“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
~Henri Cartier-Bresson



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slow Walk and an update on Squeaky.

I took my first walk up to the ridge in, probably, three weeks.
I took it slow. My energy is not back to normal but I feel pretty good and this morning I woke up feeling the best I've felt for a week and a half. I find that a small  nasal decongestant seems to do the trick before I go to bed and once during the day. Clears up the stuffiness and makes me feel like I'm still in the land of the living.
I walked at a slow pace and finally reached the top of the hill.
It was so beautiful.
 New grass was coming up everywhere. Getting some rain... and then sunshine, brings the carpet of green up so fast. I heard new life everywhere. I heard birds singing and saw them move from one tree to another, anticipating the arrival of Spring.
They are frantically looking for places to build their nests and bring their babies into the world.
Such busyness! Such industry.
A Spring Azure, or common blue butterfly, was going from leaf to leaf, not stopping long enough for me to take its picture. Then it landed on a pile of dry scat. This held the butterfly's interest for quite a while and I was able to take this shot of it.
This is a male with checkered fringe and small dark dots. They love the rich, moist woods here and it would seem that they like scat too. He stayed there for quite a while until I got too close and then he flew away to other grasses up the trail.
I started back down the hill, stopping to take a picture.  The sun felt warm between the trees. In the shade it was still cool but where the sun reached through I could feel the warmth.
I scanned the ridge to see if a deer or other creature was watching me.
Nothing was up there.

As I moved back down toward the house I saw our chickens in the distance. They were free ranging  and that means they have the run of the outer edges of the farm. I don't let them into our yard in front of the house. They make the garden look like a bomb site.
 I think that our cat is herding them and keeping them in the area near their hen house. They never seem to stray any further than the parking area. Sometimes they will come into the front garden to dust themselves and if the garage is left open they always have to come in and investigate. They seems to stay close. Maybe it's Annibel, but sometimes I think they know there are  predators around.

This is Squeaky.
Someone asked about her a while back and I realized that I don't talk about Squeak' or the other chickens very much. I do appreciate them. I always thank them for their egg production when I get the eggs and tuck them in for the night, but I'm not really a "chicken" person. They don't give you good eye contact.
 They are kind of... how do I say this nicely... at a disadvantage in the brain department. I know I'm going to get some flack for this but it's true. They live their lives reactively and instinctively. Which is OK for a chicken... I guess.
They just don't look at you.
Dogs look at you. My goats look at us... but chickens don't. This bothers me.
I will have to say that my friend's chicken, in Montana,
 was an exception to the rule.
She would come into the kitchen for breakfast, sit with us and enjoyed our conversations... and took care of an old rooster out in the chicken house. She seemed to be a cut above most chickens.
She didn't make eye contact either, but she seems to be smarter than the average chicken.
 Generally though, I think they are kind of different and a little clanish.
But Squeaky.... she is a chicken unto herself. She's a banty. I didn't give the other chickens names, but for some reason I did name the three banties
Squeaky is beautiful, but rather insecure.
She came with Neapoleon, the rooster and Henny Penny, the other banty hen who went to her maker last year.They came here, as babies, seven years ago.
Squeaky has the most beautiful feathers. She is a "perfect" little banty. But, she is terribly broody and she squeeks instead of clucking. She doesn't lays eggs anymore and I have to feed her separately because she gets so overwhelmed by the big hens. Do they have valium for chickens?
 I guess I would be intimidated too, if I was her. Look at the difference.
She is truly on of the little people of the hen house.
 The hens are kind of rough with her. They chase her when she tries to get a piece of luttuce or seed.
Squeak' just squeaks and runs.
Neapoleon use to help her and she relied on him to protect her, But last fall he had a stroke and now he walks a little crooked and his head droops to one side all the time. I think that his days are numbered.
He is still head of the flock and he still rules the roost. He crows all the time and struts his stuff with the ladies. He has always been a gentle rooster.
I like Neopoleon. He's little and he is a good guy.
He's kind to the big, fluffy butt hens...
And they seem to respect him.
The chickens give us eggs and I always say, "Thank you ladies." to them when I leave the hen house.
But chickens are a funny lot.
I, personally, like this instead...
Murphy gave me a kiss when I put my face up close to him. He came right through the fence and planted those big lips on me. What a guy!
 Brownie is smiling. He is so happy about everything right now. The warm weather, having Murphy at his side and special treats.
It doesn't get much better than this.
I'm telling you... being kissed by a goat can make your day.

9 comments:

Brian Miller said...

smiles...i am glad brownie is happy...thanks for hte walk...i probably would have got stuck watching the butterfly for a while...smiles...funny the cats herding the hens too...

Madeline's Album said...

Squeaky is a very beautiful Bantam. I love the picture of the goats. They do look happy. Sounds like you are over your cold. Enjoyed all your photos in this post. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

joanne said...

love your little banty, she is beautiful! I can see what you mean about the goats vs. chickens but I think I just have a softness for goats. You have such a beautiful area to walk in, it must be so healing just to be there.

Suz said...

why my old goat just kissed me goodnight..and yu are right ..there's nothing like it hee hhe
I'm going to bed right now...but tomorrow Ill be back to talk about the chickens...so have coffee ready
...and good for you gal for getting up that hill and surviving that nasty cold....
beautiful day you had
suz

Kerry O'Gorman said...

reading your blog, I'm missing 3 things...sun, chickens and goat lips! Sigh! That ridge looks so peaceful...I would spend time up there too.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Aw, come on. My chickens look right at me all the time. It's the look me in the eye and demand more cookies look! A common trend here now that I think about it... ;-)

Chef E said...

Ahhh life on my imaginary farm is good...he he

The colors on the chickens are gorgeous!

I am over here catching up...and btw a beautiful poem...you know I love poetry...

Jan Ely said...

Thanks for the update on my girl. She and I can relate since she's got the empty nest syndrome. Been there, done that. But now I've moved on. Well, I moved on but the nest is full again. He moved back! I will enjoy this time together and look forward to letting him go more easily next time!

Dianne said...

I have ten tens (Barred Rock Plymouth and Rhode Island Red) and I also thank them for the eggs...but I'm NOT letting one of them in the house! ;-) LOL! I do love my three Boer goat girls best though...