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Circle of life

The last few weeks at my homestead have seen an abundance of new life. I discovered a rabbit nest along the side of my garage and one in the garden. A bird built a nest in out front porch light fixture and yesterday, we heard the sounds of new life...chirping! I saw a fawn and the mama near our pond, and I heard what I believe were coyote pups near the back of our property. The baby chickens have successfully integrated with our Easter egger chickens and are doing well. I am sure there are many other signs of new life that I have not seen but are happening all around me.

Last week when I went out to close of the coop in the evening, I was surprised to see 5 or 6 rabbits all around me! I nearly stepped on one, and it startled me, but didn't faze the rabbit at all. None of the rabbits ran off, instead, they continued munching on grass like nothing happened! In fact, 2 of the rabbits didn't mind that I was 5 feet away and they went about their business of procreating! I stopped for a minute, squatted down and talked to them. My husband was laughing when I went back inside because he saw the whole thing and said that I must be a modern-day Dr. Doolittle. Ha ha!

Seeing all the new life got me thinking. It is so amazing that animals have a natural instinct for survival. The bird that built the nest on my front porch was really smart! The light provides some warmth, but also attracts bugs at night, which means that mom doesn't have to go far to find food for the babies. Mama rabbits seek out a spot for their nest and dig a hole in the ground. The mama will pull her fur out to line the bottom where the babies will be and covers the nest with dried grass and twigs. It actually looks like a clump of dead grass on the top! Both of the rabbit nests that I discovered were empty, and the fur was on the outside of the hole flying away. A couple of summers ago, I happened to see a painted turtle laying eggs in my back yard. They dig a hole, lay the eggs and then bury the eggs in the dirt. When the turtles hatch, they make their way to the pond. It is crazy that they know where to go!

Yesterday, Suzy (one of my easter egger chickens), sat on the eggs all day. When I tried to gather the eggs in the afternoon, she sounded like a dinosaur or a raptor screeching at me! She pecked my hand angrily, so I left her be. I tried again to collect the eggs around 5:30, but she was still sitting there, she pecked my hand again and squawked angrily. Finally, at 8:45 PM, I took the eggs out from under her, despite her best efforts to stop me. She has become broody and protective of the eggs. I told her that they will never become baby chickens, because there is not a rooster in the coop! She didn't care what I had to say!

I have added a photo of the bird nest in my front porch light. I am hesitant to turn on the light, as I am afraid it may catch fire. After the babies leave the nest, we will replace the fixture with one that is enclosed. I am continually amazed by the wildlife that surrounds our homestead. It brings joy to my heart to see the circle of life in action.

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