Cycles of Life, Growth and Death in the Garden

At long last things are begining to ripen in the garden, although much of it in miniature! I dont know if is the chaotic, often freakishly hot weather we have been having, or something to do with the soil, or what, but I have the cutest little sweet peppers you ever did see. Nearly ripe and only slightly larger than golf balls! The first of the tomatoes (I have about a dozen different varieties, that mature at different rates) are coming in, only slightly larger than the peppers, and then there are the adorable and diminutive carrots and parsnips. I think I will make myself a cute little salad this weekend to celebrate!

We lost Ruby over the Fourth of July holiday, chickens just arnt built for that kind of excitment. Now Easter is wandering the chicken yard looking lost and sad. I had a professor once who was convinced that animals felt no "real" pain, physical or emotional, and that it was wrong to "anthropomorphize" them. He was a sad little man. Anyone who has shared any meaningful relationship with animals will recognize that they experience both physical and emotional distress, in much the same way, for the same reasons, and quite possibly to an even greater depth than we do: I dont imagine that animals make value judgments about how they "should" feel, or what is "appropriate" to feel, as we humans do. They just feel it. Ester misses Ruby terribly, as do I.

In part because because we are now down to one chicken, and in part becuase we are in a bit of a homeschooling rut, we picked up an egg incubator yesturday, into which we plan to put some furtile duck eggs next week! (we have to get the gizmo all set up and calibrated before eggs can go in) I think it will be a cool summer science project, and hopfully it will help pull of us out of the rut we have both been in.

At first, I was seeing it as an educational rut, and a reflection of a "bad attitude" on The Boy's part. All of which may be true. But as I was discribing the issues to a friend, I realized that the behaviors I was discribing sounded a lot like depession. My son and I both got counseling after his father left, and I guess I had been thinking "well, thats behind us now, time to move on!" This is where animals have the advantage, they dont think about wether it is time to "get over it". I think maybe that the Boy and I may still mourning our losses, and struggling with the transitions. So, perhaps a little change in the routine will help breath new life into our new life --and who can be sad with baby ducklings around! (yeah, I know, doubtless more work than that to be done). We will keep you posted, photos to follow.

Thanks to zilla for the amzingly cool phases of the moon display in my side bar! I will be putting notes below it on what to plant and harvest in accordence with the current moon phase, if you are playing along at home. I would love to hear from folks if they notice any diffences when they plant according to the lunar rhythems.


Rebecca said...

Are you going to be raising the ducks to keep, or to release into the wild? Because if it's the latter, you should read this before you proceed:

Ah, yes, the evils of anthropomorphism. I'm a zoology major, and I've been told so many times by various teachers never, never to anthropomorphize that it almost seems like a joke.

griffin said...

Hi Rebbecca, we are keeping them --in addition to yummy eggs, ducks are great for eating slugs and converting the little buggers into fertilizer. They are also a bit "sturdier" than chickens.
I'm glad you brought it up, though, as the issue of non-native species and releasing domestic critters into the wild are important points. One reason we have not raised frogs, so far, is that I don't want more house pets, and we have not fount a source for native tadpoles. I have considered hunting up the tadpoles in some local creek, then releasing them as frogs, but so far haven't gotten my act together to actually do it
Anyway, thanks for the excellent question! We'll keep you posted

zilla said...

Good luck with the ducks, and I hope the slump is short-lived in any event. Poor Esther.

Fido is way out-of-sorts since WriterMom's dogs left us. He won't eat breakfast, and he's moping about. He's a pack breed, and I think he liked having a couple of buddies to hang with for a couple of days. Now he seems to be missing the pups something awful, but there is zero receptivity on the part of Beanpole to getting a permanent companion pooch for Fido.

Humans! Sometimes we suck!