An Indiana Farm on Kauai

                             9  bar rises 30.24  1mph NNW windchill 5

                                                    New Moon


When I was a boy, say 12 and under, each summer I would visit my Uncle Riley and Aunt Virginia for a couple of weeks or so.  They lived on the farm my grandfather had put together.  It was a couple hundred acres of corn, a few cows, a pig or two, harness-racing horses and chickens, Bantams with the Banty roosters and their mile-high attitude and morning curdling cock-a-doodle-doo.  These memories have a particular smell, a mixture of gravel dust, hay and cow manure.  They also have an increasingly antique feel as they recede further and further from the present day.

Imagine my surprise when these memories came alive all day, every day while we were on Kauai and all because of Hurrican I’niki.  In 1992, just before we first visited Kauai, it was struck by a rare and devastating hurricane.  This hurricane eliminated many resorts, including the famous Coco Palms where Elvis shot his movie, Blue Hawai’i.  Many homes blew away, trees and plants got pushed over and beaches changed their shapes. 

I’niki also opened up all of the many chicken coops on the island.  Once free, the chickens never again came home to roost, but instead have now made the entire island their home.  They are, like the feral pig, wild animals, freed to roam wherever they like in a paradise of bugs and small worms.

The result is that often throughout the day the sound of a Banty rooster crowing reverberates whether you’re on the beach, in the forests, up a mountain or near a river.  The chickens come around pic-nic tables and wait patiently for food.  Local children pick up the roosters and carry them like puppies down to the beach.  As a result, Uncle Riley and his farm came to mind day after day on the most isolated islands in the world, in the midst of the Pacific Ocean. 

Now that was unexpected.

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