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Where is the camera when you need it?  I opened the back deck door to let the dogs out and caught just a flash of movement across the side of the deck.  It’s size told me it was either a mouse or a chipmunk (the farmers up here call them ground squirrels).  Below that edge of the deck is the retaining wall that son and DIL built during construction.  It is a beautiful piece of stonework that gets covered each spring and summer with Hairy Vetch and Virginia Creeper.  The doors out onto the deck are a full story above the ground, though the deck itself is only 3 steps up.


Beneath the deck there is loose rock tossed in to help with erosion and to keep the weeds down.  I’m sure that it is a great hiding place for all sorts of wildlife, more or less protected from the cats.  As I stepped to the edge of the deck to see if I could spot the little critter, the chipmunk scurried quickly across the deck and through a space I can barely stick my fingers through and down under the deck.  They are cute, but destructive little critters, I hope it doesn’t take an interest in the Direct TV cable that is fastened to the front leg of the deck, travels along the lower edge of the deck then follows the flashing across between the basement and ground floor of the house to where it enters.

Breakfast prep was started as I put some of our fresh eggs on to boil for the pups and me.  My morning ritual includes cleaning up their feeding area, two plastic trays on a bath mat to catch at least some of the food and water that the big guy slings around when he eats or drinks.  His tray always has a cup or more of water and a dissolved kibble or two floating around on it.


Once their area is cleaned up I call them back in to eat, only as I stepped out to call them, leaning around the west end of the house from the front porch as that is where they always return to be let in, I heard a racket of turkey chatter and dog barks and spotted the dogs both chasing a wild turkey across the near hayfield as the hen took flight and landed way up in a tree on the edge of the field.  Shadow once she stopped bounding, couldn’t even be seen in the tall hay waiting for good days to cut and bale.  Ranger continued to stare longingly up at the tree where the hen continued to cluck.  Hopefully they didn’t disturb a nest, but if it is in the hayfield it will suffer destruction as soon as Jeff comes to mow the hay.  Finally I got them back in the house and breakfast eaten.

Then it was chicken care time.  I filled the pans with mash, millet and sunflower seeds to take out to the two pens and just as I stepped out, I heard the rain moving over the ridge and through the trees in my direction.  Raincoat collected just as a torrential downpour started.  Chickens had to wait for it to subside at least a bit.  We are in for a stormy day.  A good day to sew, knit, spin, and read.  Tonight is Knit Night, hope it isn’t storming too badly when it is time to leave.