A Place For The Future Past

October 28, 2007, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Community On The Earth

October is here and nearly gone already. We’ve had a few mild frosts that have halted the growing season of even the tomatoes inside the greenhouse (we were able to get it reroofed in time — nice new clear fiberglass panels!) but the walls still will have to be plain plastic for one more year. That’s ok — we got alot accomplished this first year and have many plans for enlarging and improving all the garden beds. So now only onions and potatoes and apples and lavender and cabbage remain to be harvested.

And we have fresh venison in our freezer, thanks to the skill of a hunter friend(Thank you, Mike!). After his initial scouting foray he returned before dawn a few days later and was able to bag a fat young buck before the first half hour had passed. The BIG buck is still out there….

Ah — the woods in autumn! The woods are mesmerizing in their beauty. The recent rainfalls have awakened the interior creeks, but many areas remain dry, and the hard work improving the trails has made many more areas accessable. The mornings are perfect, misty and crisp. Slowly the sun burns through, barely warming. And at night the harvest moon descends silently into the deepening forest.

Did I say silently? Silly me.

Em and I have been deliberating what to do about the guinea flock. Every resource I have read simply raves about the foraging and protective nature of the birds, and we have now a fine healthy flock of fourteen in an assortment of colors. So we plan how to best release them. we want them to forage, but not fly away. What to do, hmmmm…. About then we had a major breakout of the now mature pheasants — eight managed to squeeze out of a hole in the netting (recent windstorm damage). Em and I got three of them rounded up and back into their pen when one stupid hen panicked and bolted. And her explosive burst into flight triggered the remaining four birds — five in total. So we shut the door on the remaining flock and released the guinea flock from their adjacent pen. We had been keeping a low wattage light on in their barn for the last few days and we plan to continue feeding them inside their pen, giving them a safe haven to return to in the evening– just keeping their cage door open. And there has been some success — after a couple of days, the open empty cage also collected the now-hungry breakout pheasants, home to where they remembered their last easy meal came from ;-). But, all is not perfect. Though the guinea flock has been doing a great job of foraging the bugs, (their loud raucous ill-timed wacky calling gets a bit old at times) now there are two missing. Let’s just say that they are not as well equipped to handle the big wide world outside as they think they are….