north florida - wild florda

By: marsHen , 12:26 PM GMT on September 07, 2013

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06:40, 68F!, dense fog. roosters yellin'. 2 tall beautiful alert deer in cactus field watch pup and I on our morning walk down lane. pup senses them. deer bound away. guardian back in yard from sheep fold. something going on with chickens. big red rooster from back coop outside of front coop. lil' rooster in front coop spitting mad. back coop door open, little red hen nowhere to be found. plucked feathers litter the ground. strong smell of skunk ... peach sky in the east. day begins with mystery and big bereft rooster threatening take-over of front coop. dixie, a chicken-chasing fool, is gonna love this..
08:30, 78F, sunny with a mist. heading to hay guy's farm. 3 does and 1 buck cross grade road in front of pick-up. hundreds of cattle egrets in dug-up peanut field. get 12 bales, trade snake stories and water-in-the-woods data.
10:10, 85F, unloaded hay. hung a wash out. hear clucking by back chicken coop. head there with a pocket of corn. red rooster has found little red hen! she's alive! with feathers missing. shoo chickens back in coop. can't find a hole in wire. repair damaged door and secure new latches. happy! prepare to burn yard trash. let sheep in yard to work on weeds.
13:10, 90F, sunny, partly cloudy. east breeze. getting hot, let fire die down. sheep flagging. pup wants out. tough.
17:30, 84F, sunny, dry, smell of wood smoke. put sheep back into fold. wash dry. guardian checking farm yard. pup gets a walk.
19:00, 81F, misty, almost sunset. got 3 eggs. fed sheep. going to feed donkeys, pass back chicken coop and discover half a panel of chicken wire ripped out of side of coop. am I blind? no, wisteria that drapes that side hid the damage. have no chicken wire. move red chickens to the finch aviary. rooster screamed all the way. the hen went quietly. food, water, hay, a roost, wire between red chickens and the world.. almost dark.
20:50, 78F, a fog. many hazy stars visible. distant lightning in the south. owl hoos. guardian barks. good night chickens..

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About marsHen

marine biologist around the Suwannee River delta. Raise Cracker sheep on an old Cracker farm ~ 12 mi. (as the crow flies) from the Gulf.