Yesterday a turkey hen stepped out from the woods while I was planting, and when I turned to better see, I noticed she had ten or twelve chicks.
They were small, about the size of a nose, say, brownish-tan, and they dashed about on invisible legs beneath their mother’s belly and likewise around her legs.
Around and around, in and out, in sync already with gravity, with locomotion, with speed, and most especially, with vulnerability, the long arm of vulnerability.
The hen, head high, clucking just so as she navigated through my stash of firewood, the chicks attached to her clucks as with strings.
But on such small legs?
On day one to be mustered through the tangle on such legs?
Quetzal showed up yesterday (I don’t know why) with a skull we found years ago somewhere on the farm. I remembered later that I had written about it, had posted it on some rendition of this blog, went digging to see if I still had the writing, found it, and so here it is, its second life.
A skull turned up one morning at our house during an extended Sunday brunch we were hosting for our neighbors. Dave, who lives on the next farm over, had taken the kids for a walk in the woods, and when they returned, they had a skull, a medium-sized, off-white, animal skull that, while broken distinctly into three pieces (cranium, mandible, and single tooth), fit together perfectly.
For awhile the skull was the kids’ thing. They chased each with the point of the tooth; they tricked it out in my new Tingly hat; they pretended to make the jaw bone talk; they bickered over basic holding rights. Continue reading
Yesterday when I pulled a length of arugula out from one of the hoop houses, there was an amazing show of earthworms in and around the plants’ roots. I had never seen so many worms. I kept stopping to watch them, to bump them along with my finger, to smell their soily home. Earthworms are no geniuses, maybe, but they do know what they want. Yet the thing is, what worms want is likewise what I want. Is it possible that man and worm can somehow hookup over some common need? Some life force?
It is possible. This:
soil rich in organic matter
One night about two weeks ago, there erupted an astonishing brouhaha in the vicinity of our fire ring. It was coyotes, a great gathering of them, maybe ten or so, the most I’d ever heard so close to the house. Our dogs, which usually go crazy when they hear coyotes on the mountain, went mute; after an initial rush to the door, they returned to the fire, flopped down, and didn’t move. Turning off the lights, I slipped out onto the deck. Continue reading
For the last five minutes or so, six wild turkeys have been reaching for the last of last year’s fruit from one of our dwarf crab apple trees. Back-to-back snowstorms have elevated the birds such that with heavy hops up they can occasionally score fruit.
But mostly they miss. Mostly the turkeys have been going slowly around the tree, necks up-stretched, only to plunge time and again through snow up to their bellies. That and in-fighting, shoo-shooing each other away from the tree. Continue reading
Because even with seven billion of us notwithstanding, there’s always enough anxiety. And because barefooted, she’s noticed, is how lettuces do it. No matter the winds, the suns, the mid-morning spiders, no matter the hails that slice them down…it’s always earth they reach for, their tiny toes pushing down down. And kind earth, ever longstanding, holds them. That’s why, see. That holding. That’s why she so often stands barefooted with lettuces.