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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Surviving a heat wave with fur or feathers.

I feel bad I haven't taken Jethro the donkey for his daily walks since the heat got so brutal. It's a relief, though, to see he truly doesn't mind 100 degree days - I deduce this from the fact that he spends a goodly part of the day standing out in the sun when he could perfectly well be standing in the shade. The same way he stood out in the sleet and wind in the winter when he could have been in his house. He's amazingly tough.

To assuage my guilt (guilt that I have air-conditioning and he doesn't) I've taken to giving him daily showers. I halter him and tie him to a post and then hose him down. At first he decided he was going to hate this, but as he realized the water was cool and delicious he yielded to it. Now he lets me spray him full blast, his ears down and eyes closed, mouth open to let the cold water drip in. He's so big, it kind of reminds me of washing a car, something I haven't done in years.

The chickens are having a harder time. They pant all day. They migrate around my house, searching for the coolest places as the sun shifts its position... they make dust bowls to sit in, deep dust bowls under the shrubbery, only their backs and heads are showing. They've just about dug up some of their favorite bushes (the ones in front of my house) while burrowing as far down in the dirt as possible.

They don't let me give them showers.

Me: I've used the heat wave to stay indoors and finish my second songbook.


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At 10:13 AM, Blogger Jean said...

Hi Melinama:
Until yesterday, it was pretty hot here in NJ too. I have a robin's nest in the rose arbor in front of my house where the sun beats down all afternoon. The mother robin has been trying to shade the babies with her body but they are all panting too. A couple of times, I have taken my hose and put the sprayer on mist and just given the nest a little spray. I don't know if it helps but it makes me feel better. I'm glad Jethro is not too crazy to realize that being sprayed with water on a hot day is a GOOD THING.


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