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Here is Sooty, coming for a perimeter walk in the evening, one of our last! Hard to believe that four days from now I’ll be in Nelson, and no longer living here.

When I am in the cold at Freezeout Lake, in that glorious place, maybe I’ll remember this perfect summer day, doing afternoon chores in a sarong, tied as taught me by Rye in Melbourne. Gathered peaches and apples, ate grapes from the vines in the vege garden, and plucked green vege bugs off tomato plants to feed to the chooks along with their afternoon silver beet (chard). The bugs wreak havoc on the tomatoes, but I don’t see them eating anything else.

The chooks are delightful. I love their vocalizations, and the more I am around them, the more variety is apparent. Special calls for “what is that?”— which I heard today when some creature on the other side of the netting alarmed them, and they stretched their necks up high to see, and made a sound I had not yet heard— and “get out of my way!” which sometimes happens when they all crowd around for a treat— they jostle each other and make a little single-syllable complaint sound. Their vision is movement-dependent: when I put the green vege bugs down for them, they did not see them until they moved. Green on green. Easier for me to spot them when they move as well. Pattern recognition.