Out here, things are definitely different. Some good. Some bad. The good definitely outweighs the bad.
I’ll tackle the bad stuff first. Let’s go ahead and start with the two plagues I am currently suffering through. Poison Ivy….again….and biting insects of undetermined nature. You know those bugs you may have heard about from an old novel you read when you were in middle school? No-see-ums? Yep, they’re real. They should be called no-see-ums-but-you-can-feel-ums. I have been so happy that we have only seen maybe two or three mosquitoes in the entire 9-months since we moved, but I am starting to wonder if I wouldn’t feel as crazy if I could actually see something to swat at or hit when it bites me. I just walk around constantly scratching and itching from the no-see-ums combined with the poison ivy that seems to linger on my sensitive skin no matter what remedy I use regularly.
The other thing that is currently an issue is the disappearing chick trick that keeps happening in our coop. Every time I raise baby chicks past the time when I think I need to worry about something happening to them, I go into the coop and suddenly notice one missing. No trace of it whatsoever. Gone. Literally as I was typing the last sentence, it occurred to me that a snake is most likely the culprit. Oh. My. Goodness. That just made my skin crawl. They all seem to disappear at about 6-8 weeks of age and I am suddenly realizing that is about the size of a rat. Okay….this is grossing me out right here on the spot. Anyhow…..it is annoying to raise something and take such good care of it just to have it vanish, but it is a common occurrence out here from what I understand. My students talk about their dogs, cats, and chickens getting eaten or run over as if it happens every day.
Now for the good stuff.
Zero traffic. Ever. You can drive for miles and miles and never see another car. We can leave our house at any time of the day or night and rarely see more than a handful of cars on our trip into neighboring towns. It is pretty amazing and relaxing, to be sure. The roads are winding and the scenery is beautiful so I really enjoy when The Outdoorsman drives so I can look at the scenery without the impending risk of careening off the road.
When someone flashes their car lights at you as you drive past, it does not mean a police officer is ahead. It means “Get ready to slam on your brakes right over that hill up yonder, because something big is in the middle of the road!” We have finally caught on and have actually used the technique ourselves several times. Most of the time, it is a cow or calf that has decided the grass is greener on the outside of the fence. Sometimes, it is a tractor or combine speeding along at about 10 mph. Sometimes, it is a house or building being moved which is, apparently, much more common in the country. In fact, even our old house was moved to our property from the center of Austin to save it from being demolished.
Lightning bugs. Like sparkling, white Christmas lights, the fireflies light up our fields and forest in a magnificent display of God’s creativity. For the past several weeks, we have watched the lightning bugs appear each evening and do their magic while weaving in and out along the thick tree lines and along every densely wooded fence line of our property. It is such a beautiful display and brings back lots of memories of camping and traveling for all of us here on Green Acres. I am so thankful for this unexpected treat on our land.
There is no doubt in my mind that we are in for many more surprises out here. Most of those surprises will become an amazing part of our Green Acres Adventure.