We had the pleasure of a visit from our younger daughter(another artist) and her fiancé last week. They arrived with their 2 little dogs on Friday evening. We immediately drove to town to attend Mariposa’s 2nd ‘First Fridays Art Hop’. We visited the Riversong Gallery, Penny Otwell, and Franka Gabler. The second ‘First Fridays Art Hop’ was hopping with activity. There were a lot of visitors, a couple of places had live music and the restaurants looked full. The event looks like it’s getting a good turn out.
Saturday was a lazy day. Michelle’s favorite meal, our holy trinity, is baked whole chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli. I started the chicken in the morning so we could enjoy a leisurely late lunch. Before lunch we enjoyed fresh picked basil, Monterey Jack cheese slices and tomato slices layered and drizzled with my homemade basil infused olive oil on crackers….and beer…..and the pet chickens who refused to be left out of the party. They kept coming up onto the deck and joining us in the gazebo. Mike had them jumping for bits of crackers….chickens are very good jumpers. Occasionally Weesie, a Plymouth Barred Rock, got into his lap. One of Michelle’s little 5 pound dogs loved chasing/herding the chickens.
Macy, the chicken herder, Lola, Lacey and Weesie all looking at Mike’s hand with a bit of cracker in the palm.
Weesie communing with Mike.
Smiling me….time to take the beer away. After lunch we walked to the river behind the house. Usually the river is dry this time of year but it’s still flowing nicely. I brought home a plant for the pond and lots and lots of stickers all over me. That evening we watched a suspenseful movie.
Sunday morning Weesie laid the biggest egg I have ever seen. It turned out to be a triple yolk. Later Sunday morning we hiked up our driveway, up the neighbor’s driveway and property to the top of the ridge where there’s a grass landing strip that runs parallel to our street. There was lots of knee high tarweed and stinkweed, which I love the smell of both. There’s quite a view from the end of the runway which looks down the East Fork of the Chowchilla River. We opted to trespass through a persons lot and down their driveway rather than walk all the way back through the sticky weeds and stickers. In the process we met some neighbors we hadn’t met before. Of course now I forget their names. We all had sticky legs, arms and stickers everywhere at the end of our walk. Mike went home Sunday afternoon leaving Michelle to visit a couple days longer. Michelle and I started painting Sunday after Mike left.
On Monday Michelle and I painted in my art room. The weather was so nice we had the windows open. Occasionally we’d hear the chickens squawk and we’d yell at her dog to stop chasing the chickens. We were painting, the music was playing, the chickens were squawking, we were yelling at the dog but the chickens kept squawking. I finally looked out the window to see 2 of the chickens at the foot of the deck stairs, no dogs. I kept looking because the chickens were frozen looking back into the yard. I looked down along the fence (I’m in a second story room) and then notice movement, like a log is moving. It wasn’t a log. I yelled that a bob cat had a chicken and went tearing down the stairs. Dave and I both ran into the yard. The bob cat ran to another corner but left the chicken where it was. The bob cat couldn’t figure out how to get out of the 4 foot high chain link fence. We finally opened a gate and move toward the cat to make it go in that direction. He/she was so thin with mangy looking fur. It left the yard but didn’t leave. Dave walked it away a few time but it kept coming back. It seemed to be sick but a few people have suggested it was a really old cat. One interesting aspect of the event was the ravens in the trees surrounding the yard. They kept squawking as if warning about the presence of the bob cat. When Dave walked it off the property the ravens followed and kept squawking.
Every time Michelle comes to visit she frets about her dogs safety, especially about them going out the doggie door at night. I always reassure her that the animals are safe. I no longer feel safe. Lola, the chicken died 2 days later from her injuries. I have 3 remaining chickens and 2 small dogs that I now worry about. In the picture below, Lola is on the step.
We never got into painting after the bobcat incident. Here’s some painting pictures of our 2 sessions.