges me in my photographic endeavors.
The funeral home is located in the same area as Joann’s Fabrics. We arrived at our destination a bit too early, so we stopped in at Joann’s. I needed to get a couple of yellow paint pens so I can outline the red letters on my enchanted sign. The yellow letters show up clearly but the red letters are a bit too dark. As soon as we dry out from all the rain, I will finish the sign.
A couple of days ago I finished another sign. I love making these signs! I hung this sign on the fence dividing the chickens and the ducks. Cuddles, our male duck, liked to stand at the fence and pluck the feathers of any hen that came too close to the fence. Sassy the rooster would try to protect his flock by keeping himself between the fence and the hens, but sooner or later a hen would get within Cuddles’ reach. I finally fastened chicken wire on the fence so Cuddles couldn’t reach through, but he still waited by the fence, and Sassy still patrolled the fence and glared at him. I thought the “fowl play” sign was appropriate.
All summer long Cuddles has been, uh, intensely pursuing Esther. Esther is the older lame duck that EJ’s sister gave us. Esther is Cuddles’ favorite female and he was after her all…the…time. I felt sorry for Esther because Cuddles was merciless in his attentions. EJ called Cuddles season of lust his Pon Farr in reference to the reproductive cycle of Vulcans in the Star Trek universe. As Wikipedia explains it, “Every seven years, Vulcan males and females become aroused. They undergo a blood fever, become violent, and finally die unless they mate with someone with whom they are empathically bonded or engage in a ritual battle known as kal-if-fee.” Now that Cuddles’ season of Pon Farr is past, I often find him in the coop quietly hanging out with Esther.
Yesterday afternoon after we returned from the visitation, EJ’s friend stopped by–not the same friend we were going to visit at the campground. EJ has been friends with this guy since high school. They are closer to each other than to their own brothers. They call themselves “brothers from different mothers.” The friend stayed for a few hours before heading back home to the other side of the state.
This morning when I went out to feed Annie and Madeline and to care for the ducks and chickens, I found another dead mouse in the garage. Actually, it was near the back door of the garage and I sort of stepped on it. I got a shovel, picked up the mouse with it, and threw it outside. Then I praised Madeline for her mouse-killing skills. She is Madeline the Magnificient Mouser! She’s killed more in a few weeks than Annie does all year. But I give Annie lovings too and tell her she’s a sweet cat.
The trees are growing noticeably more colorful and beautiful every day. I love the beauty of autumn–and also the excitement as birds gather in preparation of their journey south. Here are a few photos that I took on our way home yesterday: