Occasionally when I get so frazzled I want to scream, I go up onto the hill behind the house where I have placed a chair inside my poultry yard. It's quiet and seemingly isolated. During the summer, I can't see the house less than 50 yards behind me, and no one can see me, unless they know where and how to look. I look over the top of the hill, through the trees, and up into the sky. There is absolutely nothing to remind me that I live in an industrial world full of hurrying and scurrying to meet artificial deadlines. My chickens sometimes come and look at me as if to say, "Why are you up here? This is our yard." I love my chickens, even though they prohibit my husband and me from taking overnight trips together. Someone has to stay home to let them out at dawn and lock them up at dusk. This is necessary because these woods are full of Opossums and raccoons that would dearly love a nice, chicken dinner. Once, last spring, we were visiting some friends and stayed until a couple of hours after dark. I thought my chickens would be safe because their roost in their henhouse is over 6' high and I was sure that any predators would be so used to them being locked up that they wouldn't pay any attention to them. Wrong. When we got home, I immediately went up to my chickens to lock them in. I was met just inside the gate by a couple of the hens cowering under the bushes. Chickens cannot see well at night, so they are virtually helpless if they are left outside. Several other chickens were scattered across the poultry yard hiding behind trees and bushes. My husband and I, using spotlights, went lumbering through the bushes in the pitch dark looking for them and capturing them to put back in their henhouse. I was sure that I was going to find several corpses, but I didn't. I was lucky that night. Very lucky. I have no idea why whatever predator was up there that evening didn't kill at least one of my chickens, but they were all safe.
But I digress, and my husband has come in and has started reading to me about pawpaws, so I'm going to have to save this and come back to it when I can concentrate. Be sure to come back in a couple of days to see what I've added. NUTS!