Today, Monday, April 3, 2023,at 12:30 in the afternoon, here in the swampy bog of Savannah, GA, USA, the skies are overcast, and thundershowers are predicted later this afternoon. I've been awake since daylight, called by my bladder and by Speckles, who, like me, is old and arthritic, but he can still crow in metronome fashion to alert the world that morning has arrived. Since then, a squirrel has suicided on the power line outside my little house, blowing out a fuse and stopping the flow of electricity to my complex of deteriorating, rusting, and rotting structures that constitute my humanoid home. At the time I heard the loud BOOM! I was handwriting in my journal that sudden loud noises make me jumpy and always have. Speckles, my 11-plus-year, home hatched and grown rooster, is now settled at my feet outside, preening his feathers, but we have a long history of power-struggles. This morning, that squirrel's dramatic suicide managed to out-loud even Speckles, as I was finishing my last sip of coffee. Desi, Georgia Power's service representative, managed to use his long pole to restore the power around 10 AM, but getting through the telephone menus to describe my situation to a real human being took some doing. And to describe my whereabouts was even more complicated, because I share a driveway with sister and brother-in-law, so my mailing address is different from my home address, because my mailbox was squashed flat many years ago by some hit-and-run driver. I keep my post office box for my convenience, to dispose of excess paperwork where it accumulates. Now GA Power knows to send my bills to my PO box, and it knows where I live, which is intentionally hard for undesireables to find. Today, Desi was a most desireable visitor, once I located GA Power's outage line, and after I called my sister's house to find they still had power. Slade had heard the loud BOOM! too, and was already outside investigating the power pole, transformer, and lopty-skew fuse. Slade intercepted Desi as he drove up, before I even had time to put shoes on. An OWL! In the NOW, at 1:10 pm, EDT. We had an owl attack a couple of weeks ago. I saw him dive under the guest house after Speckles. I ran around to the other side to see the owl holding on to my not-so-little screamer, about this time of day. The owl took off when he saw me, and Speckles was only slightly scratched, but he seemed calmer than I felt. I held him until my heart stopped pounding, put him inside the coop, and went looking for Tweety, who eventually showed her large, red comb from the darkest corner under the building. Today, because of that suicidal squirrel, I have already had to re-set two digital clocks, using my cell phone to verify the time and date, but techno-confusion reigns in Cyberland, because of perpetual upgrades and add-ons, plus patent and IT competition amongst the various claimants on time, attention, and loyalty. But my two birdies are safe, in the Now, and Lollipop, the stray cat I've fed for over a year, ate a good breakfast before disappearing on his daily scavenger hunt for rats, birds, and other things he likes to eat. Spring is here, and parents everywhere are hungry, looking for food for themselves and their little darlins. Figs and blueberries can't ripen before being consumed. Deer corn I supply gets gobbled up by raccoons, which have destroyed the plastic trashcans I used to use for animal food. Rats, mice, and squirrels have eaten through corners in the attics and crawl spaces of buildings. And my cell phone is useful sometimes, but convenient it is not. I'm having to learn how to blog on it and on wordpress, because everything changes so fast.
Tweety, also known as Miss Flutter Budget, Handy Underfoot, and various other monikers.
Speckles, The Screamer. Also the Owl Baiter.
I hate having to confine my chick-ens, but… there’s this “blasted” fox see? And I know just what he says…
“No need to run, nowhere to qhide, I’m gonna get you yummy yummy chickens.” And so it did – forcing me to confine my last six.
Tweety is nagging now to get outside. The weather is humid and still. I hurt all over, from age, running, and tripping too often, trying to keep up with animals and their needs, including safety, for the ones I want to protect from the other animals who want to eat them.
Sunny skies are predicted later today, as you may know. Georgia coastal climate has its own way of doing things.
Do you give your six chickens any outside time? I only let my two out when I’m there to watch. Even then, it’s sometimes not good enough.
Hi there, I like the pictures of your poultry. I wish I could have some but we have foxes in the garden and i couldn’t keep them safe. I would also like a tortoise but the regulations here now insist you keep them in a heated run and don’t let them hibernate. I had one as a child and he loved the garden. So it’s just me and the old dog now. J.
Keeping my two chickens safe is a full time job. With spring, the multiple predators are ravenous. They like chickens, chicken food, and will go to great lengths to get either.
Bless your dog. What a source of love and comfort he must be.
What a thoroughly engaging blog post this has been. The US seems a world away rather than across the pond and yet we also have much in common. In England, people just don’t take the precautions needed in order to keep chickens, too many of our foxes are urbanised because illegal hunting by the elites and the land grabs of the monied (privileged & apparently above the law) have, in too many cases, obliged the foxes to forsake their rural habitat. We do not have the wildlife that the US enjoys but the antics people and animals get up to is quite comforting.
England has Smart meters fitted(so they can keep tabs on us & in the future dictate what we can and cannot do)so the problems you describe are unknown over here.
Your style of writing is calm and charming and even poetic.
Thank you for your kind and informative words. Lately, I’ve been trying to keep my posts short and light-hearted, partly because of technological problems, but also because humanity seems so focused on the dark and fearful.
My two chickens, the stray cat I feed, and the wildlife that has made my home theirs, provide a contrast that uplifts me, and I like sharing that alternative view of life with others.
Your concern about foxes is mine, too. Spring is birthing season for wildlife, and the animals–foxes, racoons, owls, and other predators–are especially ravenous. I’m wary of letting my chickens outside, but they badger me for it, so I go, too, to run the predators off.
Thanks for your comment. I don’t see that you have a blog, too, or I would be a follower.