Thursday, August 05, 2010

august, the saddest month.

the heatwave continues. it grows and grows. and never stops. 100+ temps. heat index of 110. for days on end. and no rain.

several days ago, we had a baby duck drop from the heat. he was limp, almost dead. i brought him inside. cooled him in bathtub. at one point even gave him mouth to mouth. he perked up with in 24 hours. i kept him inside for an extra day. and when i knew he was fully recovered, i reintroduced him to the outdoor flock.

then yesterday, mother nature wreaked havoc on our farm. we lost 3 animals to the heat. despite our best efforts, i lost my dear rabbit, armel. i lost a juvenile turken. and i lost a muscovy duck. the muscovy i found still alive. i brought him inside and i tried cooling him, feeding him, re- hydrating him. but it was too late. he didn't survive the night.

this morning i awoke to find another muscovy down. i have him in the bathtub now with a fan. i'm giving him water + electrolytes. i use a cold compress every couple hours. i talk to him. i make him eat and drink. he is weak but fighting. and i have a good feeling he will make it. although the odds are against him. heat exhaustion in ducks has almost a 100% mortality rate. but statistics haven't met me. and they haven't met this duck.

in addition to the heat causing losses, a predator has been invading our chicken field. i first noticed last week. when there were white feathers in two big piles near the pond and chicken house. i assumed something got in the chicken house at night. four adult chickens were missing. a new lock was installed and the chicken house door has been secured every night since. meanwhile adult chickens are continuing to go missing. something is stealing our chickens. something that is not afraid to hunt during the day. something that is not leaving a trace. most likely a fox or young coyote. so unfortunately chickens are on 24-7 lock down for a while until we figure a solution. either relocate chickens to our goat field. or install electric fencing on our 4 acres of chicken pasture.

but the saddest loss of all, was the loss of our dear friend and musician dave hagerty. a hit and run accident took his life. his girlfriend, ellen cook, was with him. she survived with a broken arm. and a broken heart. i don't even know what to say. except i'm really going to miss him. his band, fattback, was my favorite local band... hands down. i loved watching them play. i loved doing shows with them. some of the best musical memories of my life. and singing "whipping post" with the boys... my cloud nine. i can't believe it is over. i want an encore. i want more.

"whipping post"

my heart goes out to ellen, dave's family, his friends and fans. and ellen, if you need to get away to the country, you are always welcome here. we have a piano. and goats, and sheep, and dogs. and one crazy llama that loves visitors.


poppymom said...

August can fuck off. I've had enough already.

So sorry for all the recent loses.

Jumada said...

So sorry to hear about all that, Larissa. Hang in there!