weathering the day…

I keep reminding myself that it’s fall out there, or autumn, if you prefer that term. People keep asking me what winter is supposed to be like in Australia, and I say… I have no clue. At present, it’s 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius), and the sun is shining brightly, at 7:45am. The last several days, it has been in the 40s at night, and the high 70s during the day. The week previous, it was in the 60s at night, and the 80s during the day. Go figure.

At this point, I think that the weather will turn a lot colder during the day, perhaps getting down as low as the 40s in the daytime… but then, will it be colder at night, or the same? You’ve got me there, I’m still waiting to find out. Of course, one major difference with the surviving whatever the weather throws at us is there’s no central air or heat in this house. This is a beautiful timber house, but it’s not completely sealed against the outdoors, so the cold air doesn’t stay out. So, jumpers (hoodies or sweaters) and coats are the order of the morning, with a nice hot cup of tea to keep your hands warm. Or sometimes, in my case, a cup of cappuccino. We keep both instant coffee and cappuccino in the house, and I avail myself of it, now and then, but I do drink a lot of tea.

The birds still haven’t flown…. north for the winter? There’s quite a few noisy ones out there, though I haven’t heard a kookaburra in a while. And the chickens never go anywhere, of course. Ah, those chickens. Our family only has two chooks, but the neighbors’ chooks travel around, too. Yesterday, the dog was shaking one of them (or maybe playing), and that was not good. Probably scared the daylights out of the poor bird. But I didn’t feel too sorry for it, after, because I wage a regular war with the chooks, trying to keep them outside and out of the cat food.

When the weather is really nice, we keep the back doors open, and have to chase the chooks out, now and again. If you aren’t around to stop them, sometimes they’ll venture all the way down the hall into the dining room, to get the crumbs under the table. And the day one of the girls dropped her cupcake covered in sprinkles? Who knew that chooks liked sprinkles so much?

But when I do the laundry, I try to keep the back door shut, though if it’s windy, it’ll blow open again. So, the one day, I blocked the door with the laundry baskets. The two chooks come up the steps and wait. And wait and wait. And then one of them gives up. But the other? Not happening. That chook sits there, as if trying to stare the laundry baskets out of countenance. He tells himself that if he believes hard enough, he’ll stare at them, and they’ll move. He’ll do the same thing, if the door is shut, perch there, pooping on the top step, staring through the grass. Forget foraging in the yard, the inside is where it’s at.

So, after the dog shook one of the chickens, and that chook was carried tenderly to his coop, the other one ascended the stairs to look in at the cat food. And then, it gave up, and walked away. It’s pretty sad, I think, that seeing this, I knew that the persistent one was the injured party. I’ve done too much laundry, obviously, as I can tell the chickens apart by their behavior. Wouldn’t you say?

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