The rains have come in earnest. I shouldn’t complain – after all, it was a relatively dry October, but still. Weeks of unseasonably gorgeous fall weather don’t make up for the fact that now I’m sinking up to mid-shin in mud when I slog outside to do the chores. I’ve set up several dry spots for the chickens, which they love. They can explore under the trellises in the garden, which is rapidly disappearing thanks to Woolimina. She even ate the last of my Trinidad Scorpion plant. And all my cotton (before I got to harvest it – no apocalypse Q-Tips for us, I guess. And I was really looking forward to being self-reliant in the Q-Tip department.) But anyway, most of the chickens are smart enough to get undercover in the rain. But Polish chickens aren’t most chickens. They’re spectacularly dumb. Like fall in the duck pond because they don’t realize it’s water dumb. (On a side note, who knew chickens could swim? I actually had to chase her through the water before I could pull her out, she was having a blast.)
When I need a break from the rain, I go inside the greenhouse. It’s warm, the sound of rain pattering on the roof is relaxing, and I’m quickly becoming obsessed with watching the mantises hunt flies. The way their triangular heads sway back and forth as they calculate the striking distance is nothing short of mesmerizing. And incredibly effective – there’s hardly any flies left in the greenhouse anymore. I might have to go back to buying crickets at the pet store and letting them loose in the greenhouse, like I did two years ago to feed Gertrude. At least I won’t have to chuck the crickets at a web – that was disturbing on so many levels.
On that note, you would think that the spider kingdom in general would give me a little credit for feeding one of their own for two months during the freezing cold winter. Gertrude didn’t lose any weight under my watch, so you would think they would stay out of my dreams. I know a few posts ago I bragged about conquering my arachnid nightmares, but you know what they say about pride…. This time when I had the dream, the spiders were infesting my bed. That’s low, spiders. Even for you. And Gene didn’t appreciate getting woken up like that, even if there were real spiders crawling on him.