Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And then there were six...

We were out playing with friends and doing errands until after 5pm today. It was the longest we've ever been away from the turkey poults. Apparently their loud chirping was just too much temptation for the free roamin' beagle down the street, who is appropriately named "Chopper". As we drove up, Chopper was running off with three poults in his mouth and had left one bleeding (we think it will recover) in the enclosure. I don't know how he got in. I felt responsible, as did Gillen. The truth is that Chopper was just doing what hunting dogs who are still (ahem) intact in their lower regions are naturally prone to do - hunt and kill.

Gillen and Nicolas are, right now, moving the turkeys and their enclosure to the farm where it will stand within the bigger enclosure that Gillen had built for them for next week.

I am glad for the sounds of frogs and cicadas to buffer the sudden, poultless silence. I'll miss the little guys.

On the other side of our home, the writing spiders (argiopes) are thriving. We found a fourth one that has taken up residence on the grape arbor. While I was looking up more info. about them on various sites on the web, Nicolas and GIllen came home. I went out to see them on the porch, where the argiope live, and there, crawling over the large body of the original female while she sucked her cicada dinner, was the tiny male! If you click on the photo you can see it enlarged.
Can you see him, right above the female? I had just read about how small they are compared to the female (only 1/4 inch) or I would have thought he was her dessert. Of course, he may BE dessert, after he takes care of furthering the species. Or is that just Black Widows (and is it only in that Bette Midler song from the movie "The Rose")?

6 comments:

Tamar Orvell said...

So much killing. I won't say violence despite its appearance. Are normal (untortured... by humans) animals violent? Seeing killing on a farm is different, isn't it, from seeing it in person or on the news — the guns, the bombs, the vehicles — weapons of human destruction? Is witnessing killing among dogs and fowl, spiders and ... spiders, any easier to take for a human or some humans?

Madeline said...

To me, this killing isn't completely easy, but is part of the natural order of things. Yes, the farm and country living has given me a respect for the survival needs of animals that doesn't extend to the killing decisions I see made by many humans in the name of survival. I have learned a lot about nature, living out here. I find the food chain and animal kingdom fascinating. Gillen's instict to want to hunt is something I am not yet so comfortable with...

Kaat said...

Lovely reporting on the spiders and great picture! I'm very sorry about the turkeys. Whatever the nature of the killing, it is a loss...

When Amie spots a bug in the house, she runs to us yelling "bug jar! bug jar!" Then we catch the bug together and almost ceremoniously turn it out of the house (alive and well). We tell her: "this is where we live and that is where they live." She seems to understand (she doesn't mind the rain, for instance, knows it is drink to animals and insects and plants).

On a farm, though, those borders are not so clear cut (more animals IN the house, and pests OUTside needing to be eradicated). It's fascinating to watch kids deal with and draw the lines...

Katrien at Mamastories

Madeline said...

"It is fascintating to watch kids deal with and draw the lines"

So well put, Kaat.

Stephanie said...

I've been remiss in not commenting on your beautful spiders, other insects.
How grand to have such gorgeous creatures decorating your porch!
I've tried to capture one (tiny) living in my ivy, but it ducks whenever I draw near with my camera.
Ah well.
Beautiful, Madeline.
Steph in SLC

Stephanie said...
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