This Rooster's Had Enough!

 My favorite mornings are those on which we arise early - long before the sun - and head out into the darkness (and a brief snow flurry) to do morning chores.  I love the silence and stillness of this time of day.  

We take care of chores with headlamps on... feeding, watering, cleaning up frozen poopsicles and poop-berries.

As the sun rises, and everyone is eating their breakfast, 

we hear the sound of our rooster Elwood - much louder than usual.  He greets every morning with robust crowing, but the sound is typically muffled by the henhouse in which he has roosted.  This morning, however, he is loud and clear!

When we reach the henhouses and open the doors to let everyone out for their breakfast treat, Elwood is nowhere to be found.  

My guess is that he slept with the goats... 

and a little investigation proves me right. 

 So, why, after all this time would he leave the warmth of the henhouse and take up with the goats?  I have no idea... truly.  Is it hard to be the only man in a group of 40 women?  Is he hen-pecked?  Tired of the un-ending gossip?  Physically exhausted from the demands of forty women?  Or maybe, as Jack theorizes, just tired of walking across the frozen, snowy ground to put himself to bed at night?  Whatever the reason, Elwood has flown the coop.

We'll see if this behavior changes when the snow is finally melted [me, asking if the snow will ever melt].

Other than this development, the birds are weathering winter without a hitch.  The chickens continue to lay eggs as if it were summer.  

The guineas continue to room with the runner ducks.  

There's just nowhere to run when everything is a sheet of ice.  And so, they all hang out in the duck yard together every day, and sleep together in the duck house every night... the guineas roosting on the elevated bar, while the ducks sleep on the pine bedding floor.

Of interest... the great Blue Heron who is a frequent pond visitor seems to be roosting each night at the pond.  We see him almost every morning as he silently flies off when we approach.  I hope to catch a photo of him on a game camera to show you.

Gus had a veterinary appointment and received his rabies vaccine.  He was a very brave boy and didn't seem to mind at all.  It's hard to get a photo of his face, because he always tries to get as close as possible. Unfortunately a photo does not do this boy justice.  He is the chubbiest cat in the barn - with a serious Buddha belly!  He's definitely found his little bit of kitty heaven and is content to just be fat and happy!

Yesterday, after chores, I started a fire in the fireplace,

 baked a batch of chocolate/pecan biscotti, and spent some time enjoying the activity at our bird feeders.

There's a constant flurry of activity on the feeders,

with constant comings and goings,

and on the ground as well.

We have some very well-fed squirrels,

who enjoy a constant supply of sunflower seeds that the birds drop on the ground.

I don't know about you, but I think that squirrels are just the cutest of all the rodents - so cute, I hesitate to call them rodents!  That chubby fellow two pictures up is one I'd like to bring inside and cuddle.  (Probably not a good idea.) He does look like he'd be a chatty fellow!

This week flew by, didn't it?  I can't believe that Friday is here already.  Our weekend will most likely be spent hibernating - as the weather is to be very cold.  My guess is there will be a few fires in the fireplace and a little painting happening.  The good news is... we are to have warmer than normal weather for February.  Perhaps Spring will arrive just a little earlier this year!  I'd better get my seed orders placed ASAP!

Have a good weekend... we'll be back to chat on Monday.


jaz@octoberfarm said…
i can hardly think about spring when we've hardly had winter this year. but come it will! i am not very squirrel happy these days. i've found numerous spots on all of my pergolas where they have been severely chewed. i've had no idea what was doing this until yesterday when i saw a squirrel obsessively chewing on it. grrr...!
Csnook said…
I love watching squirrels! I have one at my house that hangs upside down the branch, to pry the top of the birdfeeder off. He eventually gets it off!
Ann said…
Speaking of bringing squirrels indoors to cuddle, just before Christmas my husband and I drove to Iowa to see family and were away for a few days. I had offered our house to a friend for periods of solitude and a couple of days into the trip she texted me that she thought a critter was in the house because the Christmas tree was laying on the floors and the battery candles had been knocked out of the windows and houseplants had been chewed. The next day she was back and sent a picture of the squirrel in the living room looking out the window and said she had swept up all the droppings and opened all the doors, hoping it would go out. It has also been eating seeds of the wild plants that I had collected and left in envelopes on the kitchen counter. But the squirrel hadn't left and I called a friend who had a live trap and he came and set it in the dining room. And for three more days the squirrel had the run of the house and she came every day to try and let him out and clean up. Finally, on the morning of the day we were to arrive back home, the squirrel went into the trap and the neighbor took him back outside, my friend did a final clean up of the house and when we got home, one would never know such a situation had ever happened. But the real mystery is how the squirrel got into the living space of the house, as we haven't found any openings larger than the old grate with 3/4 inch holes that go to the old basement. But we sealed those and so far, all is well. So, the moral of the story is...resist the urge to cuddle that squirrel indoors!! :)
Bee Haven Bev said…
Lol…. Such a great story, Ann!!!
Wanda Devers said…
Ann, Loved hearing about the squirrel invasion! They sure are cute but unfortunately not cuddly. Made me think of Christmas Vacation! I recently read that male squirrels are vicious fighters among themselves in mating season--going for the enemy's testicles and often ripping them off. Seems there are a number of neutered squirrels running around. Does anyone know if this is actually true?

Recently I came home to find my elderly cat zooming around, jumping, etc. I thought we might have gotten a mouse but eventually I saw a little bird flying around and she was hot on its tail. I kept trying to shoo it toward the door and finally it lit on the top of our front door and I was able to shoo him out unhurt. Like you with that squirrel< I cannot imagine how it got inside but being Southern I instantly thought of the old sayings about what was coming if a bird got in the house.
This N That said…
Will the snow ever melt? I am beginning to think not. Happy that we are not to get any for a while. That gives us a fighting chance. I guess Elwood needed a change of scenery just like the rest of us from time to time.
Good for Gus. It’s nice to be fat and happy!
I miss my birds. Feeder is down due to the bear. The ground is too hard to put up another one. We shouldn’t be feeding them now anyway. He needs to find food elsewhere. From what I saw on our walk this morning nobody has taken their feeders down. Oh well, it will save me some money for the next couple of months. Nice picture of the Downey in flight. I even miss the squirrels. Love watching their antics.
Enjoy your weekend. Stay warm. I hope they are right about February. Hugs😘

Meghan Grace said…
Your posts bring my mother and I joy every single day! We too love the squirrels!
Sounds like a nice cozy weekend indoors for you Bev, except when you're out in the cold doing chores. How interesting that Elwood has flown the coop. At least he is still Cock a doodle dooing in the morning! Which kitty has the white tip on his/her tail? One of the Beas? It's super cold here too....20 below last night...hope January keeps moving right along! Have a terrific weekend!
Lynne said…
Snow and wind and ice and cold . . .
Tis the season . . .
That nice fire sure makes things look toasty!