Up the block was a Magnolia tree, the big pink flowers popping out of their calyxes, which lay all over the sidewalk like the empty hulls of giant pistachios, like the open mouths of birds. The shell-pink petals were still wrapped in large, conical buds, twice as long as their discarded calyxes. Yes, the heat is cooking all these flowers to an early emergence.
|THE CHICKS ARE|
FEATHERING OUT NICELY.
The chicks are feathering out nicely, and I have been taking them outside to the little chick tractor during the day when it's sunny. It is a movable, bottomless coop so they can have access to the grass and all its varied treats. It's called a “tractor” because if you leave it in the same place for a while, a week or maybe a few days, the chickens will scratch so much that they can actually plow up your garden for you. I move it a little each day, so they can fertilize the yard evenly, but I don't let them plow up the lawn. When they get big, they will have the run of the whole yard. The grown up chickens come over to investigate and the chicks get flustered, running in a feathery flurry to get away from giant, curious beaks from above. Bit by bit they will get used to each other. Ursula noses the chicks' coop, but if you want to know the truth, she is most interested in their food. My dog could easily tear through the chicken wire in my little chick tractor, but I convince her that it's much more fun to chase a tennis ball. “Where's your ball?” I ask, and she tilts her head for a moment, and then turns toward the driveway, where we last had our game. She runs this way and that, searching, and in a few moments she returns with a faded tennis ball in her mouth. The game distracts her from the chicks and disaster is temporarily averted. She retrieves her ball again and again, and with each throw I move the game away from chicken territory. The chicks return to their inspection of their new grassy pen, and each in our own way, we enjoy the afternoon.
|URSA NOSES THE CHICKENS' COOP|
|WELCOME BEAUTY; CULTIVATE PEACE; BLESSED BE.|