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Tuesday, December 03, 2013


As we are in the mid-northern latitudes of the northern hemisphere, it's that quiet time of the year, with not much happening other than assorted feast days.

The ducks and chickens are in the garden, cleaning up slug eggs and pill bugs and the like.

The birds are specialists to some extent. Susannah, the goose, prefers grass and weeds. The ducks are all about stuff that is two inches deep in the mud. The chickens look under leaf piles on the surface mostly, and also snack on kale and beet greens.

Duck's bills get caked with mud when this kind of thing is going forward. I keep a bucket of water in the garden at this time of year, which should be replaced every three days or so, so that they can snortle the mud, mixed with excess bug goo, out of their nostrils. This makes very rich water, which can be thrown about as a kind of fertilizer.

I've also gathered wood from the woodshed and piled it in the mudroom. This is an annual activity.

We call it the "flu" wood; the idea is that if we both come down with something neither of us may be up to going out to the woodshed in inclement weather. They tell you not to pile wood in or on the house as termites may spread from it to your woodwork. Our view is there are more termites in our house than our firewood. Your mileage may vary.

Beloved retires in two days. I'm as prepared for this as I can be; the Scriptorium (a tiny house at the end of the pasture across the creek bridge) awaits, should we need space from each other during the adjustment period. It has power (barely) and books, and a nice desk, views in four directions, and even a place to nap.

Just outside the east window there is a tiny waterfall. It is for listening.


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