Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Girls Grow

Hello, is this Wednesday? Time is wrinkling all around us these days, something that happens to me a lot in that sweet spot of summer flirting with fall. For some reason I find it hard to focus when the seasons change; it’s like I can’t quite always put my finger on when we are. I love fall though, especially fall here in Western North Carolina – it will take your breath away, these mountains shining in gold and red and orange, and I love the smell and I love the food: the squashes, the soups, the curries, the baking of things that warm the kitchen.

Anyway. This is week three in the new job, and things have gotten markedly better each week. It is so interesting how different libraries can be from one another. The campus is lovely here, with an arboretum and sweet spots to walk and read, and so far I have been able to go to some good lectures and meet some smart people and have some lunches with an old friend who works here too.

On the home front: we are down to cleanup time in the garden. There are beans, basil, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, and a few greens left, but everything else is basically chicken food. We are slowly cleaning out the beds, and pretty soon we will do a big soil amendment with our compost and some potash and some humic acid; due to not mulching enough this summer I feel like the soil got pretty baked and it really needs some organic matter. We will have a winter bed for all our greens and beets and broccoli that we will cover like last year, a bed of lettuces and arugula that we will row cover until the cold does it in, and then the third bed will have the leeks for as long as they last and all the garlic that we will soon plant. Speaking of leeks, we pulled the first two out last night and oh my goodness, they were beautiful. I will try to get a picture of them before they go in tonight’s dinner. They were LONG and so tender and crispy unlike any store bought leek I have ever had. Pretty exciting for a leek loving girl like myself. Note to readers who remember why I ended up with 9000 leeks: the ones I started from seed are still just the size of pencils. Unless we set up some lights and start things indoors, I will order starts again next year.

So. Speaking of chickens. Here are the girls practically all grown up. They are beautiful and insane and they have finally figured out who runs the show. Not surprisingly, our two little Rhode Island Reds make up the bottom of the pecking order. Fortunately they have each other. They are sweet, sweet girls and by far the most friendly.

Here’s the middle of the pack: Reepicheep, Rhodie, Big Dot, and Gonzo. Something definitely got decided amongst the girls over the weekend that B and I spent in Savannah; when we came home it was totally clear that Rhodie was in no way going to pull off the top dog spot. She is still kind of a nut but she has really chilled out on always instigating mini face off chest puffing skirmishes. Now she has kind of receded into the middle of the pack because of these girls Big Dot and Gonzo kind of run the show. I am happy about this because I have always fretted about the effects of Gonzo losing her sister to the cat beheading situation but I think we are in the clear there.

And then: Little Dot. She is our beautiful bossy boss. Although she has been seen giving a little nip here and there and doing a lot of chasing around (I shrug at this, surely it’s good for them to have a little excitement), she’s a pretty benign ruler – especially when compared to some roosters I have known. She takes her roll very seriously, and sometimes when I am in the run or reaching into the coop she will come over all business like while her ladies huddle somewhere so she and I can talk all man to man. I usually let her save face and just finish what I’m doing and move out of her way, but sometimes I try to pick her up and all hell breaks loose. May my life always be full of such theatre.

P.S. Thanks for all those lovely comments about the wedding, it was fun to remember it here.

1 comment:

judith said...

yay for Self-adjusting new job.
love you evvaday.
want to eat at your house & just watch CHICKNS. omilackogawd i rilly love the chickns.