Wednesday, August 12, 2015


An empty pigpen was worrisome tonight at dinnertime. I saw pig toys: two bowling balls, an old basketball, a blue pail and a very large stick. I also saw an empty house in the foreground.

I called out, "Piggy piggy piggy!?!? Pig pig pig??!" I heard a chorus of grunts from behind the little red house in the back of the pen. "We're back here, but we don't want you to see us right now! Just go away and come back in the morning for breakfast!"

Uh oh...

The red house in the background is the chickens' new "summer home". It was a pig house until two days ago, but Emma and I nailed up small boards to close the gaps on the door, and opened the back of the pig house, which shares a wall with the chicken run. I wanted my chickens to STAY in their home for now, but they needed more room, so I adjusted...apparently, the pigs did not adjust.

Those tricky pigs had chewed off the small boards we had nailed on, and found that their incredible chewing techniques and snouting opened the door. Oh magical day!

Here they are, ashamed of themselves (nope) in the chicken run. It was quite fun, and they all came to the outside door to tell me so with very cheeky grunts.

I'd like to tell you their names. I call the one on the far left "Mostly-Naughty". The one in the middle is named "Also-Naughty". The one in the background is "Slightly-ashamed-but-still-Naughty", and the one on the far right is "Still- Naughty". On a good day, we call them Knick-Knack, Jo-Jo, Trinket and Sue-Sue...but not today.


Monday, August 10, 2015

pigs, ponds and witchgrass

Feeding pigs is tricky work. All four of them want to be fed first and only and now. This means a series of four small piles to keep them occupied while I fill their real pans along the fence.
I love their appreciative grunts and happy eyes when they are eating. I scratch ears and talk to them. They look up at me and nod their big heads. Pigs are amazing.
In the chilly air this morning, after feeding tricky pigs, I brought the wheelbarrow full of the lilac branches I'd trimmed from the front lilac yesterday to tip onto the burn pile. I stopped to take a look at our pond, and I realized how wonderful it was.
The quiet water is surrounded by so much plant and animal life. I decided to sit still and listen to what it wanted to show me: little frogs dipping and plopping here and there, boatman rising and rowing to the surface, a band of gnats up to no good, one lone large fly braving it, cattails, giant globes of red clover, pond weed, a stand of rushes, chickweed, dandelion, knap weed, witch grass and who-knows-what-else. Witch grass is what my mama always called "fairy wand" and we would pick them and wave them, place them in our hair and generally feel that we'd been blessed by the little plant. Seeing life through a witch grass fairy wand is essential.