Life without chickens

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This weekend the 13 ladies were placed in the coop, then onto a trailer, and headed to their new home. Their coos and personalities and eggs will be missed. With shorter days ahead I was not able to get excited about caring for them in the dark before and after work. I must admit the five foot king snake that decided my ladies are fantastic roommates and was swinging from the shed rafters when I checked on the ladies at dusk one evening helped me decide, especially after a friend assured me that having chickens meant dealing with a couple snakes a year. Sir snake was escorted to the other end of the property once again. Hopefully he will stay in the woods this time, dining on rodents instead of chicken eggs.

Yesterday I loaded Dad’s pickup twice, tied the tarp over each load with knots that actually held (proud of that!) and went to the dump. Now I have an open 9′ x 12′ or so shed behind my walk-in shed with a cross-breeze and amazing views: the shade garden under the huge pecan on one side, woods on another and a young muscadine vineyard on the third.  Not to mention the old chicken yard with lots of loose soil and fertilizer under huge tree trunks. Dad’s decades-old rusty cultivator will look great against the white wood wall. Oh, the possibilities are endless!

Today I will clean out the mulch under the shed and start to lay out the new beds, lay new mulch there, under the shed, and around the trees. I have begun to look at my nursery of container plants with a whole new perspective. There is a spot perfect for camellias and a place for my new trumpet vine, plus a large area for Lenten roses, heuchera and ferns. There is also a place where I must fight to kill an ancient stand of nandina, but the nandina was cut back two weeks ago and two huge, planted containers can rise above that battle.

For now an existing plastic table and chairs will move into the space, and I can hang chimes from a dear friend, and the comfy hammock.  I’ll look at redecorating and adding a lighted ceiling fan later. Off I go…

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