Saturday, January 28, 2012

Life here on Planet Jefferson

We love living out in the country.  It's not just the quiet, it's the neighbors and the woods, the songbirds and the wildlife.  Granted I am not to keen about going walkabout at night anymore.   The woods are close and dark and deep.  At night I hear what I swear are coyotes.  If they aren't then our neighbors have some good dog impressionists.  I'm not so wild about getting up to highway 151 and having to dodge the hunters standing along side the road, shotguns laid across arms waiting for the dogs to chase the game out onto the road to them.  No, I'm not fond of that at all.  But all in all, we are far enough away from the road to enjoy our own gathering of the wild and free.  We put out corn to feed the deer and the doves, the squirrels and the rooster.   Yes, I said rooster.  Dudley and a small herd of guineas (I know, guineas come in flocks, but these came in a herd, I promise you,) showed up one warm spring day two years ago.  Now, Dudley once belonged to the neighbors on the other side of the woods, he and his guinea friends.  They came to us when a drove of dogs killed off the rest of their flock.  They traveled through our woods and begged for sanctuary.  Sanctuary they received.  The beautiful red rooster had no tail feathers left, he was lucky to escape with his head on his shoulders.  He was greeted by the cats and they protect him as she sleeps on the porch rail or on the glider.  When he sleeps on the glider, they gather around him to keep him warm, sleeping with him.  The guineas live in the plum thicket.  We had 13 when they first arrived, and sadly we are now down to 4.
I used to wonder what was happening to them.  I worried that dogs were making off with dinner right under our noses, but I don't think that is the case.  We have spoiled them so that every morning when we take the dogs out for their morning constitutional they run to the shed waiting on us to throw out their seed.  They will even gather at the porch steps if they think we have dalllied to long inside.  I started throwing them cold cornbread to the point that now I bake it even when we don't want any.  But getting back to the shrinking herd...they come to the koi pond, claiming it as their watering hole and just make themselves at home in general.  Now if they're at the pond and I'm trying to drive around to park, they come rushing out to greet the truck.   They rush the truck and refuse to move til I get out and shoo them away.  I used to hear my grandmother say that chickens would drown from looking up at the sky to see what that wet stuff we call rain might be.  Was she worried about their sensitivity or what?  When I see that these creatures won't even get out of the way of a truck, I have to say it...guineas are stupid.  I can't figure why they are smart enough to know where the feed comes from, yet not smart enough to get out of we're down to Dudley (who most certainly is smart enough to stay out of the truck's way) and four guineas.  I love those stupid birds.  Think I'll go make them a hoecake of cornbread.