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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

_MG_3476 - 2010-12-28 at 13-03-48
The Potential for Camouflage Boggles the Mind

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!

We've had merely a dusting of snow here in Falls Church so far this winter.   No doubt there's more around the corner for us.  Out at Bryce I hear it is cold and icy, and last time I called Gail, she was huddled in her kitchen warming her frozen fingers on a cup of hot 'joe.'

2012 was a dramatic year at Deauville Fallow Deer Farm.  Blueberry, the much loved, slave-driving chicken, passed away.  Gail's beloved deer moved to Wisconsin to live with a herd of reindeer, a few whitetails, and a farmer who spends most of his time dressed as Santa Claus.  Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

In their wake, four Bourbon Red Turkeys (seeking adoption) sauntered into Gail's heart and home.  They took up residence with the "baby" chickens (who thought that a pack of godzillas had landed).  One hen, in particular, caught everyone's eye.  She "flew the coop" with increasing frequency, finally making daily forays into the deer pasture that eventually turned into overnight jaunts until --thanks to a hungry raccoon-- she finally met her maker.  But she died happy, no doubt, inspired by her most recent adventure.   To avoid any more casualties (and because it was her plan anyway) Gail finally opened the gate from chicken yard to deer pasture and let turkeys and chickens have their way with it. They might not be "dancing deer" but the little fluff balls are fun for Gail to watch from her kitchen window... just as she once enjoyed her lovely deer.

Soon after the deer left, Gail planted a gigantic field of pumpkins in the main pasture on the right side of the farm.  By September, there were pumpkins galore.  And in October, Gail hosted a Halloween bash for her 65th birthday. The farm was dressed to the nines in ghosts and ghouls thanks to a lot of hard work and creativity by Gail, Adam and Jerry.   A wacky pack of bizarrely clad friends turned up and to enjoy the fantastic food and drink, and to celebrate our dear friend Gail.  

My last visit of the year found Gail very concerned again about the turkeys.  The younger tom (whose name is "Tom") had reached maturity and started to fight with the older tom, whose name is "Jake."  When a chicken got caught in the crossfire, Gail decided it was time for young Tom to leave.  She'd found a home for him and his new owners came and collected him.  Peace has returned to Deauville.

What a year!