How do I know they aren’t pleased? They told me so. Late Saturday I went out to the run to take them some lettuce and say hello. They thought I was going to let them out. I waved the lettuce at them and distracted them for a few minutes but once the lettuce was gone the scolding began. They all started chattering at me. I was squatting down trying to reason with them because, I don’t know, I thought me explaining why they couldn’t go out would somehow make sense. Instead they just got louder and mobbed me. Marianne jumped up on my back, Elinor stood on my leg (I was squatting down still) so she could look me in the eye while she scolded me, Mrs. Dashwood stood on the coop ladder next to my head squawking at me and Margaret half turned her back on me and screeched so loud the neighbors probably thought I was trying to wring her neck.
Apologizing profusely, I managed to extricate myself and made an attempt to escape through the run door. They were not having it, however, and squeezed themselves between my feet and out into the chicken garden. They were pleased as punch and if chickens can be smug, they were. To prevent me from rounding them up they scattered around the garden and then completely ignored me.
Saturday it didn’t rain but it was a cool, damp, cloudy day with some wind. I went out on a bike ride anyway. The weather was so odd I didn’t know how to dress. It wasn’t cool enough for long sleeves but sometimes the wind made it feel cold. Most of the time is was uncomfortably clammy.I rode out to the tiny town of Marine-on-St Croix and then a little beyond it to William O’Brien State Park. I was hoping for some fall color but it is much too early yet apparently. Once I got out of the city the ride was beautiful in spite of everything — fields and woods and lakes and streams and quiet roads. I loved it so much out there I am planning on simply printing off a map of the area sometime and just riding around to explore.
Not far up the road from the town and on my way to the state park, my front tire hit a sharp rock in the road and I got a flat. But I had a spare tube with me and I am now an expert at changing a bike tire so it was no problem. It took longer than I would have liked because everything was wet and Astrid was covered in dirt. By the time I was done with the tire I was covered in dirt too. A couple of nice people stopped to ask if I needed help, which I appreciated.
Because the flat took longer to change than expected, by the time I got to the state park I wasn’t feeling much like exploring. Plus the wind was beginning to pick up, my allergies were starting to go on super-charge, and I was tired of feeling clammy. I will save exploring the park for another time.
Today Astrid got a good cleaning. My bike shop is also having an end of season sale and I went and took a couple test rides, intending to find Astrid a sister. I found one I really liked, but there are a couple others at a different shop I want to try out before making a final decision.