I know, surprise. We actually have a neighborhood. Terri, the only one we know, had the idea to have a “gathering” after the fire (which I’ve mentioned before). Good idea! We met a couple across the way who raise Islandic sheep, and the wife’s mom who lives in the original, small house on the property. Another woman, who owns a large property adjoining the sheep people, has just built the first home she has lived in for 40 years, her entire adult life. When her husband died several years ago, she sold some of the property, inherited from her family, and built her home. Been living in a trailer on the property those long 40 years. Good for her!
But the best outcome from the party, from our point of view, was the acquaintance of a couple, whose property adjoins ours, who are passionate about chickens. (You knew I’d get around to chickens, right?) The gentleman has volunteered to come over and take care of our birds whenever we want to get away for a while. Like for Thanksgiving, when we’re heading to Pasadena. Hooray! He has met our chickens, pronounced them nice and healthy. This is actually a big deal, as we have been wondering how we’d find a chicken-sitter when the time came.
So, finally, here they are:
They haven’t seem excited about being “free range.” There they were, the whole orchard open to be explored, and they just huddled around the coop. Back door open, good to go. So Larry and I were pretty surprised yesterday, when out in the orchard ourselves setting mole traps,to find the girls clustered around us, well away from home base. We had been bringing them treats in order to introduce ourselves to them, but still, this was new. Edith, the Rhode Island Red, is the bravest, and will come right up to the little cup I hold to investigate the dried corn within.
This was a fun trick for us. Now when they see us, they come right over. They still won’t go abroad when we aren’t there, though, which is good, as I saw a hawk sitting on the fence post one day. And they are averaging an egg a day among them, which is just the right amount.
But chickens are not the only news around here. A massive dust cloud got our attention the other day, and on examination, we found this monster in the field along Llewellyn:
This proved to be Mike, employee of USF&W. Seems the permit to build the vernal pool had finally come in, and work is underway. This work, Jarod, our main F&W Guy, explained, is “jurisdictional.” Which means permits were required from the Corp of Engineers, State of Oregon, and Benton County before earth could be moved. Because we’re in a jurisdictional flood plain. Fortunately the permits came in just before the promised rainfall later this week. Here’s what this looks like now:
When finished, the “pool” will be about a foot deep, and native plants will, theoretically, colonize the space. But it won’t look like a pond, alas, just a marshy wet-land. The aquatic community of birds, salamanders, frogs, however, will love it, Jarod insists, and come January we will be deafened by the chorus of Coastal green frogs, photo below:
Larry is, at the moment, driving his tractor in the later-this-week rainfall, after a fraught morning when the automatic brush-hog release feature didn’t function. Over to the John Deere folk with a photo of the problem, and, problem solved, but not in time to beat the rain. So here’s a photo of him yesterday when the sun still shone on his vision garden:
I agree. It is a vision. Good for him!