There never was a more pitiful-looking, bedraggled chicken than Yuki yesterday morning. She'd gotten wet from the rain and her fluffy topknot stood up in punk-rocker spikes; discolored, to boot. Because she was so dusty to begin with, her white feathers were dirty brown. Satomi and Keiko evidently kept their heads under their wings (or under Yuki) and were not nearly so disheveled. Because it is going to be the base for the Chicken Taj Mahal that Craig is building, I dragged an old milking stand into the Silkie pen to give the little girls a place to get under cover. And it was just in time, because the earlier light rain became a downpour while I was milking (me without a hat or jacket).
The rain stopped and the sun came out later on. After the race, it was absolutely mandatory to go spend some time outside. All the trees and the truck were washed clean, there was no more dust, and the air was perfumed by the pines. The free-rangers were ecstatic, scratching in the damp earth for bugs brought to the surface. The shower did wonders for Yuki, pristine and fluffy again. Searching for any reason to stay outdoors, I cleaned up accumulated odds and ends out on the west point and the dead bracken under the front live oak. In amongst the log rounds waiting to be split, I found quite a lot of firewood-sized pieces, pulled them out and stacked them for winter. I also found the abandoned, intact shed skins of several lizards; somewhat startling until I see that they are not inhabited. In the past, I've discovered hibernating snakes...one reason I will not go out to the woodpile after dark.
Last night another cell passed over, lightning waking Bess and me, shaking the house with thunder. It's just light enough to see that there are still black clouds over the mountains to the east, and there is a thick, dark cloud cover over the valley to the west. If Yuki goes for the punk look today, at least she'll be clean.