Amazingly, since covering the floor of Bernie’s lean-to with gravel, the chickens seem to have lost interest in scratching around under it. While that is exactly what we had hoped for, I was absolutely certain it would never work. But those chickens like to keep me guessing, and I suspect they stay out of the lean-to area just to prove they do what they want, when they want. As if I ever doubted that.
We put a metal garage on this property long before we actually moved here. Originally it was used to store the lawn mower, yard tools, shed tools, etc. We didn’t put a floor down for it, we just covered it in pine mulch and, because the ground is not completely level under it, there were many spaces that were large enough for the chickens to scoot into the garage and play in the pine mulch. When we finally moved onto the property, we began actually using the garage as a …. well…. garage. We began parking our cars and motorcycles in it. And the chickens continued to get into the garage and play in the pine mulch. They hid nests in there, and they covered everything in dust with all their scratching. I’m sure you know where this story is going…..
Yes, as you guessed, Bernie was so pleased with the gravel floor of the lean-to that he decided he wanted to put gravel down as the floor for the garage as well. So last week he started by spending a couple of days hauling dirt into the garage and leveling the floor.
When he finished he called me out to look at it. I was so pleased with all his hard work that I blurted out “If you wait until this weekend to bring in the gravel, I’ll help you with it.” And then I immediately prayed that I had only thought that and not actually SAID it. But my fears were realized when Bernie replied “OK.”
Doh! Why, oh why, can’t I learn to keep my big mouth closed?
So Saturday morning we began emptying the garage in preparation of hauling in the gravel. When we got to a corner where Bernie keeps an air compressor for the car tires, he called me over. “Watch what’s under the board this air compressor sits on.” And as he lifted the board, I saw this:
Just look at that cute Spotted Salamander. Could you not just kiss those spots right off of him? My creative juices immediately began flowing, and with every ounce of originality I possess, I named him “Sallie”. Bernie said he’d been seeing Sallie scurry out from under that board for quite some time, so I guess Sallie has declared the garage his official home.
We ended up putting Sallie in a shoe box because he nestled himself into the corner of the garage and refused to leave while we were working. We started putting gravel down at the opposite end, and when we got to the end where Sallie was, we put him in a shoe box so we could finish up.
He didn’t seem particularly crazy about the shoe box, but I was very pleased that he curled up in a corner and didn’t try to get out for the short time we kept him in there. And after we finished putting down the gravel, the first thing Bernie did was put Sallie’s board back down in the corner of the garage. And Sallie seemed pretty darn happy about that.
And then I took a picture of our beautiful, graveled, garage floor.
And now, when we close the garage doors, there are no longer any spaces the chickens can scoot through to get inside the garage.
When we were finished, I took the pups down to get mail and to look at what’s left of the ton of gravel we had delivered.
My muscles go into spasms every time I look at that dwindling pile of gravel. Just looking at that pile and knowing how much work Bernie and I had done wore poor Diesel slap out. He sat at the edge of the woods by the cabin recuperating for quite a while.
And Dolly offered quite a bit of sympathy.
And then they forgot all about the pile of gravel and hard work Bernie and I had done and told me it was time to take them home and feed them. Which is exactly what I did. Just because I’m just so dad-gum helpful.