Wednesday, October 12, 2005

h5n1 with a little fiber but mostly bad sad news

This past week, it has been difficult to keep up with the news in the world.  There are so many people hurting, so many people that need help, there is so much suffering going on, sometimes it is even hard to be hopeful about the future.
When there is bad news in the world, I usually retreat to my spinning or fibers art or garden or rabbits and chooks.  What to do when some of the bad news IS chooks?? 
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First, I finished  weaving a leno lace shawl.  I had spun the yarn for this from a mohair wool blend, and plied it with silk.  I had just enough silk left over from the "mothwing" that I had purchased from the Copper Moth to complete the shawl, but not enough to fringe the entire thing, so I wound up fringing every 4th strand with the blend.  When I finished weaving, I took a picture of one of the pine trees modeling the shawl.  The mohair blend was very nice...purchased at the Endless Mountains FF from Steam Valley.
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But my thoughts, much like the news, return to the chooks...they look so peaceful wandering about the hillside...doing little chicken things...coming over to greet me whenever I walk by...could they really be dangerous?  Are we living with a time bomb?
I am referring of, to the ever growing news about the threats of avian flu.  Being a responsible backyard chicken enthusiast--I feel it is my duty to keep myself and others informed about what is going on.  Is this hype or a very real threat?  I have been reading and reading and reading.  There are no easy answers.  Its not even easy to read and understand all the information that is out there.  But being informed is being forearmed...and so I sift through the tons of articles to see what is what.  I even posted to some forums where I know there are some pretty savvy chicken farmers.  The news is not good.  Facts are facts, and that is what I am faced with.  For now, I am not going to bring any  new chickens into my flock.  I am going to be super hygienic, and I will keep my ear to the ground and observe constantly.  The virus has most definitely jumped from chicken to human...and is still mutating.  My biggest concern is that the virus is spread by the migration of wild birds, and that my birds may come into contact with the droppings.  I am watching with interest what Britain will do with the free range chickens in their country...and subsequently what could happen here.
Here is a link of what I have been reading....including a blog that has tons of links on it.
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So, I am left with trying to find something uplifting to think about or else I will get depressed thinking about the possibility of exterminating my chooks ...out in the garden there are still some late bloomers.  Even in the middle of all this cold rain, there is beauty.  The o'clock are a shocking pink, and are quite happy to bloom all day long without the sunshine.  Thank God for the beauty of flowers.  They inspire me to start thinking about making some more yarn...I kind of like the way the pink of the 4 o'clock contrasts with the darker magenta of the amaranth...


Judith said...

Whew. What a post you have written for us. I am following along with the news of the virus and have wondered what it means for free range chickens. It is extremely sad news. You certainly are aware & protective of your birds--at this point, perhaps that is best of what a person can do in the moment? Your shawl is exquisite! I love that it is hugging the tree. Beautiful work you do, all the way around.

cyndy said...

thank you judith-

In 1983 the State of Pennsylvania culled over 17 million birds due to H5n2...which is one reason why I am paying attention.

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