I knew this day would come. There are so many foxes in the area, at some point, one had to find our chickens. We’ve been lucky that it took this long.
I was sitting here working from my Chicken Observation Desk (the goshawk still shows up about once every two weeks and needs to be chased away) when, out of the top corner of my eye, I saw movement at the end of the garden, just beyond the fence between our yard and what is at the moment a cornfield. There’s rosebushes and other vegetation in our garden, so I just caught a flicker that struck me as big as a small deer, except that it was rust brown.
I threw on my boots and charged out just as Spouse, working from home today, wandered in asking me what was wrong.
“Oh,” I heard him call after me. “A fox. A BIG fox!!!”
It was gone by the time I got down to the end of the lawn, but I heard it snaking its way through the corn stalks (or, rather, I heard the sparrows flying away from it).
This means we’re going to have to be careful now. Although the coops themselves are safe enough once they are shut and secured for the night, the fences we have enclosing the chickens are nowhere sturdy enough to keep a fox out of the chicken run.
It was a strange day in other ways as well. One sparrow expired early this morning just outside the chicken coop, dying in Spouse’s hands before he let the chickens out for the day. Then, around lunchtime, I found one so freshly pecked to death by the chickens, it’s broken body was still warm. And now the wind is blowing so roughly, the trees are bending in places so thick, you wouldn’t think it possible for them to bend and so much dead wood is falling, I’m afraid that if I go out there to check on the chickens again, I’ll get smacked on the head.
Yesterday was crazy, too, full of things I normally don’t encounter. While running some errands over to the suburb where we used to live, we ended up behind an actual drunk driver. There was weaving going on, to the point where that person’s car spontaneously swerved off the road, overcorrecting itself just in time not to smash into a stone wall. Thankfully, no one was there on the bike path at that point, or it would have been ugly. But, unfortunately, we didn’t have a phone on us, so we couldn’t call it in to the police.
Then, not two minutes later, we stumbled across a massive spill of crumbled asphalt all over the road. Someone had clearly been bringing building material waste to the recycling center and had lost a cubic meter or two of it and then just kept driving. But someone else must have phoned that in, because by the time we were heading home, about half an hour later, the police were there, directing traffic around it, and instigating an investigation with a sniff of the material, then an attempt to follow the trail of debris, like breadcrumbs, back to its source.
Then I got home and read in the news that most of the tigers that had been liberated from the temple in Thailand, which also runs a temple here in the suburb where I used to live, had died and, yes, the poor tigers, but also its weird how this place I live in the middle of nowhere that no one has ever heard of could also sometimes be connected to everything going on in the world, even when it’s going on a full half a world away.
I once ran into one of the saffron and burgundy-robed monks in the “forest” between my old house and their temple. A four foot or so long snake crossed our paths and we both stopped in surprise, me because I hadn’t at that time realized the harmless little grass snakes we have here could grow so large and he, I don’t know, possibly because he comes from a place where snakes can be poisonous??? (I have no idea, actually, if there are dangerous snakes in Thailand.) At any rate, he and I waited for it to finish crossing the road, so to speak, and disappear into the bushes and then the both of us continued on our separate ways.