Five AM this morning, opening the door to leave the animals out for their first time today, I immediately sensed spring all around me. Just a mere month ago, when I opened the same door, I was met with emptiness...a void... an absence of life, even though you know very well that there is life present out there. You can hear for what seems like miles and in that area...there was not a dog bark, a person talking or a bird’s calling to be heard. Winter’s breezes sometimes were deathly still too, making you shiver two-fold at the thought of the dead silence. Today when I opened the door, I heard a gentle breeze as it snuck past the pine boughs in the back yard and birds were chirping in the pre-dawn darkness. A dog could be heard down the road, as our chickens talked to one another with a rooster crowing amidst the chatter. The ducks voiced opposition to being penned up, quacking loudly in a chorus of “Open the door...Leave us out”. Early last evening, we heard the Spring Peepers for the first time. Once they make their appearance, you know that spring has arrived. As their name implies, the Spring Peeper has a high-pitched call similar to that of a young chicken, only much louder and rising slightly in tone. They are among the first frogs in the regions to call in the spring. As a chorus, they resemble the sounds of sleigh bells. They are heard earlier in spring not long after the ice melts on the wetlands. The species usually call from the edges of the bodies of water in which they breed, hidden near the bases of shrubs or grasses. Even when calling, the species may be difficult to locate, and are most easily seen in the shallows as they puff up to make their calls. I find it intriguing that winter is void of life and spring is bubbling forth with new life, just as it was intended to be. The seasons so mimic our lives.....being born into the spring.....fresh...new... living our lives throughout the summer as we progress toward our fall.... our twilight years... when we’ve lived and learned and have fully blossomed into a mature being. The winter comes for all of us one day, when we die and cease to blossom no more.....but as nature has intended, our fruit and seed will carry on and new life will emerge as a spring again. It is simply the circle of life as God intended it to be. What a beautiful reminder of that spring is! It appears we will again endure a rainy day, for it has been drizzling here since I got up. The question is....do we leave the chickens and ducks out to play in this miserable mud bath? The ducks will love it! The chickens try to...but inevitably end up standing in front of the house, under the overhang of the roof, waiting for the sun to shine.....grouped together, pooping piles on the doormat and all along the front of the house. Strike one for leaving them out...... If we don’t leave them out...they pout and will not lay eggs...We need the eggs to help pay for the feed..... Strike one for leaving them in...... They peck and fight inside....doing much better outside..... Strike two for leaving them inside..... They are usually hard to get inside when it is raining and we have to stomp through the mud, getting soaked and cold.... Strike two for leaving them out.... When they are outside, the poo buildup and stink is transferred to the outside and the cleaning cost is reduced. There are also bugs available to eat out there along with seeds and green grasses and weeds, enriching the yolks of the eggs, making them delicious.....exactly what our customers want...... Strike Three for leaving them in.....The benefits abound to be outside..... We’ll turn them loose to free range all day long. Maybe today would be a good day to take our trip to Vermont and get our touch-up paint from the Toyota dealer. We ordered it and they called a week or two ago, letting us know it was in and they would hold it for us until we came to get it. We could stop and check for our bolts at Greenberg’s Hardware in Bennington. Their prices are excellent and their supply of items is outrageous. They have everything! Tomorrow between 9:00 & 10:00, Mark will come to help install the carpet in the hospice shop. When completed and Mark leaves, we’ll start installing the ceiling lights and finish that up. Once the computer desk/checkout counter is in place, we will start hanging art to see what else needs done. We’re getting there!!!!!!!
038673 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC