Notes from Windward: #67


November Update

tending to the transition

  November 17:

     The switch back from daylight savings time is an odd sort of event here at Windward since our focus on our land and its systems is such that we don't often pay attention to what particular day of the week it is, but the "loss" of an hour of daylight in the afternoon does trigger a notable shift in Windward's rhythm. We still start off the day with our morning walk at nine, finding that getting outside and exposing ourselves to natural light goes a long way towards keeping Seasonally Affected Depression in check--it's way too easy for those of us with northern European ancestry to switch to hibernating mode this time of year.

     There's not been a lot of stuff to write about since much of the work that's been taking up our time involves wrapping up details such as getting the remainder of the apples cut up and dehydrated, scrubbing the kitchen ceiling, butchering rabbits and installing a new clutch in the work truck. Also, the fall rains have come and so the outdoor activity tends to be now and then in between rain squalls.


     Today we took on the seasonal chore of putting a new layer of wood chips down in the chicken run. The run's roof hinges up to provide easy access, at which point most of the hens decide to retire to the roost although a few hens took advantage of the chance to check out the rest of vermadise looking for tasty bits between the plants.

     Over the past three weeks a predator has been going after our ducks and guineas. We lost two guineas before they figured out that there's a reason why the peacocks roost up in the trees, but the ducks aren't able to roost. My best guess is that it's a skunk that's been raiding the duck palace--we're usually able to catch them in the live trap and dispatch them with a hose, but so far the traps come up empty.

Meg carrys a grumpy duck into vermadise

     Now that we've invited the surplus roosters to dinner, we figured that there was enough room in the chicken run for the four remaining ducks to seek refuge at least until the live trap does its job, so once the wood chips were raked in, we transfered the ducks into vermadise.

     We're okay with losing a critter or two to the local predators, viewing the loss as sort of a nature tax--part of the cost of living at the edge of the Cascadian wilderness, but we need to keep enough breeders to be able to regenerate the flock next spring so it was time for the ducks and chickens to figure out a way to divvy up the run. I'll let you know how that works out.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 67