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100 miles and ready for more

My 100 mile/ 161 km bike ride Saturday was all kinds of fun in spite of the weather being extra windy. I expected the wind because last year it was a near constant headwind most of the time. This year they changed up the route a little and there was actually a tailwind now and again which was glorious. But even better than that, I had a friend riding with me! This was the first time she had done a century. The final ten miles were a bit of a struggle but she made it. I had to laugh because she kept saying, “I don’t know how you rode 200 miles!” I told her it was lots of training and a little bit of insanity. But in spite of her struggling at the end, I know it went well when I suggested a century ride next year in May and she replied to just let her know the date. Huzzah!

But that was the least exciting thing about my weekend.

Yesterday the Dashwoods were out and about in the garden and Bookman and I were indoors doing chores. The day was warm and we had the windows wide open. Bookman was in the kitchen by the door to the garden when he hears great agitation and alarm from the chickens. He ran out to see a hawk on the ground about two feet away from Marianne!

The hawk was young and smaller than Marianne who was making herself look even bigger and raising such a ruckus that the hawk didn’t know what to do except leave. It flew up to the wire above the garden and Bookman jumped around making a ruckus of his own until the hawk took the hint and flew away. I was proud of Marianne for her bravery but also wanted to scold her. Silly chicken! That hawk could have killed you!

But Marianne was quite worked up and had to tell us all about what she had done. We looked her over to make sure the hawk hadn’t attacked her. She was perfectly fine. If she would have let me I would have scooped her up and hugged her tight in my relief. Margaret then came out from under the deck where she had gone to hide. She was making excited and anxious noises all at once. Elinor turned out to be in the coop laying an egg and missed out on everything. But where was Mrs. Dashwood?

Bookman and I searched all around the garden calling for her and didn’t find her. We were getting concerned and our minds going to the worst when Bookman heard clucking coming from the compost bins. Mrs. Dashwood in her panic to hide from the hawk had gotten herself squished behind the bins in a small gap between the bins and the fence. Bookman helped her out where she joined Marianne and Margaret to chatter over what had just happened. Elinor was still in the coop laying an egg. I wonder if she was sorry to have missed out?

Not knowing whether the hawk was going to come back, we herded the three Dashwoods into the run and closed them in for a couple hours until we thought it might be safe. Then we let them out again. But about five minutes later we heard a hawk call and rushed out to see two young hawks on the wire above the garden.

All four Dashwoods were ushered back into the run and stayed there until mid-afternoon when Bookman and I went out to clean the coop and do some other work outside. They got to wander around the chicken garden while we were out but as soon as we were done, back into the run they went. They were not pleased but better safe than sorry.

We’ve not had any trouble before with hawks thinking the Dashwoods would make a nice meal so we were taken by surprise. The Dashwoods did well at taking care of themselves but they also got lucky because the hawk was inexperienced. Bookman and I will be a bit paranoid these next few days, keeping alert to make sure the hawks don’t come back and try again. Marianne is brave, but next time might not end as well.

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