"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cool and Clear

After two dreary, gray days of rain, it was nice to work out in the sunshine. But I'm pretty sure there won't be any more days of doing it without at least a tee shirt on.  Twyla told me that last year when everyone came for Thanksgiving, the colors were beautiful.  Right now, only the most sheltered of trees have any foliage left, as you can see from my first photo. That one is looking south from the top of the driveway.  Pretty much nothing but bare, gray-barked trees of the deciduous variety between here and the next creek. The only green is that lone pine on the left.  The sun is going down to my right; about 16:30.

I had meant to get more pictures of the more beautiful fall scenery a couple of weeks ago, but I let it get away from me.  Today as I was transversing the yard, I spot these two lone leaves, out of what would otherwise be some ugly winter ground.

I am so impressed by the plants that defy the frost. I thank Adonai that he created so many varieties of edible plants that can tolerate temperatures down to 22° F and continue to thrive.  Especially all the varieties of dandelion. I was clearing a new bed in which to plant more garlic and onion yesterday, and in order to do that, I uprooted, cleaned, and chopped up three bowls of such plants and fed them to the chickens.  Around dinner time ("lunch" for you Yankees), I picked a bunch of the yellowing bottom leaves from the broccoli and lettuce plants and chopped them up along with the celery dregs and carrot peels that Twyla had left for me to give to the chickens.  I made a couple of comments to Twyla while doing so.  "Never thought I'd be a salad chef to chickens." and, "You know, it occurs to me that chickens are basically pigs with feathers."  That one really made her laugh. It's because, like pigs, chickens will eat almost anything, and they really like the disgusting stuff.

Oh, before I forget, I've updated the last post about the focaccia bread, with some additional photos.  That was some scrumptious supper last night. The only reason we didn't have salad with it last night was because I had worked hard cutting a lot of wood and we had a lot of salad for the past three days.  I just didn't feel like going back outside and picking a mess of greens and having to strip and chop them. Back to chickens.

I was a bit surprised, but in a good way, that the chickens don't like earthworms.  They love grubs and flies and grasshoppers. Isn't that just like Adonai to program their DNA to not want to eat something that is so beneficial to the farm, and to want to eat the stuff that is detrimental.  I was further surprised to find that they eat their own feathers.  Not the flight, or wing feathers, just the downy body feathers.  I suppose there are a couple of reasons for that; being almost pure protein it makes sense in the winter when bugs and other fauna are extremely rare.  Secondly, it's a good idea not to leave a scent trail for predators.  But notice I said, "idea," meaning it had to come from intelligent design. Observing chicken behavior in general makes it pretty clear that cognitive thought does not exist there.  Brewster the Rooster is proof of that, since after three days he forgets that I'm the one who feeds them every day and decides to attack me for trying to take out the feeder for cleaning.  I can usually ignore the first couple of events, but then I have to show him who's boss.  This is tricky.  His spurs are not well developed yet, but his talons can still draw blood easily, as my arms will attest.  So, in a very fast, arcing motion,  I fake up to the right and when he goes for my hand I sweep up to his neck. The crucial part is snatching him down to the ground so he can't rear back and get his talons up.  Think of it as making a lightning fast "question mark" in the air.  Then I have to hold him for a count of five and then I let him go, to which he squawks to the other end of the ark and doesn't attempt to attack me for at least three days.

In a way, I'm pretty glad he's that way.  It makes me think that if a predator tried to nose into that ark, it would be a very unpleasant experience and the chickens would be fine.  Well, time to feed the dog.



  1. the younger dandelion leaves make a decent addition to salads for people, as well.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Larry. Welcome. I add dandelion along with sheep sorrel to my salads all the time. :)


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