I'm not sure, but my husband has hired Sophie to do his books while I'm away.
You heard me: away. My daughter and I are headed to the coast of Maine for a couple of days to spend some time with my stepmother. We leave in 2 hours, which is kind of funny if you keep in mind that we are not packed; I haven't made a list; I haven't technically finished my humor column, which is due today; I haven't picked up the house or brought the laundry in off the line or showered or made my husband's lunch. But I am blogging. Hmm.
First, let's get the bad chicken news out of the way. (Calm down. Helen is fine.) Remember how I put Portia in a dog cage on some eggs and how that night the fox came to the coop and took a chicken and also the dog cage was open and Portia was gone? As I said, my husband thought that she and one other bird had probably gotten away and were just hiding.
Well, early Saturday morning, around 3 a.m., I heard a frightened-chicken noise coming from our front yard, out by the animal barn. Turns out, it was Portia being attacked. I guess she had been hiding in the barn for a day or two until the fox thing blew over and something chased her out and got her. We found her body, with the head chewed off, the next afternoon. I really do feel bad about this because I feel like my poor poultry management skills not only messed up Portia's desire to sit on eggs, but also left her scared and then dead (killed by a weasel, skunk, or cat, probably).
However, as I was writing to someone who commented yesterday, this is how it is with animals. if I choose to name them and treat them like pets, I have to face the reality that animals are part of the food chain and even if we don't eat them, someone else will. At least she had a great life while she was here.
So I'm focusing on the positive side of nature. Such as these:
Pet caterpillars. Woo-hoo. Actually, they're just visiting. We went for a walk in our fields last night, and found the milkweed practically dripping with monarch butterfly caterpillars. We took some home and left them on the porch. One of them made a break for it:
See it? It came back later for more milkweed. But this morning it's gone again. The other one is still happily munching away. It will probably going into a cocoon while we're gone, I'm sorry to say. Meanwhile, I'll be feeling guilty that the other went in search of more milkweed and is going to die of starvation in our yard. (I'm a little sensitive about creature survival these days.)
Okay. Ogunquit, here we come. I hope to have great pictures to share (and maybe some knitting?) on Friday. I leave you with two more pictures from Sunday night. My daughter's in the second one.