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Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly…well, in this case, chickens.  I have to tell you, my chooks are growing at an incredible rate of knots.  I think Ella, and perhaps some of the others,  might be ready to do a bit of free-ranging. And there is a lot of wing-flapping happening.  In fact, I plan to start letting them all out for a while each afternoon to have a scratch before bedtime.  No more cheeping–the sounds are becoming more chook-like by the day.  Satchmo isn’t exactly crowing yet, but I think he is beginning to notice that he is, in fact, a rooster.  I can’t wait until he starts to strut his stuff (the crowing stuff!).

I’m not getting any eggs at the moment.  The Australorps aren’t quite old enough yet, and Blossom, dearie, is now moulting.  There are feathers everywhere.  She hasn’t started to look scraggly, but she must do soon.  I mean, how many feathers can a girl lose before it starts to show? When they first arrived here at Fossil Cove she was seriously bigger than the others, despite being a bantam.  Not any more.  It won’t be long before her bantam-hood is overtaken by the others’ much larger Australorp breeding.  I believe she is a Suffolk-Silkie cross, which I assume makes her a Sulkie. Which she is.  Sulky. While the others all shower me with (cupboard) love when I go out to feed them, she stands back and watches, with what can only be described as disapproval.  Perhaps she is too old to learn new tricks.  She only wants to eat the actual chook food,  taking no interest in the goodies the others love.  Cheese is the trick. My-oh-my how the others love cheese.  I do give them the occasional cheese-free day, just so they don’t become too addicted to a good thing.

In the front pond the fish are thriving.  There are fifteen of them.  I don’t think any of them have names yet, but there is still time–they are young.  Or at least small. At the moment I am augmenting their diet with fish food from the Animal Tuckerbox.  I need to get some plants in the pond to provide cover, for their safety.  So far I’ve only put some scraggly logs in the pond to provide cover, so will have to do better than that pretty soon, before the kookaburras and white-faced heron discover they are there and hoover them out.  I fear they–the fish–will become accustomed to sunning themselves in full view, in the false belief that pond life is a good life.  It’s easy to become complacent here at Fossil Cove.

At least it was until Tuesday morning.  There I was, in the shower, needing a full head of steam for a busy day ahead, but having only a full head of lather, when suddenly the water stopped.  It didn’t just slow down to a trickle, or sputter a warning.  It just stopped.  I’m on tank water here, so am totally reliant on my water pump to deliver lovely fresh rain water to all parts of the house.  So when the water stopped abruptly  I said to myself, “Self, this could be serious.”  Last time this happened my 12,000 gallon tank was empty, due to a leaky pump. As on the previous occasion, Tuesday should have been a  full-tank day, thanks to copious amounts of rain in the preceding days–my water supply comes from my roof.  Anyway, where was I?  Yes, in the shower with a head full of lather and no water.

Quick study that I sometimes am, I immediately noted that the bathroom light was still on, suggesting it wasn’t a neighbourhood power blackout. That would have been much too easy.  So with a towel around my head to soak up the suds, I went looking for a sign–a sign that this was going to be a simple fix–like flipping the switch back on–and I would be back in the shower in a trice. I’m guessing you have already jumped ahead to the part where I learn that there is Trouble in River City.  Trouble.  That starts with T, which rhymes with P, and that stands for Pump.  Oh, you know where this is going…  I won’t bore you–or frighten you–with the sordid details.  As of this moment I have a temporary pump while my own (two-year-old-very-expensive-Danish-pump) is being … serviced.  I don’t yet know whether it can be fixed, or will need replacement.  At first I was gutted (as opposed to guttered) to discover that there was a two-year warranty, which had expired five weeks ago… but it turns out that there was water in places where there shouldn’t a been water  (Am I sounding like Nancy Sinatra here, or what?)  so the warranty wouldn’t have covered it anyway.  I don’t know if that is the good news or the bad news.  Stay tuned.

Right now I think I’ll go collect some feathers–a girl can never have too many pillows.       MM

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