I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, February 22, 2013

Strange Behavior in the Hen House.

You do remember how excited I was about the very small amount of snow we got here. That night Butte Mt. was looking like a picture perfect study in loveliness. Like Mother Nature dusted her with powered sugar.
And across the canyon, the hills were covered with a beautiful sifting of snow as the fog set into the river valley.
The night was so cold and we woke up the next morning to a frosted world of beauty that I recorded in my Wordless Wednesday post.
Annie, our cat who sleeps in the garage, has a new bed and seems to be quite happy on these cold nights. She complained a bit the next morning but I set "her" lawn chair out in the sun and she was a happy camper for the rest of the day.
But, the hens were a different story. I guess I should pay more attention to them when it's this cold. Maybe I should keep a light on in the hen house. I don't remember this being a problem during other exceptionally cold winter nights.
When I went to get the eggs, I found six of them. Usually they are in the big laying box and sometimes one or two are in the little row of boxes we built above the roost. But all the eggs (I'm not complaining mind you, just surprised.)that I found the morning after the snow were in odd places. One was in the middle of the floor in the hen house, two more were in a corner under the laying box and another one was... well... kind of strange looking.
As if one of the hens was so cold that she had to squeeze it out of her little frozen rear end and it formed a goose bump as it hit the cold air.
And look at the colors...
Another was not the normal brown or blue/green, but a muddy grayish color.
I'm no chicken expert and I know nothing about raising chickens in cold winter areas, but I do think that my hens reacted to the cold and it affected their eggs.
The production is fine.
Five or six a day is more than enough to eat and give to neighbors. I just wonder if the cold was almost too much for them. We always lock them in at night. We have had cold weather before but I never saw the eggs so scattered or with goosebumps.
Does anyone, who has chickens, know what might have happen? Can a hen get so cold that she doesn't want to find her favorite "spot" to lay her eggs? So she just drops one anywhere?... with a goose bump on the end of it?
They all seem fine today. It warmed up.
The Little Red Hen attacked me, as usual. She is going to be "dinner" if she doesn't stop this,
 "I want bread (cracked corn, scraps, etc...) and I want it NOW." attitude.
She's the first hen I have ever had that jumps up and demands whatever it is that you have in your hands.
AND... she's picking on Squeekie.
Fair warning Little Red Hen.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Choices


There is a vast difference between solitude and being alone. 

Being alone can be a fearful place where shadows become stick figured monsters that grab at me from beneath my feet.  Where my life drags the past blindly up the hill behind me and shouts obscenities about the future.



But there is this other place where I can choose to spend time with myself? 
Where I can take a deep breath and not care what other's think or do.
Where I feel the quiet of solitude
the connection of place...
 Where I can walk in my own footsteps 
and see the light between the shadows.

It seems an easy choice, but sometimes it's not.