Because our feet are cold

This week in the Poconos temperatures dipped below freezing and remained there. It was a sudden change with which some two legged, as well as four legged, creatures struggled to adapt.

The horses were doing well as was Saphyre. But the birds were having a rougher time. This was brought to my attention by a little brown, quite chubby, bird. She was perched on Misty’s back as if it was the most natural thing in the world. She must have sat there for at least fifteen minutes before Rusty got curious and went over to investigate. This disturbed the little bird enough that she flitted over to Rusty’s generous rump and perched there.

Thoroughly entertained and intrigued, the humans headed indoors to warm up with hot chocolate and mostly forgot about the little bird.

Later that day as the horses were being fed I noticed yet another bird, this time perched on Toro’s back. How funny! This made me wonder whether the birds were trying to communicate some important message to me so I paused to ask.

Their answer: “Because our feet are cold.”

Sometimes the answer is truly that simple and sometimes we really need to take ourselves less seriously. It was a good lesson.

Darwin's survival of the fittest demonstrated.

A couple years ago I got four roosters and one hen from my local Freecycle group. I wanted chickens to help with the bug population that plague my horses. The chickens were given free run of the property and quickly adjusted to our rhythms, cleaning up after the horses and eating bugs with abandon.

I knew with one hen there were bound to be issues. Sure enough many cock fights ensued. Still somehow they managed to not only survive but thrive. A few months later the hen hatched out a nice brood. I was delighted with the growth of my chicken population but it was short lived. The hen allowed her chicks to get too close to the horses and while stomping bugs they also stomped chicks. She managed to save two chicks from that brood one of which was a hen.

The next season both hens hatched out two separate broods. By the end of the summer I had 35 chickens. Now we were getting somewhere!

The cocks continued to fight and occasionally one would be killed so the numbers fluctuated a bit but still we had a decent sized flock of chickens working on the bug problem.

Fast forward to this year. I had four hens sitting on nests and was anxiously awaiting the hatchlings. Suddenly they began disappearing. Had they moved out to the woods? Had they become victims of some predator? Maybe the stray cats got them?

Finally the answer came: raccoons. For the first time in five years we had a coon family moving into the neighborhood and they were feasting on my chickens! One day I looked around to find I had a solitary hen left.

That did it. Time to relocate the coon family. Altogether we found four, so far anyway. One day a couple weeks after the coons were removed the hen showed up with a new brood. She had nine little hatchlings! I have no idea how she managed to escape the raccoons during her approximately 21 days of sitting on that nest, but I am delighted she did.

That determined little hen demonstrated Darwin’s theory splendidly.

Things were going great until a visiting dog went after the chicks and managed to kill two. Now we’re down to seven. The dog will not be returning. Sometimes Darwin needs a little help.

So now we cheer the little hen on as she continues her vigilant watch over her remaining chicks. If she has her way we’ll have another chicken population explosion next year. The horses are rooting for her too!

Eagle Cam

The Hancock Wildlife Foundation and Sidney Cam have made it possible for us to watch the progress of three eaglets and the comings and goings of their parents. For the maximum experience check in on them at various times throughout the day. I think you’ll find it’s well worth the time and effort. Enjoy!

Eagle Cam

Red wing Blackbirds return

They  returned today, same place, same song. I was busy and not paying much attention so they all flew to the pasture and into my line of vision, alighted briefly, then in a flurry of wings and chatter they flitted off to another tree. Now they had my attention. It seems they have more to say:

“We wanted to be sure you really understood our message. There are too many dark clouds gathering over our world. We need humans to wake up to the possibility of averting catastrophe. You have it in your power. Look for the silver-lined clouds and stop gaping at the dark ones. Find the positive moments in your days and focus upon them and they will expand until they become so numerous that they blot out the dark clouds entirely. Do not give in to morosity and hopelessness. If you do then you will take us all down with you. Stop! Wake up before it is too late! We beseech you to snap out of it and stop this speeding freight train of doom and gloom. Bring back the sail boats and sunshine. With just a little effort our world could experience a phenomenal rebirth. We are counting on you. Do not let us down. But hurry, time is growing short.”

Ok, the birds have spoken. The rest is up to us…

Red wing blackbirds insisting upon being heard

This week I had a visit from a flock of red wing blackbirds. They nearly filled the top of a large tree. Depending upon your perspective, their singing could either be described as a cacophony or a symphony. I’m leaning towards symphony. It was obvious they had something very important to share so I obliged them and opened the channel to listen.

Red Wing Blackbird
Red Wing Blackbird

“We are harbingers of change. Change is in the air. There are dark days ahead, but like us, they will contain  bits of brightness. These days do not have to last a long time, but they will if you do not turn from your current path. Too much focus on evil intentions and swindles. Too much focus on who did what to whom. Get over it and move on. You cannot heal yourselves by dwelling on the negative. You cannot step out into the light by nursing your wounds.”

“Cast aside the dark thoughts, the insecurities the jealousy, even rage and choose a brighter path. You have so much potential. Much has been given to you. Far too often you squander your gifts. Now is the time to see and appreciate all that you have been given. Allow the positive aspects of your life to expand until they fill it completely. As the positive lightness expands, so too will the mood of you and those around you. Allow the light to eradicate the dark and fill your hearts with hope and love.  Rise up and choose a better way. You were never meant to live in the dark. You were never meant to wallow in self pity. That is a total waste of your promise. Dig deep and unearth your strength and wisdom. Now is the time for decisive action. To delay is to risk being swallowed up in oblivion.”

“We realize it is difficult for you to trust and step out of the darkness but it really is the only choice. The alternative is unthinkable. You like to think of yourselves as the superior species, time to start acting like it. You are capable of accomplishing many wondrous things when you open yourselves to the light and hope. Do what you must to heal your hearts and soothe your fears. Pick yourselves up and get moving. We are counting on you.”

Avian Communication: The blue jays have their say…

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that my last post was a conversation with possum. In that conversation possum told me that there would be other creatures with messages for human kind. His comments immediately brought to mind the blue jays. They have been unusually plentiful this year and they are huge in comparison to previous years. This despite a colder (and icier) than usual winter. It was clear blue jay was trying to get my attention so I opened the channel to a communication with them. They were most anxious to share their message. This is what they wanted you and me to know:

“We are here to remind you of how much happiness you should be experiencing. As the world seems bleak we have gathered in larger numbers and have expanded our physical shapes to demonstrate to you that the “bluebird of happiness” is right at your door (or window). We are as plentiful as apples on a tree, ripe for picking. So too is your happiness. Do not be deceived by harbingers of doom. Listen to our message and see how abundant happiness is. As we sing for joy and live our fulfilled lives so too should you.”

“It is our hope that through our numbers and our expansion you cannot help but notice that happiness is everywhere. So plentiful that you practically trip over it. We respond to the needs of your world and the overwhelming despair brought us forth. It is as it should be in the balance of nature. Please hear our message and choose the lighter path before you bring darkness to our world as well. We want to see you reverse this trend before it takes over the planet and is much harder to reverse. Act now for all our sakes. We are the blue jays and we wish to spread the message that happiness is right in front of you. All you have to do is notice and respond.”