Autumn from about Halloween to Thanksgiving is, as the song goes, the most wonderful time of the year in Tennessee. The days are cool and the nights are cold, which means the bugs finally go away. I can work or play disc golf outside without worrying about chiggers or ticks trying to make a meal of me. We can fire up the wood-burning stove and get a bit of that burning-wood aroma in the house. My Irish skin also much prefers 60 degrees to 80 degrees. I feel more energetic in the autumn than at any other time of the year.
But the best part of autumn in Tennessee is the scenery, which looks something like this:
The only downside is that the most wonderful time of the year announced itself this week with a ferocious wind-and-rain storm. Chareva and the girls were still in Mexico on Halloween, so I did some work and then started watching a football game I’d recorded. Towards midnight, the wind started howling. Then the rain showed up, blowing sideways. I could hear things banging around outside in the wind.
There was a tornado watch in the area, and I began wondering how the heck I could get the dogs and the cat into the basement without a gang fight breaking out. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that. The house lost power for awhile, so I sat reading by the light of a battery-powered lantern.
I went out the next day to survey the damage, half expecting to find our portable chicken coop blown onto its side and the chickens dead or missing. Nope, they were fine. Chareva built a good coop. The umbrella for our patio table wasn’t so lucky. The pole snapped and the wire frame was bent beyond repair.
I also found that a few trees were broken by the wind. Oh well, more firewood.
While Chareva was out of town, moving the portable coop and feeding the chickens every day was my responsibility. Usually it’s a pleasant enough task. But that was before all the pears the girls didn’t collect to eat fell off the trees.
Pears? What’s so unpleasant about pears?
Glad you asked. Turns out the pears have attracted a swarm of bees. Pick a pear, any pear, and it probably looks like this:
The coop is in the same field as the pears. So each time I went out to move it, I was working in a field chock-full of bees. There were usually a half-dozen or so bees flying around inside the coop as well. I figured it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to get stung before the week was out. Never happened. Whew.
We hope the portable coop is secure enough to keep out the raccoons and other predators, and so far we haven’t lost any of the young chickens. But I was curious to know if any critters were coming around at night to test their luck against the chicken wire, so I pointed my trail camera at the coop.
One night around 2:00 AM, the dogs started barking up a storm. I retrieved the SD card from the camera the next day, expecting to see a raccoon or coyote sniffing around the coop. I saw this instead.
Fortunately, deer don’t eat chickens.
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