I swallowed a ladybug the other morning.
I guess they aren’t poisonous because I’m still alive.
Let’s run away together for a moment.
Let’s go to a place in our heart where there is goodness and kindness.
Where there is wellbeing of mind, body and spirit.
A place where we can breathe.
We are reminded this week of how lucky we are to have love.
Mother Nature has been active this week with rain and wind and a couple of days with mild temperatures. I opened the window downstairs and the let the warm air blow in and fluff up the house with fresh air. The breeze swirled all the dust bunnies and mountains of pet hair and rearranged it in a lovely new pattern.
I’ve neglected the house chores recently.
One wonderful night we slept with the windows open. I could hardly sleep with wanting to listen to the night sounds. A breeze was blowing the wind chimes and the peepers sang all night. I heard the scream of a fox and maybe an owl hoot. Or did I imagine that?
By the next night, the temperatures had once again dropped into the thirties and the windows are closed tight and the heat pump is running again. Rain, sleet, and snow are on the way.
Phyllis Diller and Ginger Grant, born in September have started laying eggs these past two weeks. Pullet eggs are the best. Phyllis lays green/blue and Ginger a light brown.
Signs of spring, green shoots making their way up through the brown earth. Robins have come to nest in the trees out by the chicken coops. The trees are full of their sweet song in the mornings. Their calls bring the Cooper hawks. Papaya honks and screams danger which in turn gets the roosters sending out the alarm, the girls all scurry to safety under the magnolias and boxwoods.
These signs and sounds say that yes, spring is on the way if I can just hold on a little longer. Oh, how I love this time of the year.
The Clan of the Crow.
Seems folks either love them or hate them.
I’m of the former group.
I respect their intelligence and enjoy their raucous caws.
Some years ago, we had a clan of crows that called Red Dirt Farm their home. I came to know these birds. I studied their behavior and learned each one by the sound of their voice.
I named them too. Cornelius was their leader.
We came to an understanding Cornelius and I. He and his family could have all the scratch they wanted from the chicken feed and safe harbor. In return, he and his clan would provide protection for the chickens. It worked out quite well, Cornelius saved the chickens from hawks numerous times. They alerted the girls of danger from possum and raccoon. The chickens and the crows lived in harmony.
I enjoyed their company and their funny antics and caws that sounded of laughter.
I left shiny tokens of gratitude, which were quickly taken and stashed away in secret hiding places.
One fall day, Cornelius and family were absent. Nowhere to be found. Extra scratch was left untouched. There were no raucous calls or flying antics.
Shiny objects were left untouched.
Something was very wrong.
A few weeks passed and the barnyard remained strangely quiet.
A neighboring farmer came calling.
During our visit, the topic of crows came up, and yes, he too, like many farmers hates crows. “They are a nuisance,” he said.
I was heartbroken beyond words to learn that he had shot and killed Cornelius and his clan.
Time has passed, but my heart still hurts for Cornelius. The yard is quiet and all my younger chickens don’t know of the symbiotic existence, though they have been told stories from the older girls and from me too.
Lately, I have been aware of the presence of crows in the surrounding tree farms.
They have been circling above as I go out to do my chores and fill the farm stand with eggs. I call out to them when they fly overhead. I greet them with a happy hello and tell them they are welcome to come visit. I tell them that this is a safe haven.
This week while I was carrying an armful of Christmas decorations out to the storage building I heard a loud commotion, flapping of wings overhead. A large dark shadow passed above me. Then, the unmistakable sound of CAW CAW CAW. There just feet above my head, a flock of crows, hot in pursuit of a hawk that had come to get a tasty snack of chicken.
The chickens scattered for cover. I smiled, happy in my heart.
Maybe, just maybe these are the ancestors of Cornelius that had heard stories of a place called Red Dirt Farm.
Perhaps they will make this part of their territory and offer their protection to my girls.
I will gladly leave shiny trinkets.
I better go get some more scratch.
That’s it for today.