Among Other Rural Things: Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Honestly, it’s been a shitty few rural months. So I haven’t announced much. But heavens, the original reason I started this was to report on the charming, painful, poignant rural happenings that didn’t happen in my previous New York life, so let’s get this show back on the road.

Here beginneth a doodle update:

A hawk killed feisty black and white Audie in late summer. I saw the hawk standing on the ground about halfway back, a wing extending out strangely, and I thought “you motherfucker.” I went back, saw poor Audie’s body, and said it some more.
Throughout fall, I used big branches to fight off possums, trying to protect my chickens.
A possum killed weird red Audie in November. It was during a terrible rainstorm, and Bill was out of town. The rain was loud, and at one point late at night I heard something faint underneath the downpour. I listened close but didn’t hear it again, and then I found Audie in the morning.
One night a possum ripped some holes in original Audie. We heard her screaming bloody murder, ran out, fought it with sticks, and she lived! For days afterward, I held her upside down so she’d go into a trance and I could clean her wounds.
Then when I was in Boston, at the evening reception for work’s National Conference, Bill called to say the last two were killed: that means old grey Audie and original, from-two-days old Audie, who came when sung to, and hopped up on our laps, and was hilarious. I am, obviously, not allowed to get more chickens. I get that you just aren’t supposed to love them, but that’s not ever going to be the case.  We tried hard to keep them safe, and they are crazy birds who die at the drop of a hat and we don’t have hats dropping around here, we have owls and hawks.
Mice ate important parts of our dishwasher and washing machine, because it seems that’s what they do in winter. They want water. Everyone acts like this is the most obvious thing ever, but this is our 5th and not even coldest winter, and it had never happened! I wondered how any mice were anywhere around anyway, because we usually have such a vibrant feral cat scene under the house.
Now, we’re replacing the appliances, and I’m trying not to worry too much about them, because I can tell by the smell that wafts up from the vents sometimes that the feral cats are off sabbatical. We can’t actually use the used washing machine we just bought, because there’s something wrong with our drains and pipes and I even don’t know but the plumber is coming with a jackhammer next week.

But now, as of today, this minute (March 20, 6:45 PM EDT) it’s Spring! I’ve planted a ring of violas in the backyard marriage circle, and I don’t expect them to survive, or come back next year–they will die, or be trampled by the dogs, and I will tend to the circle by planting something else, and that seems broadly applicable, and I feel happy.

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