For the first time since early summer Our john had both weekend days off. So between much deserved naps he was able to get some barn maintanence done. This whole barn is slipping North, sliding off its concrete foundation. Years and years ago it was gutted (and those big swinging doors added, so it could be used to store machinery – now we are populating it once again with animals but really the damage was done. So every now and then a door or beam will go a little sideways. So with the tractor he can pull the beam back into place and shore it back up.
I am still stalking Godot looking for that shot of the angel in flight. He flies much more than Kupa ever did. And is magnificent. Those wings, when outstretched, are glorious. But the shot of him curving through the air is elusive.
But no cigar. I will get it one day and we will all get to enjoy it.
Elsie is getting more relaxed in her new home. Each evening when I go out to the field and call her in she will walk behind me back up to the barn. She will not walk ahead of me, or beside me like daisy did. She walks very close behind me though, which is a little disconcerting for a head tosser and she tosses her head at the dogs. But when I stop she stops so there is nothing for it, Aunty Del gallops past us and dances in though. All legs and hair. She is a lovely wee heifer. And Elsie and I walk in Indian file. The girl and the cow and the dog. Boo of course has run in with Aunty.
The place I am most enjoying at the moment (as well as the kittens of course) is the chook house. For the longest time I opened the door with a chill, a dread that I found hard to overcome, after the massacres of the Bastard Minks and for such a long time I felt real apprehension as I stepped around the corner of the door, holding my breath unconsciously, swiftly checking the corners and the floors for feathers and horror. All the images I had previously seen flashing about making a innocent shadow or an overturned bucket or a dust bathing chook look frightful, making me gasp. But it has been a while now, and time does create its own buffer to fear and the chooks themselves are more settled, fatter, silkier. The bad smell is gone now. (Minks stink and that stink hangs on) and the straw is thicker and it all feels kinder.
The younger chickens still have their own private run, (an old topper off the Rampage truck that is so low only a small chicken can walk under it – don’t tell John as he does not know I hijacked it for the chickens in the chook house) it backs up against the baby roost cage, they have their own space so that they can outrun the henpecking of the older bigger chooks, and it even has little windows running down the side. In the day time they tend to hang out under there with their own food and water – though they are free to leave of course. But in the early evening the older chooks all go up onto their roosts and the young ones come out of hiding and run riot around the bottom level of the chook house. Literally. The older ones sit up there all comfy and watch the young chooks run about as though they are some kind fo family comedy show.
They are still not allowed to run free in the paddocks like before. The little ones are too little and I am still too afraid to invite trouble by leaving the doors open (minks hunt in the day time too) so I am building a strange maze of interconnecting roosts throughout the high space up to the ceiling. The chooks house itself is very large and poles and planks and branches now criss cross in a very organic design, giving the birds plenty of places to move about and roost and get away from each other.
Good morning. I have often noticed that the older members of the farmy go to bed earlier. Like the chooks, Sheila is always in bed before Poppy. The peahens before Godot. Daisy always went to bed before the younger cows and TonTon curls into his bucket long before Boo has finished his fence checks. It is sweet.
I hope you all have a lovely day.
Your friend on the farm