I took my first walk up to the ridge in, probably, three weeks.
I walked at a slow pace and finally reached the top of the hill.
It was so beautiful.
They are frantically looking for places to build their nests and bring their babies into the world.
Such busyness! Such industry.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
He's kind to the big, fluffy butt hens...
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...
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.
It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"