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Life Happens

Friday, June 27, 2014

Over the last few weeks, I have had opportunity to reflect on both the ferocity and fragility of life.

For instance, we have two three-week-old kittens from our orange tabby Angel, and when she finally moved them to a place we could see on Monday, we were unsurprised that they were like miniature versions of their mama. While we definitely hope to get her fixed before she goes into heat again, the very nature of nature ensures that life goes on. Life is ferocious (and so are mating cats). Life happens.

Yet those little wee ones are so fragile right now, and need such constant care to ensure their preservation. Angel is being a good mama for such a young cat (just around a year old herself). The instinct that teaches an animal how to care for its young is totally amazing. Life happens.

Almost three weeks ago, two of my hens decided to go broody almost simultaneously. While that has severely curbed our intake of eggs lately, I console myself with the fact that the flock will be expanding all on its own, and next winter we should have more stock to draw from to keep a steady flow of yolky goodness coming in our door. The "girls" set up camp right beside each other, which may have made three weeks of doing pretty much nothing at all a little less lonely for these social birds. Try to reach past them to grab an egg that one of the other hens left nearby, though, and you will find out just how ferocious these broody mamas can be. It certainly was not the best timing as far as my farmyard management is concerned, but life happens.

Just last weekend, I butchered the surplus five roosters that made it through the winter from last year's hatch, and our yard has been so much more peaceful ever since. Since I was processing them myself, I used killing cones for the first time instead of the usual "chop-off-the-head" technique, which requires an assistant. While the post-mortem convulsions were much more contained this way, I did not care for the how I had to yank their heads way down, and try to get my knife through these winter birds' thick skin quickly enough to not actually cause them undue pain before their demise. Definitely not my favourite way to butcher, but even the thickest throat can be cut by a knife sharp enough. Even the most obnoxious, haughtiest rooster is not too ferocious to meet his final end. Life happens.

This is the first year I feel like I "get" this gardening thing, but even so, I have put in a few new beds late and haphazardly, just to get started perennials into dirt before they fry in their little pots, and all my early-spring efforts are for naught. Oh, well--as one book I read this spring put it, plants "want" to grow, and they really need very little encouragement from us (for the most part). They can be fragile when in pots, and when you first plant them, but their desire to survive is just as ferocious as any other creatures, so they mostly make it (unless deterred by insurmountable obstacles to growth, like digging pets, for instance.) Life happens.

My favourite Destroyer of Gardens.

I am so thankful for the beauty that surrounds me every day. I've been enjoying watching the Spring Azure butterflies alight in droves on newly-watered gardens, and wildflowers of all kinds explode in a metropolis of life around me. Either one could be crushed by a clumsy foot, but yet they are ubiquitous. Because life happens.

The Life Cycle of Dandelions

Spring Azure butterfly

Didn't God make his creation something truly amazing?

Whiteface dragonfly

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