Life & Death

EJ had a doctor’s appointment Monday. His doctor is close to the company where he works so he always just goes on his lunch hour and then returns to work. His doctor threatened that he needs to lose 15 pounds by October or she will put him on high blood pressure. So…no more Moomer’s ice cream or chips. We were doing really well at not eating junk food until it was so sweltering hot in early July. Then we ate Moomer’s ice cream–the best ice cream ever to cool off and I fixed picnic-type foods so we didn’t heat up the already hot house cooking meals. It’s easier to avoid junk food if I pretend they don’t exist, but once I begin to eat them, they become a delicious habit, especially when the days are hot. I had already been thinking we had to start behaving ourselves….

Yesterday JJ stopped in to pick up our insurance card on his way to his dentist. Not long after he drove away, he called to tell me he had hit two birds. One had its head stuck in the grill of the HHR. “Is it still alive?” I asked with horror. He said no. He said he wasn’t able to get it out and he was going to drive back here for me to help him. I reminded him that I hate dealing with hurt/dead things (it takes all my courage to take care of Madeline’s victims) and that I was not, under any condition, in any way, going to help him pull a dead bird out of his car. Besides, all he has to do is consider the problem and figure out a solution, which is all I would do. But a few minutes later he was driving up the driveway.

JJ called the bird a finch, but I thought it might be a scarlet tanager. I’m not sure that it was because I’ve never actually seen a scarlet tanager before and I was trying very carefully to look at the bird with only brief unfocused glances. I didn’t want to see it too closely. I kept telling JJ that I had no idea how to get the bird out and he would have to think of a solution himself. JJ picked up two thin wooden boards that were actually the size of sticks from the porch and acted like he didn’t know what to do with them. Exasperated, I took one of the sticks, inserted it in the grill, and used it as a lever to widen it, and then told JJ to pull the bird out, which he did easily. Problem solved. Poor little bird. It made me sad.

Pileated Woodpecker

We had rain this last weekend, and Monday and Tuesday were rainy days as well. I love the way rainy days tend to wrap the distant trees in a foggy cloud. It looks mysterious. Yesterday I was enjoying the view when I saw two pileated woodpeckers on the power pole. By the time I grabbed my camera, there was only one. Pileated woodpeckers are the biggest woodpeckers. They are beautiful and I love to see them, but they can do a lot of damage to trees. I imagined the chaos they would cause if they damaged the power pole and it fell.

The much-needed rain has made the grass grow thick, lush, and long. I looked at the weather forecast and Thursday and Friday we are supposed to get more rain, so today was the only day this week that I could mow. I prefer to mow in the cool of the morning instead of the afternoon heat.  However, this morning there was heavy dew which made the grass very wet so I had to wait…and wait…and wait for it to dry. The day was already heating up when I began to mow. Ugh. Usually I mow the front yard, then take a break to cool down, and then mow the back yard and over by the clothesline. Today I had to take several breaks because I kept overheating. I got so hot while I mowed that my clothes got soaked with sweat. (I had to completely change them when I finally finished.) I thought about those people who do the Iron Man competitions in which they run, swim, and bike in a grueling test of endurance. I thought that if they really wanted to test their toughness, they ought to mow a large lawn with a push mower on a hot summer day.  THAT takes endurance. My body felt beat up and tired when I finished. At least we now have air conditioning so I could cool off in the refreshingly cool house.

The lawn sure looks nice when it’s newly mowed.

Hannah Joy likes to roll in the long unmowed grass when I take her for walks down the driveway. She always looks so filled with joy when she does so, as in this video.

EJ came with me when I went out this evening to shut the chickens and ducks in their coop. The three rouens–Daisy, Rose, and Lilly–always come running when they see me because they know I’m going to dump the water out of their pool and they love to play in the puddles. I leave them to it while I make sure all the chickens are nesting in the coop. I shut their little door and then go out to herd the ducks into the coop. When I call out, “Go to bed! Go to bed!” they file into the coop–although sometimes one, two, or all three of them try to run back into the garden. But they are mostly quite good at going into the coop. When they are in, I shut their little door, then shut the big doors so they are all safe inside.

While I was getting the poultry into the coop, EJ was looking at our veggies in the garden. I joined him, and we were picking some ripe tomatoes when we heard the spooky chorus of coyotes howling. They were quite close. EJ said that’s the closest he’s heard them. He said that this is the time of year when they go hunting for fawns. I told him that I could have lived very happily without knowing that. It made me sad. After we got back in the house, I grabbed my camera and went out and sat on the deck, intending to video the coyotes’ howling. I sat there for several minutes but didn’t hear anything. I hope they ran far, far away.


3 Comments on “Life & Death

  1. We had rain here as well – they were projecting severe weather for SE Michigan and some people had half-dollar size hail and very high winds. I feel blessed to have dodged a bullet. One thing I don’t like about Summer is when it heats up and we have storms.

    I have a cute post to share with you – you will get a smile out of it. I am attaching the whole post which has an interview with a photographer and an Audobon story and the blogger’s post has some cute pictures.


    • What an amazing story! I didn’t realize that ducks could lay so many eggs. I have seen my ducks lay eggs in one nest–and the chickens do it too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I thought it was interesting too TJ and knew you would enjoy reading it since you have ducks. Those Common Merganser ducks are like swans in that they carry their ducklings on their back … she’d take all week, just to give a few ducklings at a time a ride. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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