Why is it that even if you have had a bad day, the sight of a gaggle of geese in a V on the way home is enough to lift the heart? It hurts me to hear them called "flying rats" when they are glorious birds, who protect each other in flight and on land. To see our own domestic geese guarding the ducks is something that we enjoy day in and day out. One of the ganders always has his head up while the others eat or sleep, watching for danger.
Today it was below zero, just, in the morning when I went out to chore. The absence of wind made it bearable, until I realized one hand was a board! I came in to warm up briefly, but still enjoyed seeing the Little Bunch in the rafters of the henhouse, and the other birds all ruffed up, leaning against each other for warmth on the roosts. Last year we left a warm light on in the henhouse at night... a heatlamp that is normally used over baby chicks, a dark red. The year before we did it too, and both years we were invaded by hundreds of starlings. We know why they are called nasty birds... the walls of the henhouse still bear their destruction. One of our projects this year is to pull down the rest of the drywall so the blacksnakes have to nest outside, and the mice have less room to hide. We don't mind the snakes, but when we go in and find five at once, it's a pain in the neck and we don't get eggs! Back to the cold... we found this year that the birds have done well without the extra help of the lamp. Last night we plugged in the new heater for the base of the big metal waterer, and this morning, did not have to carry it, frozen, to the house to thaw. What a help that was! We decided to put Birdy, the bird that Lilly attacked, back in with the others. Her bowl kept freezing, and we wanted to give her access to the water. She was fine this evening, her spottily covered rear all fluffed up like the others, and no one had bothered her. We hate to lose a good bird, and she is only six months old.
The little mare is still not doing well, and we have decided we will call the vet one more time, and get another assessment. We do not want to lose her, unless her situation is far gone, so we decided another farm call is in order. The medicine is helping her, but we see that she is still not moving around freely. The worry is at the back of our minds... we don't know what our poor old pony will do if his friend is gone.
Praying tonight for my friends without jobs, and my friends who are ill. Husband and I realize we are truly blessed to have a warm home and work to go to daily.