You may or may not know that my husband is from a small town in Central Utah: Moroni, Sanpete County. A Sanpeter, as some say. His family has a farm where he grew up working with turkeys, cows, sheep and loving every minute of it (or most minutes of it). He would love to go back and we would move there if there was employment to be had. Perhaps Urban Planning wasn't quite the right degree...anyway...
Tim's amazing farmer skills have paid off in many ways. One very noticeable improvement to our world is the abundance of vegetation in my yard. For those who are familiar with my yard now, it was very different when we moved here. There was a tree in the front yard (paper-bark birch) and the quakies in the parking strip. Other than that, there was nothing but crappy grass. Tim has worked hard to cultivate our little garden of Eden. We have very poor soil (almost no soil), so the grass is still crappy, but our gardens are another story. At last count we have 18 trees, a row of rose bushes, 5 lilac bushes, currant bushes, a strawberry patch, irises, day lilies, various flowers in the front yard and vegetables everywhere. Another day I will share some pics of when we moved in and what we look like now- in 5 short years.
Another manifestation of the 'farmer within' is his desire to raise animals. Tim's dad managed the hatchery for Moroni Feed Company for years- from whence sprang your Norbest turkeys, folks. Tim is now on his second incubator & attempt at poultry hatching in our suburban house. The first was a tiny one where he hatched a baby quail. It was set free in our yard as a baby and I'm sure it lives on somewhere. (Possibly in the form of a neighborhood cat.)
That was a few years ago. Now Tim has a larger incubator (in addition to the wifey) and recently hatched pheasant eggs with the plans to release the birds at the farm for future hunting. We had 9 eggs hatch. Over the course of a few days we lost all but one. I blame the inexperienced attendant (me) who had no idea how to help the little things during their first hours. I found one stuck in duct tape on the side of the pen, one stuck under newspaper so it couldn't find the food, and on and on. Tim has been instructed that if he does this again, he has to take a few days of maternity leave when the eggs hatch. I felt terrible that they died off steadily. Maybe it couldn't have been helped, but who knows.
So, now we have one baby pheasant who is going strong and living in its spacious coop in the garage until it is big enough to take to the farm (shortly!!). When we come home and get out of the van, we are greeted with little peep-peep-peeps. We all listen for it and like it. Not so overwhelming as the thousand of baby turkeys all at once in the brooder coops at the farm.
Side note- those of my readers who know me as that "city girl" they grew up with, you can't imagine the things I have done with animals in the last few years. Those of you who are "country-folk" know that your experiences still far outweigh mine!
Anyway, back to the story. Yesterday, we came home from the grocery store and closed the garage. We listened for the peeping and heard it. As we were unloading groceries, I noticed the sound seemed louder than usual. As I went around the corner, Baby Pheasant had followed us into the house. Remember how I said it was in its coop? Apparently it has learned to fly or at least jump high enough to escape somehow.
We have been teaching the girls about idioms lately. For us "flew the coop" is no longer a figure of speech- it's reality.
We tried to catch it before it got back to the garage, but it was closer than I to the door. It hid in a corner of the garage for a while. I was worried that if we didn't catch it I might run over it next time I pulled out of the garage. We went back in the house and left the door open, hoping it would come in where we could get to it more easily. Remember, I am hugely pregnant and can't easily crawl around behind lumber and tables and other stuff stored in the garage.
A few minutes later, Baby P followed us back into the house and I let it come in far enough that I could close the door without smashing it. This time it was hiding behind the tv stand in the toy room. Aubrey worked to shoo it toward me and we tried all sorts of tricks to lure it into the safety of a little box. Not even Aubrey's bait of Cap'n Crunch was enough to get it into the box. On my hands and knees, squished between the wall and tv stand, I decided I just had to bite the bullet and grab the little peeper before it was hopelessly lost in my house.
A chase ensued. I caught Baby P in my hand- please, hold your applause. I was almost back to the garage and loosened my grip a bit and it got away. Again, I cornered and caught it, not loosening my grip this time, and carried it back to the coop. It wasn't pretty, but I got it.
I had to climb up on a stool to put Baby back to bed and then work to alter the coop so there weren't any spots through which to escape. It was a very eventful morning. The whole episode took about an hour. I kept calling Tim to give him updates and ask his advice. He was trying his hardest not to laugh- not that he could do anything else about the situation while he was comfortably at his desk. I just kept telling him over and over (and probably louder and louder) I'M NOT A FARMER! I'M NOT A FARMER!
Yesterday was the summer solstice. It really was the longest day of the year in so many ways. Maybe tomorrow I'll blog about the rest of yesterday's adventures.