Friday, February 28, 2014

Fortress Refortified

Hens eat the whole seed.  Two hens can clean
a dish is one minute!  They don't have time or
need to select only the tender inside seed.

The fortress has fallen.  The evidence has been toying with me for several weeks:  sunflower seed hulls.  That's it--the grey, split, empty half-shells.

Here's the deal.  Every evening when the Lovely Ladies go to bed, they get a generous cup of sunflower seeds for a bedtime snack.  If they don't eat all of it, the remaining seeds are there for them when they hop down from the roost in the morning.  By the time the coop is opened the next morning, the dishes are empty, until recently.  That's when the hulls appeared, and I knew that rats were coming in in the night and slicking up the treats.

Rats were coming in under the door.  It has just now
been reinforced with ½" hardware cloth.  

Hardware "cloth" and plywood make up the walls of the chicken coop.  All the eaves are sealed. The floor is made of 12" concrete stepping stones.  It is indeed a fortress.  Finding the weak spot has been niggling into the Things I get to do today for some time.

New screen over the big hole the rats carved in the door sill.
Tonight's feast is canceled.

This morning I stumbled upon it.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Plant Promises

The gusting wind woke me and kept me from sleep.  It was well below freezing, and I, right there in the middle of the night,  promised my Daphne that I would cover them from the harsh wind first of the Things I get to do today come morning.  Their tender little flower buds were already fat and pink, the fragrance still concealed tightly inside.

But when morning came, the flower buds looks browned and "burnt" from the cold and low humidity. It seemed too late. I thanked them for trying.  There would be other flowers.  There would be other years with less harsh winters.

But now this morning, two weeks later, the snows and ices all melted, the smallest flash of a flower caught my eye over breakfast. Was it really possible that the Daphne kept its promise of blossoms and fragrance and bliss though it was too late for me to keep mine?