Monday, April 22, 2013

Garlic, Worms and Coyotes, Oh My

Finally, the weather is getting warmer.  The trees are starting to bloom and  the grass is turning green. We had a lovely warm evening on Sunday, and I was able to let the chickens out into the yard to enjoy some time with the grass and bugs at sunset.

Many birds seem to be back in Indiana - robins, red-winged black birds, etc.  The birds have been singing and acting a little crazy.  For some weird reason, other birds (not the chickens) have been flying into and hanging out in the chicken coop.  It's like they wait for me to open the door so they can join the girls.  Do other birds eat chicken feed?  I've asked some other people with chickens and they have been seeing the same thing - very strange.  I have flashbacks of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" as I walk into the coop - having to duck and crazily wave my hands to keep the birds from attack (I may be over dramatizing the issue just a little bit).

Spring literally puts more "Spring" into my step.  I'm not even bothered by the rain because it means everything will be coming back to life. The grass is turning a vibrant green, the trees are flowering - everything is awakening from a long winter's nap.  The garlic we planted in late fall is growing quickly.  I just wonder if it will be ready for picking by the time I need to plant the summer vegetables. But I'll worry about that later.

Our weeping cherry before the spring rains have a chance to knock off all of the blooms.
Spring wakens all the critters.  The coyotes are yelping and howling from all sides whether early morning or late at night.  This of course causes the giant dog (my nick name for Sandy Claws) to bark at full volume from inside the house.

Then there are the worms. Icky, disgusting, creepy, slimy, worms/nightcrawlers.  This is the first year I have ever noticed them as I head outside to close the coop at night.  I usually set out with my handy dandy giant flashlight/spotlight.  One night I happen to shine the spotlight toward the ground. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something brown and shiny move.  Whatever I saw, quickly disappeared.  Perhaps it was just a bug, I think to myself.  Then I waved my light in another direction, and I see something else.  This time, I realize that it was a worm - diving quickly back into its hole to avoid the light.  I continue to wave my light back and forth across my path and all I can see are worms - giant, man-eating worms.  I run quickly to the coop only to see more worms!  They are everywhere.  Worms so big that they are actually moving the straw as they slink back into their disgusting worm chambers of horror.  I did in fact scream after locking the chicken door and running back to the house (all the time waving the light to clear my path).  When I enter the safety of the living room, I ask my loving husband if he had heard me scream.  To which he answers "Yes, but you only screamed once, so I assumed you were ok". Nice.  He also lets me know that he has noticed the worms before, he just chooses to ignore them.  

Why am I just noticing this slimy nighttime horror show now?  Are they larger than normal due to the longer winter?  Where are they coming from?  Was there a nuclear accident nearby that mutated these repulsive creatures beyond their normal size, sending them to the surface to feed?  I can take alot of things - but I truly hate worms.  They gross me out.  I know they are needed, and I know they make the soil for the veggie garden ready for planting.  When I have my garden gloves on, I can sort of handle it if f I accidentally touch one while working in the dirt.  But I don't like seeing them at night and I certainly do not want to walk on them.  All you fishermen drooling at the thought of catching a fish with those big juicy worms - you can have them. Yuck.