Another interesting hike

We went for a hike down the Close Trail today and really enjoyed a nice chat along the way, and looking under rocks once we got to the water. Sam and Ben ALWAYS love seeing who is living under the rocks. Ben and I will be off doing something (Ben likely up on a rock, saying "Do you want to take a picture of me?!") then we'll hear Sam exclaim loudly "Whoa - ho - ho!" upon a new find. He'll pick up all kinds of crabs, sex them, make a little "habitat" for them (a rock in his hand for them to hide under) and walk around with them. Today he found a big one (not the one pictured above, who had recently expired) and carried it around all over, up on rocks, jumping down, singing a song, lifting it high, then low - finally he said he was giving it a roller coaster ride. They are so much fun to be with! This big guy above got a nice final resting place - Sam put him right at water's edge, front claws nicely positioned, and a nice view of the west where the sun would set. It was so sweet to see him do that. We talked about a huge tree in the middle of the trail - that Lewis and Clark found a HUGE tree 39 ft around. We spread out our arms to see how far around we could get and estimated the total circumference to be about 18 ft. I asked Sam how much bigger Lewis and Clark's tree was and after a minute of thinking he said "Two and one-sixth." I was thinking he'd say about two, or just over two, so I had to catch up a bit. Turns out he did that just right. From there we talked about what that means as a percentage (it's very handy that 1/6 is .16 or 16%). From there we went to the market, starving, which was a complete nightmare because everyone was there stocking up for the holiday. We managed to mess up their system down at the nut/dried fruit/candy bins by inadvertently mixing a pineapple with mango slices and banana chips without noting the little number codes. You really need 4 arms down there to hold the bin open, hold the bag open, scoop, AND keep kid hands out of the bin. We were starving, so it was our own faults we caused such a scene. Once they'd had a snack they were fine - but you should have seen them clawing at the bag of mango slices!!!

In other news, it was time to integrate flocks today, so the six babies got introduced to the big kid house. That meant cleaning and dusting the big house, replenishing food, moving hens over and separating flocks for a bit, getting babies acquainted to new food and water locations, spreading plenty of snacks all around so there’s enough for everyone to peck at (so they don’t pick on each other), and then leave for swimming lessons and a hike so I don’t obsess over every sideways glance the chickens give each other. Still, it weighed on me all day. After all, these little guys were hatched by Jersey and me. I didn’t want them to come to an untimely demise. Tonight they were uncertain about getting in the house – I think Jersey was acting as a bouncer. Merlin really just wanted to hunker down and not think about the cheeping. Lots of cheeping today. At one point I had 6 little hens all tucked into my lap as I comforted them and told them to go in the house. Then they piled on top of each other, climbing all over each other to be the one on the bottom, protected. It was a hen heap. So then I moved them all to the nursery where Jersey had nested, gave them fresh water in the hamster waterer, and put up a concrete block to give them privacy. I stroked their little necks and talked to them. Finally the cheeping calmed down. I think they will be fine – it’s snug where they are and together they’ll generate enough heat. They have food and water handy, and we’ll hope for the best. They’d been weaned off the heat lamp in the garage over the past two weeks and it’s upper 50s at night. The farmer in me says they’ll be totally fine. And so they will. And if they aren’t, well, you can be sure I’ll think it through and try to improve next time. But they had totally outgrown their brooder box in the garage and were starting to fly around in there any time I had to do feed or water. And you already know how those little rascals had messed up their food and water SOOO many times. I was really done with that! They’d soaked the bottom of the cardboard apartments I had made. Time to move on, guys 🙂 Cross fingers with me!

One Comment

  1. Gramma 4 July, 2012

    The joys and trials of rural life provide lasting memories that can be translated to apply to life many times as the rascals progress, I think. Still thanking God for the blessing of your move to WA.

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