‘How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?’
Chris and I sat outside for our morning tea and observed the goats grazing and balancing on their hind legs, stretching for the perfect oak leaf. They are so much fun to watch. We received several visits, especially from Luna, during their breakfast forage, looking for a scratch on the neck and a bit of reassurance..
We had two chickens go missing this week; Franny(Polish) and Buttercup (Mille Fleur).They disappeared within a day of each other. The consecutive day disappearance helped us to ascertain that it must be a predator and it could be a big bird of some sort; there has been no sign of a struggle anywhere. When the fox massacre of 2010 happened (I love drama), there were always massive amounts of feathers from the struggle. We sighted an eagle flying over the creek this morning, as we were talking about the big bird theory. It landed in the trees at the edge of the woods, next to the corn field. It was an adult eagle, because it had the easily identifiable white head. That may have solved that mystery…we thought.
I spent about an hour in the barn, after our tea and bird discussion. I made sure that there were plenty of water sources all over the barn because it was predicated to get up to 97 today. I could already see the tell-tale sign of the heat; strange chicken cool down rituals with beaks continually open and wings slightly raised. Sabrina was trying to force feed Zoe, the Polish, some water because she thought she was frying her little chicken brain, out in the direct sunshine. As I continued cleaning and observing the funny chicken culture, Buttercup suddenly popped up from the unused side of the barn. She went directly over to the water and food and was clucking up a storm. She looked distressed. She had been the first to go missing, so our predator theory went straight out the window. After digging my way through the plywood and chicken wire, I got to the far side of the unused part of the barn. There I found, in a dark quiet corner, 14 Buttercup eggs. Her distress was actual broodiness and her need to refuel, after sitting on her,sadly, unfertilized eggs for several days. One mystery solved…but where is Franny? The only thing that I can think of now is being that she is our over-zealous guard chicken, she may have wandered too far again. We are bringing together our search team around 4:00 to do a perimeter check, hoping to find her lost and confused and not dead or MIA. If we don’t have any more missing chickens in the next few days, we can probably rule out “foul play”.
We will do some more gardening tonight, after the worst of the heat has left us. The potato plants are doing excellent. I also just spied our first cantaloupe sprouts this morning. The nasturtiums (edible flowers) and Cilantro are starting to show themselves too. We have 5 tomatoes plants that were donated to us that are growing heartier roots and will be transplanted into the garden this week.