|Arby sharpening his claws in the tupelo tree|
The weather has definitely changed -- autumn has arrived at last. The temperatures are finally down to the 70's and yesterday it was even a bit blustery with a grey cloud cover. Now for rain.
Arby wasn't the only one climbing trees last evening: two of the new black hens decided to roost in the high branches of the pine tree in their coop. The sun was setting, the wind was blowing and the hens were hunkered down for the night. What I knew but they didn't is that any hen who spends the night in a tree at Frogpond will very likely become dinner for a raccoon before daybreak.
So I gritted my teeth and got a long pole in order to poke them off of that branch. The pole wasn't long enough. So I lugged the tall extension ladder out from the barn, braced it up against the pine tree and climbed up to poke at them some more. To no avail. The hens simply moved farther along the branch, well out of reach of the stick. Next I tried hosing them down with a stream of water. If we had decent water pressure, this would probably have worked. But our pressure is sickly, so I just managed to get our hens very wet, but they stayed right where they were. I, too, got soaked as the water dribbled down my arms and down my shirt. It's very possible that the hens were laughing at me.
Finally I managed to knock one of the hens low enough that I could grab her (she screamed high and loud like a little girl) and set her inside the coop. The other hen was too high up, so I finally gave up and went inside to take a hot shower. When Bruce got home he grabbed the ladder and shoved it upwards onto the branch the second hen was perched on. She was bopped right off and came flapping down. It was a bit of a chase for Bruce to finally catch her, but he prevailed and soon she was in the coop with the others.
Tonight I was worried that we might have a repeat of last night's circus, but all the hens demurely filed into the coop like good girls. Trying to stay one step ahead of the poultry is exhausting.