There are leeches in my water garden. Bear with me, this will be about the hens. My water feature has been pristinely clear, without chemicals, since we built it three years ago. It has an effective filtration system that includes a planted area that mimics a natural bog. It also has a 2-foot deep area with fish, which my dog sometimes cools off in, as do I. My sons spend hours circling the pond, looking at tadpoles, hunting frogs and marveling at dragonfly nymphs. But this is not a garden blog, so I’ll stop here. Suffice it to say that when you are given water plants as gifts you should quarantine them first. Or else, like us, when you put your feet in the water, they will soon be covered with disgusting, sucking leeches.
But, once again, what is stomach-churning to me, is pleasing to the hens. The plastic filter (that looks like a large, thick sponge) housed in the pump chamber was filled with tiny, writhing, larvae. I knew what to do with the filter. I put in on the ground in their chicken yard. “I’ve got bugs, girls!” The hens came running and then stopped suddenly and peered with suspicion at this algae-covered mat. That is, everyone but Snowball, who spied the wriggling critters and recognized good food when she saw it. Snowball hopped right up and started pecking. Tweedledum joined her. Then the others stretched their necks and tasted. My girls clucked and chuckled with satisfaction. If I could have clucked, I would have. Once again, they were gleefully taking care of a yucky garden pest. (See June 2 blog.)
Tomorrow Tweedledum and Snowball will be given a romp in the pumpkin patch. I don’t like the way the pumpkin leaves have holes in them. I’m sure the girls with enthusiastically take care of the problem.