Monday, September 24, 2007


The day after Homecoming, Bob R took me to a delicious and outstanding lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s, home of my favorite “triple prime” burger, plus a starter of wonderful crab cakes. With my tummy in seventh heaven, I joined him for a ride up to Avalon.

The first of the leaves were turning, which is quite early for our area, but I believe this extended draught has caused a good deal of early leaf-fall and, sadly, some deaths where trees have not been watered. We saw many brown-leaved trees along the roads going up. The crops seemed to be through early, and to bear a smaller yield, also because of the draught, I imagine.

Lorena L and her darling infant daughter had been there before us, Melissa told us when we drove down the access road to meet her. Even where the shade is deepest, we could see the distressed condition of the flora. Even the weeds were wilting. The creek’s feeder and the creek itself were bone-dry.

Melissa has been working every day on the chicken coop, which runs along Locust Creek, but far enough away that the chickens do not pollute the creek water with their droppings. It is almost finished, now! It is a tremendous achievement, which Mel has done solo and without blueprints, as none of the ones she saw were right for Avalon. So she has done all the figuring herself.

In addition, the thrifty woman that she is, Melissa has scavenged construction materials from the ruins of an ancient house on Avalon which now lies in a heap. So, many of the boards in the coop are century-old yellow poplar. This makes the building so much more interesting to me, as it is a piece of living history, preserving more than a bit of Avalon’s past. She says she will build the run next, fencing it all around and overhead as well to protect the hens from predators, which are in abundance on Avalon. We have flocks of buzzards that roost around the old ruins. She has not roofed the coop permanently yet, being undecided about materials. It is temporarily covered securely, however.

She reported that, all things continuing on schedule with the construction, she would be ready to receive the chickens next weekend! I am so excited! It is our very first step towards bio-dynamic farming.

It was sweltering hot, about 100 F, but Mel was working away! Her chain saw's rough song accompanied Bob’s walk, with his camera, over Melissa’s shorter path. Meanwhile I was glad to rest back in the comfortable nest Mel has created for me on the back porch, sing a song to Avalon, read a book to its end, do a double-crostic puzzle and nap.

Just when Mel decided to take a break from her labors, Bob obligingly returned from his walking tour. He broke out some ice cream, which he had in his car cooler, and a fresh watermelon and Bob and Melissa had a small feast! I was too full to eat again, but did drink at least a half-gallon of water.

As we were conversing, the telephone rang and it was Mick, wondering where I was! That’s the country for you. I thought it was about two hours earlier than it really was! So we gathered up our things and sailed back to Louisville in Bob’s sporty Subaru.

Bob put his photos on our computer before he left, so we could include a few shots in this log entry, and took off to Michigan and his home at dusk, armed with a sandwich and a couple of bananas from our kitchen.