Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On life and death......

These last few days have been real weird ones.
It all seemed to start when I, for some reason, took out Jenkins' "Die wise" book again and I read a few random passages. The day afterwards our oldest daughter told us she had been selected to go on a school organised trip to Auschwitz. That night I dreamt about my death. Well, mine and my wife's, but surrounded by our children and grandchildren. We had invited the all to be together one last time, so we could then die in peace and they would not need to be bothered flying in from the corners of the globe.
The next day I ran a cat over. Came out of the grass, right in front of the car and I hit its front at 90 km/h. Heard both right wheels running over it. Ta..tump.... game over. I will spare you the details...... Being a catlover and owner myself I can not describe the feeling of horror and pain I felt then and the miserable one rest of the day.
When I was at home again late in the afternoon I noticed that the chickens were very quiet and rounding the house I saw a large silhouette sitting next to the henhouse. When I approached it, it moved. It flew away; a large chickenhawk!! Alarmed I went to the scene of the crime and indeed found a victim; Hermione, the mother of this year's chick. Her head already eaten bare and her body cold. This was another, much bigger chickenhawk then the one I had seen before.... Our chickens will not be allowed to roam free for a while now. Because there was another reason. One we had seen earlier this week. A large fox, strolling over the street and near our garden in broad daylight.

And all the while I had planned to make a happy, cheerful post about mushrooms, autumn colours, new "friends" and "new" life.
Because we have had an explosion of mushrooms lately. The rains of autumn came, but the temperatures are not low... yet.
Because we have an abundance of bright autumn colours.
Because I made new friends.... or at least one.
And because we got "new" life in the form of 3 new chicks. This was planned the day before the chickenhawk incident. And we planned for the pickup of 2 chickens. This became 3.

Let's start on the mushrooms. For one I have next to no affinity for them. Yes, the can be pretty and yes, they herald autumn. And yes.... they also mean decay. My wife on the other hand just loves them!! She rarely passes on an opportunity to photograph them and now she is venturing into the world of knowing them too.
Which is what and how to clean, dry or use them.....

And this little fellow followed us for quite a bit during one of the walks with the dogs;

Talking about friends.... Lately I am in the very opportune opportunity to be around horses a lot. I have gotten over my deep rooted fear for them years ago, but being around them this near.... This young man has taken a particular like to me and as soon as I am around he comes to me. He loves being scratched on the cheeks, rubbed on the neck and forehead, cradling his head on my arm in the proces. and he even likes to play around a bit. However sometimes he gets a bit rowdy, pushing and shoving me. He's still young, but I still find that quite unnerving. Him towering over me and looking down on me with his big, brown eyes is quite intimidating as well. And he loves to hug. So I get to spend some time with him very near me. I have always kept the fence between him and me, until today. Today I pushed myself and went into the enclosure, after he had lent over the fence and nibbled me in the ear. Quite an experience..... So I went in and the same procedure happened, but now there was no "defence" between him and me and it was just him and me. However when he got rowdy again, I had to step back. I did not feel comfortable with that at all. Still some work to be done here!

And as a final, we got our new chicks. We were supposed to go and pick up 2 hens. We came home with 2 hens and a possible hen. Don't know that one's gender yet. Now we are used to new chickens or chicks being quite scared after being taken away from a trusted environment, having had a car ride and being introduced into a new home with new chickens. So we put those 3 with transport case and all into the henhouse. Not much later they were out and walking about.... having found a new "father figure"; Lucius!

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