Summer is winding down in our household. Soon, Wyokiddo will start kindergarten and I will face an empty house and open day for the first time in five years. But aside from the stacks of school supplies in the corner of my office, I can also tell summer is coming to an end by how the pheasants look.
It’s been several weeks since I’ve been in the pens and enjoyed the birds. I’ve been busy with my own flock. I’ve had several photo shoots, we spent time with my family in Cheyenne and we participated in our local county fair. So I was a little surprised at how the birds have grown.
The males are starting to color up and act like boys. Several roosters trailed us in the pens. They would ruffle their feathers and bluff charge us to show us their toughness. The red eye patch is quite distinct, and many are getting their “ring-neck.”
The girls, on the other hand, generally hide in the kochia and give us a wide berth. They use the weeds as cover to protect themselves. It’s an important technique that will serve them when they are released. They can use the natural cover to hide from dogs, hunters, owls and coyotes. They’ll also use that cover to protect their clutch of eggs and chicks.
Nobody on the road,
Nobody on the beach.
I feel it in the air,
The summer’s out of reach.
Summer isn’t out of reach yet, but soon my boys of summer will be gone for another season. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy their antics and the gentle thrum of life in rural Wyoming.