Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Then There Were Three

I found Esther in the morning.  She hadn't made it through the night, but had died inside, dry and with her roommate Tess.  Esther was named after my mother, who had been born on Easter Sunday in 1904, and I find it rather fitting that her namesake died on Easter to bring it full circle.  That leaves Inga, Sheila, and Tessie.  I'm not sure that three constitutes a herd, probably more like a gathering.

There are logistics to consider when a larger animal dies.  It was brought home to me (again) that I can no longer do that which I used to when I wasn't able to pull the body from the barn after the others had been fed and cared for.  They don't call it dead weight for nothing.  I sat down to consider my options and decided there was nothing for it but to call for help.  When Beau drove up on his four-wheel 'Gator, I asked him how it felt to be the neighborhood white knight.  (He said it felt pretty darn good.)  In a matter of minutes he had her loaded and over to the copse of live oaks in the south pasture.  It's always hard to say goodbye to an old friend.

While it didn't rain per se, there was a constant drizzle all day long, the kind of dampness that leaves a person with curly hair looking like they're wearing a steel-wool helmet.  After any number of trips down to the barn, my bibbies were wringing-wet soaked to the knees and had to go in the dryer (thank goodness I've got one).

The hummers are back in full force and had emptied three feeders (two quarts' worth) of "juice" in one day.  They need to drink often in cold, wet weather to keep their body heat so refilling their jugs was definitely necessary yesterday.  The common hummer up here is the Anna, but it seems that just one particularly lovely, bronze and copper-colored bird comes every year.  I think I've identified it as an Allen's, I'm not sure.  They're not supposed to be in this area at all.  Deb had spotted one on Easter and I saw it again yesterday.  It's like finding the prize in a box of Cracker Jack.

Putting the girls to bed last night was a lonely business.  I don't know if goats mourn, but it was sad for me to count noses and find only three.

It rained hard all night.  I'm about ready for some sunshine.


Emmy Abrahams said...

Yes, a bit of sunshine would be very welcome...maybe by the weekend.

And poor Esther....I am sorry to hear about her and I am sure the other three are mourning.

My hummers are also in full force...while officially "owned" by three, occasionally another tries to sneak in...but they are very territorial and this time of year...Besides dealing with all the storms, they are mating...and every bit of sugar water is worth a fight.....
Birders I know, told me that in this climate, if you feed them all year, they will keep coming and not migrate..especially ones born late.

Now to some dry warm days!!!

Kathryn Williams said...

Aw my condolences about Esther. Gosh we've been through a lot with you since this blog began. Glad Esther was safely inside and not out in the rain...for her sake. And here's hoping you get sun, SOON!