It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Morning in the Garden and Squeaky tales

The temperature went to 86 degrees today. It was almost too warm for a spring day, but it was lovely in the morning.
I decided to go down to the vegetable garden and thin the lettuce.
 I can't believe the nettles. It's everywhere. It has reseeded all over the vegetable garden. I couldn't thin some of the red lettuce because I didn't have my gloves with me. This is a re-occurring problem of my own doing. I hate to wear gloves. I like to feel the soil between my fingers.
 I tried to pick around the nettles. (You can see the new nettles growing in the red lettuce below.)
I immediately felt that awful stinging sensation as I pick out some of the lettuce. I couldn't do it without touching the nettles. I tried thinning another area and left with a handful of lettuce for the chickens.
Looking over at the other raised bed that was filled with nettles I said to myself, "I will be down here tomorrow morning with the Prospector's gauntlet gloves and a long sleeved shirt. You are toast. There will be pumpkin seeds planted in this spot, my stinging friends, and you will be compost."
The nettle just sat there waving at me in the morning breeze, looking beautiful and green.
Tomorrow it will all be gone and I will have retrieved my vegetable bed from its clutches. I hope.

I took the handful of lettuce up to the chicken coop and threw it into the enclosure. The hens were so excited. They love lettuce. Squeaky, our banty hen, ran around them grabbing a piece of lettuce and running to a corner, squeaking the whole time.
I went around to the big door and into the hen house and Squeaky greeted me through the chicken entrance.
She expected me to bring a special bunch of lettuce (just for her) like I do with the scratch. I didn't have anything "special" for her this time and she was obviously miffed.
 She kept squeaking at me and running around.
"Well, Farmlady, where is my "special" serving of...?
 She walked over to the feeder with the egg maker grain in it and acted like she couldn't reach  into the feeder... like it was just too difficult for her.
She normally has no problem.
"Come on Squeak'. Don't be such a drama queen." I said.
I went over and checked for eggs. There was one in the big box. A pretty, light brown one.
  The Roadies had been laying this morning, all ready. Good girls!
Speaking of Roadies, one of my old red hens came in and started for the feeder. Squeaky saw her coming.
The Roadie was just looking for more lettuce but Squeaky thought the big hen was on the attack.
That's how Squeaky is. She always thinks the sky is falling..
 Squeaky got that look on her face... that wide eyed, deer in the headlights look. She whirled around...
and hightailed it to safety, behind a storage container.
Oh Squeak' What am I going to do with you. Life is just not fair and fears can be disabling , real or not.
See you tonight... I will bring some "special" scratch... just for you.
I promise.

6 comments:

gz said...

eat the nettles! just the fresh four to six leaves, when young and never when the flower has formed. Once wilted with hot water, there will be no sting.
If nothing else, they are a sign of good ground!

I could do with some hot weather- when you can go out in the morning to garden then retreat by ten o'clock for a cuppa,and get on working in the workshop until teatime! Plus of course, gentle rain at night. Dream on !

Brian Miller said...

aww do take something special..i feel bad for her now...smiles...you could def write a book on chicken adventures...ha

BackwoodsCottage Pam said...

My Grandmother waged war with nettles in her Stockton garden for years. They are insidious.

Kerry O'Gorman said...

You can put them in a bucket of water and let them sit for a week then use the diluted tea for your pumpkins...they'll love it. Oh I'm speaking of the nettles, not the hens!! There's always nettle pesto too!

Velva said...

In spite of the nettles the garden looks fabulous and the chickens are happy.

Velva

Madeline's Album said...

I have never heard of nettles but from what you have said they must be awful. Hope you get them all eliminated so you can plant your pumpkin seed. Have a blessed evening. Madeline