May Day Stories

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Happily, I spent a good chunk of May Day in the garden digging and planting.  

Ten kinds of tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, edamame, pumpkins, some flowers, herbs...and making their "my-garden-debut" corn and watermelon.  And if we actually get a real, big-girl watermelon, we're throwin' a hell of a party, let me tell you! 

And yes, that is a finished coop you see in the background--finally!  The girls spent their first night out there this weekend with a heat lamp to keep them toasty.  They're actually getting quite grown-up and almost pretty.  

Except for Norah, who I'm starting to worry might be a Normand.  Only time will tell, but she's not plump and chesty like the rest.  She's also brave as hell and growing a very pronounced, bright red comb.  I knew it was a possibility--chicken sexing is far from perfect--but I hadn't really thought through exactly what I would do with...um, him?  

Roosters are illegal in town, and I wouldn't do that to our neighbors at any rate.  I have a few friends that would gladly take an extra and butcher him for the freezer, but...if that's the way it's got to be, part of me...I want to do it myself.  It just doesn't seem right to farm the job out.  Hopefully it won't come to that, maybe she's just a late bloomer.  And maybe I can't kill my first little favorite chick....let's just all cross our fingers for no crowing!

In other back-yard farm drama, Porter almost ate Ella the Duck.  Moe was off jogging with Sweet Husband, the ducks were outside with me, and Porter was howling in the house.  (She doesn't much like being left alone.)  So, I decided to let her out with us to see how she would do.  I was very watchful at first, but then Porter--being fairly deaf these days--didn't notice the ducks at all.  In fact, she decided to take a nap in the sun.  I took her calmness for complacency and went about my gardening work.

Then, quite suddenly, she woke up.  Her mouth was on Ella when I turned around and reflexively whacked Porter with the handle of my shovel.  She was stunned enough to drop wee Ella, who was thankfully only a bit stunned herself.  A lesson learned by all three of us, I think.

The dogs excepted, everyone is pretty much charmed with the ducklings.  As long as they can follow whatever human is out and about in the yard they're happy to be adorable....a little swim now and then doesn't hurt their feelings either!