After the Rains

After the rain the chickens are out by the pond

After the rains, the chickens are out scratching through the dry ferns by the pond. More than a month after the winter solstice, the sun is much stronger. Though not strong enough to burn away the fog bank that floats above us day after day.

After the rains - chicken in camouflage

After the rains, it’s easy to miss the chickens when they are out in the woods. They blend in well. It’s the soft, rustling sound they make as they scratch through the dried leaves that tells you where they are.

But they are wary. So a predator has to be very, very quiet to get one. Luckily for me, it’s been a while since I’ve lost one. What am I saying? Luckily for me? No, luckily for the chickens. We humans have a tendency to make everything about us.

After the rains, fallen trees and branches litter the forest flor

After the rains, the winds, the heavy snows, fallen trees and branches litter the forest floor. The chickens came through the winter unscathed. The trees not. Many toppled over. Others lost limbs and branches. They block paths. Cover bridges. The effects of this winter will linger long into spring and summer. But that’s nature. Chaos. Bedlam. Death and renewal.

From a distance, wild areas look so calm and peaceful. Sit at a viewpoint and look out over the valley, mountains, sea, and islands. It’s all so harmonious and beautiful. But look closely and nature is a mess. With no one to clean it all up!

The closer you look, the more ghastly nature becomes. Under a microscope, each drop of water is a constant war zone. Bacteria gobbling up each other. Nematodes cannibalizing each other. Micro organisms armed to the teeth racing to eat before they are eaten. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

Still, after the rains, even though it’s foggy, it’s nice to dry out.