Mother’s Day in the wilds

Since Sita is too pregnant to travel comfortable for hours in a car we headed out west to Easthampton and celebrate Mother’s Day on Saturday. Tessa joined us as well. It was a beautiful day. We sat in the yard while Jim was working in the garden and Faro entertained himself under the sprinkler and by jumping on one or the other of his grandparents who were trying to take a nap in the hammock. Now liberated from my sling I found it hard not to activate my left arm. Not surprisingly I was rather sore by the end of the day.

We finished the afternoon with an outdoor Mexican meal at a lovely small restaurant in Easthampton after which Faro went to bed and Tessa, Axel and I headed out east to Tessa and Steve’s NH home. The distance from our house to Sita’s and from Sita’s to Tessa is exactly the same, 124 miles, but going to Sita and Jim is a straight shot along highways. From there to Tessa is mostly along secondary roads that parade as highways. Axel drove and I slept, claiming my recovery from surgery status (still).

Tessa and Steve’s house is nestled in the woods. I was up early and enjoyed looking over their pond, watching the wild life and seeing the peaceful part of their new neighborhood. Doing it from inside the house was great but once I stepped outside I realized that there are some drawbacks to living so close to nature. There are black flies and ticks (not so great), beavers (it depends) and porcupines (if you are Oona, not so good). I had to put on some strong chemicals, multiple times, to keep the flies away. The ticks I discovered later, and Oona encountered the porcupine with not such a good outcome (an emergency visit to the vet).

Wen not pestered by all these critters, the peace and quiet is periodically interrupted by motor bikes, target shooting (we are in NH where people live free and die if they want to), and lawn movers. One cannot get away from those. Only Faro likes these hard sounds.

I admired the new chicklets that will provide them (and us sometimes) with a steady stream of eggs Tessa promised. There are twelve (still), all with the baby feathers still visible but clearly starting to drop them and develop their adult feather coat. Tessa and Steve have done an amazing job getting the two species used to each other. Still, I tensed up when the two dogs were let into the chicken house. I could tell that Chicha had a hard time reconciling her hunting instincts with Tessa’s reminders to be nice. She couldn’t help herd the tiny little birds into a corner where they squeaked up a storm. Oona just wanted to lick them – but few were interested.

Our afternoon walk produced the porcupine encounter, a rush trip to the vet to liberate Oona from the quills, costing several hundred dollars, poison ivy on my hands and ticks appearing in spite of several tick checks. We should have gone to the mall – I would have gotten my exercise without the poison ivy and ticks and Tessa and Steve would have saved themselves several hundred dollars, even if we’d had bought stuff. By the end of the day all these not so great encounters with the great outdoors were forgotten thanks to a lovely asparagus dinner on their deck and some excellent boutique ice cream.

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