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Dealing with Unexpected Thanksgiving Guests

I almost forgot to tell y’all this story. On Thanksgiving Day the husband and I went out to do the chores in the morning and discovered two black vultures had locked themselves in our chicken pen.

The chicken pen is normally left open at all times so that the poultry who sleep there can get in and out to free range at will. The day before Thanksgiving had been cold and drizzly, and we’d tossed some leftovers into the pen so the chickens and guinea fowl could get a good meal and stay dry. Among the leftovers was a chicken carcass, which is probably why we ended up with a pair of vultures.

They were beautiful and by far the calmest of the birds who have gotten trapped in our chicken pen. Once a juvenile Coopers Hawk got in there and couldn’t get out because our three game roosters were taking turns beating the crap out of him. Another time a crow got in and then, despite the vaunted intelligence of corvids, couldn’t figure out how to go out the door he’d just come in. Both the hawk and the crow were upset and panicking, although admittedly the poor hawk had reason to panic what with the roosters trying to kill him.

The vultures on the other hand were very mellow. They didn’t get upset until we got within about eight feet of them. The rest of the time they hung out, preening and exploring and pecking things. We opened the door for them and left them to it, and they continued to hang out on the ground right next to the open door. They preened, they took dust baths, they pecked at the empty feeder. I was starting to feel guilty because here it was Thanksgiving and they’d been locked in all night and might be hungry, so I found them the rib cage of a rabbit carcass we’d roasted and tossed it in to them. They thought food delivery was pretty good.

A few hours later, however, their idyll came to an end when our flock of guinea fowl discovered them and ran them out of the pen. Six guinea fowl are, apparently, able to terrify two young vultures into submission. Who knew?

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Happy Independence Day!

I am still in England. In fact, today I am meeting my future in-laws, and I believe there are plans to see Malmesbury Abbey.

Hope you’re having a good 4th of July (if you live in the USA!)

Oh, heck, I hope you have a good day even if it doesn’t include fireworks.

If you’re wondering what I think about when the Usual Suspects aren’t running me ragged, I believe S. E. Smith over at This Ain’t Livin is running a guest post I wrote on the immigration process today.

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Lady of the Manor 2, Road 0

I had to run some errands this morning as the Manor was in desperate need of resupply; I was running low on food for the Manor Cats, and was completely out of dog food. Oh, plus I needed food for myself. So off I went, and first had to stop to herd a black snake out of the road, and then an Eastern Box Turtle darted out in front of me, so I stopped and helped him on his way. Unfortunately conditions weren’t safe for photos, he was a lovely dark reddish orange.

Having done my good deeds for the day I choogled off to Tractor Supply Co, the grocery store, and the local feed store, where I picked up food for all and sundry plus Frontline for the Manor Cats, or at least the three little girls who let me handle them. So far I’ve gotten Emmaline, I’ll have to wait on Noodlehead and then seduce Briar Rose (formerly SisterTwo) into letting me goo her later.

I also picked up kitten-feeding supplies on the principle that I know how cats are, and if I don’t have kitten-feeding supplies on hand, then one of them will be a total bastard and deposit neonatal kittens on my doorstep. Probably on a Sunday night, leaving me with no choice but to take a box of kittens to work with me on Monday so I can feed them every two hours while I look for someone who can foster them. Cats are mean like that.

And now, having been productive, I think I’m going to eat lunch and then settle in on the futon with dogs to watch a zombie movie.