Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rain and Miscellany

We had almost 24 hours of light rain yesterday - it was marvelous and badly needed.  It barely gave the ground a thorough wetting, but I'm still thankful for it.  While we got only rain, I can look out my window and see snow on top of Green Mountain, just behind the Flatirons, that wasn't there yesterday evening.  And we're supposed to get rain and/or snow this weekend, too.  Good.  I will not complain.  We need the moisture.  Period.
   I'm still getting over the death of Charlie, the white laying hen.  Her owners left Saturday morning to go hiking and take photos in Utah.  I went over mid-afternoon Saturday - quite a few hours early, but to give the cats and five hens some good loving and petting.  Carter and Xuxa were sound asleep in the living room, so I stepped out onto the deck and headed for the back gate into the side garden that contains the fish pond and chicken coop.  First I saw a couple of white feathers on the walk way.  Then I saw what didn't - at first - make any sense....   a long red and black stick was poking out through the fence...  It took a couple of horrified seconds to realize that the stick was Charlie's neck and that there was no head, and that something had tried to pull her body through the fence...  I went inside to check on the other girls, and they were crowded into a group at the far end of the garden.  I filed a bowl with sunflower seeds, showed it to them, and got them into the coop.  They literally ran past Charlie's body.  Then I had to disentangle Charlie's remains from the fence, bag her, and place her body in the trash.  I cried like a baby.  Charlie liked to sit in my lap and be petted.  Charlie was the leader of the flock, and, as soon as she heard a human voice near the back gate, she'd cackle and lead all the girls to the gate to greet me.  She was a sweet hen and we'll all miss her, and her tan eggs.
   Suede had a colt, sired by Riptide, on Monday.  Being a first-time Mom, and, having gone away by herself to foal, she apparently was at a loss.  She licked him dry and let him nurse.  When he laid back down, she walked away - and kept on walking, right back to Riptide's herd, and leaving the baby behind.  Pony watchers called the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, and a small round-up commenced.  The little colt was taken to the corral, and Riptide's herd was brought in.  Suede was moved into the trailer with her baby, and they were taken to Chincoteague, while Riptide's herd was released.  The new mom and baby are being kept at the Leonard pony farm and are now bonding nicely, in a box stall and small paddock.
   Little Duckie had a little girl on Monday, too.  She is a very pale tan and white pinto, with Legacy as the Dad.  Only two photos of her so far and a very short video clip.
  As is usual, I've been naming the foals - not that any of the names I give them will stay - but it's for my own identification purposes.  The first foal, a red and white filly, by Legacy and out of Anne Bonny, I call March Hare.   The second foal, a buckskin pinto colt, by Legacy and out of Sweetheart, was born just before an ice storm, and I call him Storm Warning.  Suede and Riptide's sorrel colt looked so lost and alone after his mom left him; I call him Lost Tide.  Little Duckie's filly by Legacy I call "The Swan."   -  Silly me....  but I enjoy it!

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