May was a strange month. Still unseasonably hot and dry. Terribly dusty. Very windy. In general people are irritable, plants and birds and insects struggling. Then the Arizona fires started stirring acrid chemicals and ash into the air. Hard not to feel punished by the gods.
On a happier note, G. planted lots of things. The tomatoes look fantastic. The garlic will be ripe for the picking in another few weeks. She has a huge, delicious crop of peas--we've been nibbling those for 10 days already. Potatoes are up. Peppers in. A couple of basil plants, a couple of eggplants, some dill. The Echinacea (sp) and hollyhocks are up. Hollyhocks blooming. E growing buds like crazy (probably another week). My sage bush survived the harsh winter and spring--it was literally buzzing when I knelt near it last evening: full of blooms and thus, full of happy bees. Much that is flourishing.
And of course, this is the Year of the Chicks. I wish I had kept a journal. It's been a wild blur! Every time we blink, they get bigger and more chicken-y. Today they are 4 weeks and 2 or 3 days old. Their beaks are sharp. Their wings fully feathered. Tails prominent. Feet huge, much too big for their tiny little heads! The hot weather has done one thing--make it possible for them to spend afternoons out in the coop. Over Memorial Weekend (that Sunday) we hung the coop door, then stuffed them into a cat carrier and unceremoniously walked them out and let them loose in what will eventually be their permanent home. *They were not shy at all!* They poured out of the carrier and began digging and scratching as if they had been outside all along (not incarcerated in a cardboard box in our bathroom under a heat lamp for weeks).
Needless to say, we've spent a lot of time sitting inside the coop with them. Enjoying their company. Watching them do chicken things. The young lizards along the back fence have also been watching. I suspect that curiosity may get the better of some of them before this is over. Hmm. (Oh my--what have we done?!) We really have to get going and finish their fortress: dig in the hardware cloth anti-predator skirt, cut and frame out an egg door, put up a roost pole, frame out their front door, and finish the ramp.
We're counting our blessings.
And praying for rain.