bears out there, son
Anyway, I got home and dove into chores. I kick off my paddock boots and half chaps and side muck boots over my breeches. I throw a beat Carhartt vest over my riding clothes. I feel like Clark Kent, swooshing into my farmhouse phone booth to turn from mild-mannered English Pony Rider into Feral Farm Girl. I want to bring my ipod to listen to my recent audiobook (on the second Huger Games book) but resist the urge. My neighbor told me about the large black bear that toppled their feeders and trash the night before. They live less than a half mile up the mountain. And if bird feed smells good to that bear, imagine what molasses soaked sweet grains and chicken grower mash must smell like? Not to mention bee hives, eggs, and compost piles. So I leave the entertainment inside. I want my wits about me. I grab a lantern and head to the barn.
I dump and refill Jasper's water bucket and hand him a flake of hay. I refill the rabbit's waterers and feeders too, and see my chunky Isbar rooster on top of the highest haybale, a few feet above me. It amazes me that the scrappy half Americuana/half Pumpkin roo that is all snow white is the man in charge now. He was born here on the farm, raised from a chick, and now he rules the whole farm. His crow is classic, could be a ringtone if the Corn Flake's box had a cell phone. But the Isbar rooster is up and quiet, like a gray wolf in wait. He stares at me like I burned his passport and he can never return to the Old Country. I wonder if the bear would be half as intimidating in lantern light as he?
I collect six eggs and set them where I can grab them, and then finish up the rest of the chores. The sheep get 160 pounds of water (4 buckets), and their grain bins filled. The fat Freedom Rangers are ready to be slaughtered and I plan on calling up the farmer who takes them this week to set up a drop off time. The 20 new Rangers are in the brooder, and will remain so for a while until the 45 laying hens arrive in a few days for the Breakfast in Your Backyard Workshop. People come from all over to learn all they need to know about a backyard flock, brooder to brunch. It's a big time and they leave with three chicks! This year it is Rhode Island Reds, Dark Brahmas, and Golden Laced Wyandottes. Not a bad trio, those.
I wrap up chores and carry the half dozen eggs into the house in lantern light. For the rest of the evening every animal in my care has dinner and (hopefully quiet and bear free) sleep ahead of them. Inside the tea kettle is hot, and I crave my evening cup of Lyons. Ever since I started running and eating healthier, I don't crave alcohol at night. I don't want a big dinner. I ate hours ago and I just want tea, a blanket, and to hear about the 75th annual Hunger Games disaster on the speakers inside the farmhouse. Soon there will be warm tea, warm dogs, and a good story.
Not bad for a Tuesday night. I even remembered to bring in the trash bins from the curb. So take that, Hungry Bear.
P.S. Book giveaway tomorrow! Homegrown and Homemade!
P.S.S. The wool worked as a seedling protector!