Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt fivegreenacres@gmail.com Poynette, WI
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Stick with it – pics are near the end. And they’re worth it.

Stick with it – pics are near the end. And they’re worth it.
June 13, 2008 Mary Jo

Yesterday was a really rough day. Rough as in not good and inconvenient and lacking particular joy. But nowhere near the kind of rough experienced by soooooooo many others during the latest round of storms and mass, unprecedented flooding yesterday. Given that, I feel a little bit like an ass for mentioning that my day wasn’t particularly good, but it is my blog, and I think it makes today look especially good.

Because today is just teeming with new life.

Yesterday, though, I made my usual rounds to feed the chicks, hens, and guineas. What greeted me in the hen house took my breath away. Two hens in the nest boxes had met an untimely death at the hands of some kind of varmint. Blood, feathers, and some innards were strewn about. It marked a sort of turning-point for me, and in the donning of gloves and swift removal of the carcasses, with my stomach in knots, I gained a measure of legitimacy in this new role of homesteader. Rather ironic, too, as this weekend was to be the fated weekend to transition our broiler chickens from their range in the orchard to our chest freezer.

Not less than five minutes after returning to the house, after cleaning the hen house and bolstering the perimeter against future attacks, I greeted my newly-awake-from-her-nap crabby girl and sat down to check out the details of the thunderstorm that had begun to rage outside. The radar casually mentioned something about a Tornado Warning for my county. Oh, WHAT?? That’s right. Tornado’s due in my neck of the woods at approximately 3:35pm, so have tea ready. It was then 3:05ish, so I had some time. To wrangle the girl and put some pants and shoes on her, kicking and screaming. To wrangle some shoes for myself. To wrangle a radio to monitor the situation. To wrangle some sugary snacks to stop the crying, kicking, and screaming of the girl who’d not yet eaten lunch. And to wrangle the dogs who were not outfitted to greet a tornado.

Then safely in the basement, I had a little time for reflecting.

1. I’ve come a long way with my tornado phobia. A big help: the understanding, about two years ago, that a tornado warning means a tornado is somewhere in the county, not necessarily spotted by someone in my town, or in my back yard. Thus, there’s usually time to breathe, then get the heck downstairs.

2. Why the hell aren’t we using our dehumidifier in the basement??? We have one, but have not yet saw fit to plug it in. Enter musty old-basement smell.

3. There may be nothing more insulting that waiting through “Only the Good Die Young” by Billy Joel on the radio for updates on the impending weather crisis. As God is my witness, we will own a weather radio before the sun sets.

4. Frosted Mini-Wheats and their generic knock-offs are truly clever. Great with or without milk, portable, and instrumental in passing 45 musty dark minutes in a basement waiting for the ceiling to fall.

In the end, we emerged from the cave unharmed and not even touched by that storm, who decided instead to revisit a town hit only last week by a previous tornado. Do what you know, right? Eventually, Andrew arrived home safe and sound, with Weather Radio in hand, and we bunkered down to watch the flooding crisis unfold.

And today, with a wee bit of trepidation, I journeyed out to the hen house to investigate some hen squawking. And this is what I saw in the run:

A snapping turtle, I’m assuming. They’ve been getting our attention a lot in the past few days – Andrew, ever the Boy Scout, escorted one across a busy highway last weekend, and last night we learned of the one trying to nest in the garage of Andrew’s parents. I ran to the house, grabbing Isadora and the camera, and we soon were witness to this miracle: (I’d recommend watching with sound the on, to catch the completely un-coached commentary)

Minutes later, we discovered that Momma Finch was not alone in her nest!

And right before naptime today, we were graced with a visit from Momma Deer and her sweet Fawn, who we first met yesterday morning. Photo taken from upstairs window, so ignore the poor quality and look at those spots!

Today has been a fantastic day.

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