Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wriggly Spearmint Gum Commercial - Double Good...

Jeff went on vacation for 17 days and animal things multiplied. I felt (still feel) like Dr. Doolittle in the morning with chickens on the benches and little cat faces looking into the Big House. Our fat cat is truly in prison and he wants out while everyone else wants in!

When Jeff left we had 2 black hens in the yard and one had 11 chicks. There was one rooster with a really cool crowing technique. There was also the white hen.

Then I saw the black hen and there were only 8 chicks and I figured the buzzards got some. Then I was greeted in the yard by three black hens...two with a set of chicks on what I call the double -day! Rooster 1 was there, and then another rooster I now call Pretty Boy - a gorgeous bird who sounds like a girl when he crows. He is a little scatter brained but when you see the two roosters side by side he is clearly a beauty! The white hen has taken a liking to him and doesn't want to be pimped out by rooster 1, but Pretty Boy is young and not that great of a defender yet. Rooster 1 will nail her right in front of him, touch down his wing and do the victory dance and Pretty Boy keeps his distance. This shot shows two hens and two sets of chicks on double-day. Now there are 3 black hens all with sets of young chicks, a hen with older chicks and a couple teenage hens cruising around. They cruise around the yard all day pecking in my garden, in the compost piles, and rummaging in the leaf litter for bugs. They have cats with them and they are really fun to have around!

To my surprise one day a couple ducks/geese showed up - on doubles-day of course. I have only seen them once. Word got out that I like animals I guess and they decided to see what things were like over here!
All the cats around here (and most other animals as well) are kind of on their own and don't really need people. They hunt geckos, eat fruit, have chickens for friends, enjoy each other's company and are afraid of people. Most of the time they don't (or didn't) come close so getting an accurate idea of an animals size and sex is kind of hard. Seeing them together though makes it clear that there are two orange cats. Now we are friends with both and they seem to enjoy being held and petted and fed. Here's Major Tom and his offspring Chicken Little lounging in front of the house.

We thought there was one stripped cat until I saw two of them together. The mom (right) has a peach spot on her head. Both are bitchy little girls and we don't really like them. They however have decided to hang out at our place anyway.

One morning I heard something new and odd in the yard. The sound wasn't chickens or roosters or any of the many birds we hear. After following the sound up the hill I discovered this really big bird which I think is a turkey. No one close by admits to missing a turkey so it must have wandered up and over the ridge or something. It stayed in the yard for several days and nights and now seems to have disappeared or gone home or something. The other new thing on doubles-day was a little calico kitty we call Holstein Junior. She looks just like the big Holstein but is very very tiny. She is hard to get close to and doesn't like to be touched. The animal thing here in Puerto Rico is different. At first we thought all the animals were starving but after driving around with dog food in the car and offering it to many of the "starving" we have decided it isn't true. Many animals here just live on their own and if you think about it they don't really need people. The weather is great, there is food around and they have each other. In a book on Puerto Rico birds we saw a photo of "Red Jungle Fowl" and thought wow - those are chickens! Now we understand. Roosters and hens are all over the hills here for miles and miles roosting in the mango trees, patrolling the yard and forest and coming near humans. The ones in our yard aren't any body's. All the creepy chicken sounds all night are from the red jungle fowl talking to each other.

1 comment:

Vicious Summer said...

Do you have a picture of the red jungle fowl? I'm thinking that is what we've been hearing creeping out of the quebrada late at night...

That turkey is so cool! Hopefully he didn't become dinner.

I love all of the animals!