I’m cute, I’m spoiled. Clearly I have an attitude–but I’m a really good boy. And when my baby brother grows up, he wants to be just like me.
Archive for April, 2011
It all started on an early October day two years ago. I was in the garden cleaning out plant trays and pots. My friend Paul was helping me put the garden to bed for the season, tilling the beds and spreading manure to overwinter.
My garden is located in a lovely scenic location overlooking the ocean, and nearby is a partially overgrown protectory field some distance from the garden, up a short path through the woods. All of a sudden Paul jumped off the tractor and came running over to me. “You’ve got to come see this,” he said. “There’s a partridge attacking the tractor!” Each time Paul drove along the woods road to and from the garden, an apparently very territorial partridge would come running out of the woods and charge at the tractor. We’d never seen such a thing! I watched him for a while and found the whole spectacle quite entertaining. Finally Paul finished up his tractor work, we went back to our other garden chores, and the partridge disappeared into the woods. Once winter set in, I didn’t think I’d give the little guy much thought.
Come early last April, though, there he was again. Whenever we would go near the gardens with any kind of motorized equipment — tractor, rototiller, truck, you name it — this little partridge would come out and chase us around. So we gave him a name — “Mr. G” — for GADS, he scared the bejeezus out of us at first and have since adopted him as our farm mascot.
Technically, Mr. G, I found out since is not a partridge after all, he’s a ruffled grouse, and although we’re pretty sure he is a “he”, there’s no guarantee. Clearly, though, Mr. G considers at least five of my gardens to be part of his territory. He’s especially protective of the perennial garden. If we spend any amount of time there — whether we’re planting, weeding, or harvesting — we can pretty much plan on seeing him. First he’ll hover around in the bushes on the edge of the woods. Then he’ll watch me while peeking out from under my Jeep. Eventually he works up the courage to come right out into the garden with me, within arm’s reach as I’m working down on the ground. And make no mistake — he is not trying to be friendly! He puffs up his neck feathers, makes little peeping noises that are apparently supposed to be threatening, and even sometimes charges at me as I move around in the garden. It’s a little unnerving but he’s harmless enough though, and we were becoming very fond of the little guy. Every time we finish up our work, he’d chase the Jeep up the hill as if to say, “There! I finally scared them off.”
This past winter though remarkably enough he did come to my mind, I found myself wondering if he was okay. Would I ever see him again? Then, just as these past few weeks weather warmed we started hearing a familiar sound coming from the woodline — the rhythmic “drumming” of a male ruffed grouse beating his wings to attract a female. “Could it be Mr. G?”, we wondered. And then, a few days ago, as Paul was running the saw readying my new timbers for the raised beds, who should come charging out of the woods but the little guy himself, looking none the worse for wear and ready to take us on for another season. I snapped this photo with my cell phone to let you meet Mr. G.
We’re thrilled to have him back, even if I’m going to have to give him a little attitude adjustment soon no doubt Live long and prosper, Mr. G! Welcome back!
Deacon and Mac just got their summer clips. No doubt they’ll be in the pond by noon chasing the buffleheads around. They’ll try like heck, but come home empty jawed. The buffleheads are one of the smallest of the diving ducks–and much too quick for these old guys to catch. Oh the joys of Spring. 😉
Yesterday I was out in the garden splitting and transplanting the primroses. I spread lawn fertilizer and lime to try and get a headstart on what has become a later season than I had hoped for.
The day before that, I was at a friend’s farm playing with the newborn lambs and goat kiddies and watching the sweetest ducklings hatch out. It’s been such a nice week weatherwise.. Spring has finally arrived. Hooray!
Boots, mittens, hats and shovels stored away for another year.. or so I thought. And then old Mother Nature played a cruel trick on us, she dumped another eight inches of that damn white stuff on us again. 😦 The tulips and croccus are presently so confused, they don’t know which end is up–or if it’s even safe to show their cheerful faces or not? I wish I could say April Fool’s–but that’s just not the case. Grrr!!