Sunday, November 15, 2009

Seems Like the First Day of Winter

It is cold and wet and overcast today. All the leaves are down, but there remains some green - the rose bushes, for example. Undoubtedly the prairie is preparing for winter. Normally the summers are so hot and brutal that I welcome and appreciate winter until at least mid-January. Then I begin pining for the light and warmth of spring. Enough is enough!

Every year, I have the intention of buying special light bulbs from Sweden that are said to offset the depression of winter. If they work, I might make it through the entire winter season as a happy idiot. What would it feel like to be almost in a good mood during January, I wonder? Never have I taken one tiny concrete step toward getting those light bulbs. Like everything else, if I just wait long enough, it will be spring again and I will not need light bulbs from Sweden. I wish I was more proactive but it takes a lot of energy.

I am also a tiny bit sad this morning because one of the Weird Sisters disappeared last night. Some unknown predator had her for supper. Darn it. The little chicks I bought at the farm store have survived and proliferated, but of the eight silver sebright chicks that traveled via United States Postal Service from Back East, only two are left. Kansas has proven to be too wild and dangerous for them. Whatever gets them does not even scatter any feathers.

It was my fault for letting them out yesterday morning. I knew I was going to be gone all evening so I should never have let them out. I was not too worried because it had been overcast all day, and I was certain the chickens would go to roost early. By evening the chickens were making their slow way toward the pen. Their speed and distance from the pen correlates directly to the amount of daylight left. As my departure time approached, the sun broke through, illuminating our little valley and invigorating the chickens. They headed back toward the timber, industriously scratching through all the leaves as they made their way. I did not have time to pen them up. As soon as I got home I checked on them, and one of the sebrights was gone.

I knew it was foolhardy to raise chickens in this location without extraordinary measures or permanently penning them. More have survived then I ever imagined. It still depresses me a little bit, especially on a wet cold day like today.

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