When I went out for dawn chores this morning, I was horrified to find frost on the grass. Actual ice crystals, which I hadn’t expected until at least the end of October. Normally I’m not averse to frost, in fact I think it makes for stunning photographic opportunities, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to relocate my precious avocado trees for the year. I have a lot of work invested in those trees – I lovingly sprouted the pits three years ago, and have been caring for them ever since. Normally I have them tucked in for the winter by now, but this year the biggest tree is over nine feet tall (Gene measured), which severally restricts where I can house it. Even the garage ceiling was too low. I did put the six-foot tall tree in the garage, placed right next to the brooding box so that the broody Frizzle can have a room with a view while she sits on her clutch of eggs. Long story short, Gene and I dragged the nine-footer into the living room. I’m still not sure how to arrange around the clock protection for it from the hungry, curious, kitties, but at least it won’t wither in the frost.
Since we’ve had a week without rain, the goats and Woolimina have been enjoying extended prison breaks all day long. Although I’m happy they get a chance to eat all the blackberries and grass, with the added bonus of those things being a great source of free food, I’m not sure the decorative plantings will ever recover. Ursula, the pot-bellied pig that she is, managed to destroy my three-year-old rosemary tree while I was shooing Princess Fiona out of my rose garden. Shortly after that I gave up, and decided it was much less stressful to focus on how many essential nutrients they’re getting. Seeing all the happy critters taking sun naps in their favorite spots is very relaxing, but it does make me miss poor Shy. According to the vet, his surgery went really well, and he’s been the most well-behaved alpaca they’ve ever treated. I’m ecstatic that he’s coming home tomorrow, because I can’t wait to give him a hug. He’ll be wearing a bandage around his head for at least two weeks, then a lighter bandage after he gets his sutures out, but then he should be back to mostly normal. I’m a little disappointed that the $1,000 price tag attached to his recovery didn’t come with an eye patch, or at least a pirate bandana, but I’m just happy to have him back. And that we have a credit card with room left on it.