I thought the universe and I had an understanding, but apparently not. The sunshine, which lasted maybe a day, has once again been drowned out by relentless rain. At least the predicted February Snowpocalypse never materialized, at least around here (seriously? They invented the “high impact/low probability” winter storm warnings just to mess with me. It probably won’t happen, but if it does, it’s gonna suck to be you.) The poor Guinea hens spend the day underneath the deck, chirping and shrieking disconsolately out at the rain. Pretty much the same thing I do all day, I just happen to do it from the couch. Ironically, the worst thing that can happen is when it stops raining just before dark. When that happens, Dimsworth decides he wants to sleep outside on the goat milking stanchion, which isn’t covered. Then when it starts pouring again around ten o’clock at night, I feel compelled to wade outside with a flashlight and usher him into the goat shed to sleep next to his smarter, dryer brother. Gene says I’m nuts, and that he’s fine outside, but when I went to put up the ducks one night, I shone the flashlight on him and he was shivering in the rain. That first night, I tried picking him up. Fatty’s up to about fifty pounds, I swear. And you know what smells worse than a wet turkey? Nothing. (Except perhaps the fertilizer we put on the living room avocado tree, because it was dropping leaves at an alarming rate. But to be fair, it’s pretty much the same exact smell, and I don’t sit on that couch anymore, cuz damn, that be a stench.) At any rate, that particular night I was glad to be wearing Gene’s jacket. Now I just gently push at Dimsworth until he jumps off the stanchion and waddles into the shed of his own accord.
But it’s not all gloom and doom around the homestead. In my greenhouse, it’s spring. The nectarine tree is already blossoming, and the fig trees have green shoots on them. The luffa gourds and giant pumpkins are already so big I had to put them into bigger pots, and most of the seedlings are taking off in the starter trays. I haven’t seen the frogs in awhile, but I know they’re in there somewhere. I can’t wait until the preying mantis egg sacs come in at the garden store, because I really miss Esmeralda. (It’s sad that mantis’s come with such a short expiration date – they only live about 8 months.)
Whenever the rain gets to be too much, and I’ve already spent hours in the greenhouse, I cheer myself up by giving the critters treats. The quails love kale, which I give them once a week. (Lately I’ve been on a kale chip kick, since they’re so much better for you than potato chips. About once a month, I’m tempted to eat salt right out of the shaker, and they totally satisfy that craving. Mmmmm, salt.) The ducks and chickens love rice, and the bunnies of course have their Wheat Thin addiction. I haven’t found a treat that Shy Shy loves, besides his grain. I’m sure it’s out there, I just haven’t found it yet.