Friday, July 11, 2014

"Birds, Fans and Coffee Clutch"

Howdy Folks,

We are surely stuck in a pattern of hot, humid and rain here in Appomattox, VA. Coffee Clutch started at 73 degrees and very still heavy air at 6:15 this morning. As I went about feeding the chickens, Saturday and Kessy the woods were alive with birdsong. I'd been missing that lately, a combination of birds not being very active and that doggone fan in the barn.
The Coffee Clutch bunch
Chores complete, I settled into my chair next to Kessy, and poured my first cup of Folgers from my thermos. The fan whirred. It's not too loud, but makes enough of a drone to muffle the bird song, darn it … I could faintly hear our busy little Wren chattering and singing, and thought I heard a Cardinal, and perhaps an Indigo Bunting too. I knew I heard the Scarlet Tanager. I tried hard to listen, but it was a muffled chorus, not a glorious symphony.

Kessy's barn is very open, only the north wall is closed, and that wall has widows. But nestled snugly in the trees as it is, when the summer humidity rolls in, and it's been exceptional this year, it gets very damp and heavy inside. So for most of the summer that fan hums, whirrs and moves air. And bother me. Kessy loves her fan and divides her time between the cool shade of the tall trees and standing in the breeze of her fan. The fan also help with flying pests. I have friends who have fans in their run-ins just for the purpose of keeping the biting flies out. And really, Kessy's bedroom is not much more than a run-in with a hay room, tack room, and storage room attached, and a twelve foot over hang running the 40 foot length. I always figured the big openings and long overhang would create plenty of natural ventilation, but not in this weather!

So as I sat sipping and trying to take in the morning birdsong I decided the fan must take a break. Switching it off instantly allowed the beautiful songs to drift inside, and I reveled in it. Kessy's munching added the perfect touch. Delightful.

We enjoyed the magical music show for exactly 2 minutes … Then the rain started again, heavy. All the chickens, and roosters, ran at warp speed for cover inside with us … The roosters lighted on the half wall, all 3 of them, and began to crow. And crow. Drowning out any hopes of listing to the Cardinal, Summer Tanager and the rest. I smiled to Kessy, switched the fan on again, and poured my second cup …

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry

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