Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The Instinct for Survival (Tuesday, Sept. 14)
I spent three hours working in the garden today, watering, weeding around our new baby plants, and cutting down the used-up Asian pole beans,except for a couple that seemed to be growing. I took the time to untangle and save them to see if they'll produce anything more. Once all that dead stuff was out of the way, I attached the new baby pole beans to the poles with garden ties. All you have to do is point them in the right direction, and they will twine their way around the pole, reaching for the sky. What on earth did God create in those tiny seeds that makes them do that?
Spending so long in the garden gave me a chance to observe another instinct for survival in action. Although I was absorbed in the puzzle of detangling the pole beans stalks, eventually a distant screaming noise penetrated my consciousness. When I looked up, there were FOUR hawks soaring above me.
I've never seen more than two before. I think they were attracted by the newly bush-hogged field below which probably left field mice, rats and rabbits exposed. They're hard to see in this picture, but they're right below the dark blue part of the sky, not far above the corner of the mowed field you can see at the bottom of the picture.
Once I noticed the hawks' noise, I missed another noise--the constant loud peeping of the chicks in the chicken tractor right beside the garden fence. So I went over to check on them, and every single one of them was huddled down and perfectly silent. They weren't relaxed like they are when they're resting; they were very alert, but very still. You can barely see one next to the brooder box; most of the other 31 are in the dark corner behind that one brave--or imprudent--one.
I walked over to the brow of the hill so I could look down and see what the hawks were doing. That's when I realized they seemed to be focused on the mowed field. I think they noticed me about that same time and figured I'd gotten out of my fence! Anyway, they disappeared pretty quickly. Twenty minutes later I took this picture of the chicks, starting to forage again now that it was safe. Again, I have to marvel at the instinct God created in those chicks. Herb and I are the closest thing they have to a mother, and we certainly didn't think to teach them about hawks! Yet something in them told them that far-off screaming meant danger.
What an amazing God we have! I was glad to see that apparently the instinct He gave the little mice and other creatures was operational, too, and I'm afraid that I didn't mind that the hawks seemed to go away hungry. I was just glad they went away!