Friday, May 23, 2008

Goodnight, Midnight

Some of you may know of the severe weather we had in Colorado yesterday. Thankfully, the tornadoes were east of I-25, and we are west of it. I suspect it would be rare for tornadoes to form close to our house, which is close to the foothills, but who knows, I could be wrong.

Regardless of the tornadoes, we still had severe wind, and sudden, quarter-sized hail. Larry and I were at work when the hail hit Lafayette. I called my neighbor to see what was up at home, and was very worried. She had to run outside to cover her tomato plants so the hail wouldn't kill them. There wasn't anything we could do - but we have the guard dogs, sheep and chickens in the pasture. And a truck with a severely cracked windshield.

Yes, I tend to borrow trouble, according to Larry. But I also like to prepare for the worst, so that I am, well, prepared. I was really hoping bad things didn't happen at home. Hoping that the sheep and pups were smart enough to take cover in the barn. Hoping that the layers were smart enough to head to the chicken house and the "juveniles" stayed under their tin roof shelter.

When we got home, the truck was intact. Which surprised me. All our orchard trees were knocked over - but this was to be expected since they aren't even planted yet. My strawberries and raspberries showed limited damage, and I didn't see any major downed limbs on trees. Dogs and Sheep were fine - so I checked on the chicks and chickens. Everyone was OK - their feeders were wet so their food was caked, but they seemed to be OK.

This morning, Larry found my Midnight dead in the chicken house. It took me a minute to figure it out - but then I remembered where Midnight likes to roost in the chicken house. There is one very crooked panel that leaves a big gap at the bottom of the house. Midnight usually snuggles there, often with her tail feathers hanging out of the house. Chances are, if she took shelter there during the storm, she may have been pelted with hail, and gotten very cold from the wind and the rain. It may have been too much for her. She may have helped the other chickens weather the storm, but I still lost my Midnight. It's silly to be attached to chickens, but I can only get attached to the ones I can pick out from the crowd. Birds like Tweety, the Wingless Wonder, the Toeless Wonder, and Bandit. Midnight stood out as the only Black Astralorp we had. Now she has gone to the great chicken pen in the sky, and I will miss calling out for her. I always looked to make sure she was OK. And now she is gone.

Goodnight, Midnight.