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

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Chicken Story

Boney, our new little bantam rooster is trying really hard to take control of the hen house. He's tough, but he's little. So when he does take a stand... it's kind of funny.

I shouldn't laugh, but when he stands in the doorway and waits for each of the hens to come in for the night...
and gets all huffy puffy with them, paces back and forth, runs out to them and dances around them... 
I'm sorry... but I have to laugh. If he was a huge full sized rooster, he might pull this off, but he's not. He's a dink... a very small guy... and he's really trying hard to overcome this disability.
The other night, I got between him and one of his hens. I was walking away from him and he jumped up... and nipped me in the back of my leg. This "attack" didn't do any damage, but I was really surprised. Then he stood there and fluffed his neck feathers at me. I told him that he could just as easily be our dinner one night next week. It was an idle threat... he knew it. He wasn't fazed at all. He side stepped toward me and dragged his wing on the rocks. I was obviously not someone he was going to tolerate in HIS chicken area.

Some of the hens take him seriously. Pepper, our Speckled Sussex, is not one of them. She free ranges until they all go to bed and then wonders where everyone went.
She got Clarrisa to stay out with her last night. I counted heads, noticed they were missing and went looking for them. They were behind the chicken house... looking for any small tidbit they could find in the very dry hillside.
Our new Silver laced Wayandotte, Clarrisa, (Isn't she gorgeous?) was pushing the limits of her bravery by staying with Pepper when she knew that she needed to go to bed. She kept looking at the hen house. She could hear the other hens getting onto their perches. Even Boney had returned to the rest of his hens inside, giving up on the three of us.
Finally, as if some unheard bell tolled for these two, they walked down the path and into the chicken house.

I closed the door to the chicken yard behind them and watched Clarrisa go up the ladder into the hen house.
But, Pepper, having second thoughts, turned around and came back to the gate.
"What's the matter sweetie? Everyone is in the hen house. It's getting dark. You need to go to bed."
She looked at me...  and then walked up to the hen door.
She looked at the ramp...


Then she turned around and look out at the place she loves... the place called "freedom". She stood there for quite a while, then she turned and slowly hopped on to the ramp and into the hen house.
Pepper is my favorite hen. She is curious, smart and truly an adventurer. She would free range all the time... but I choose to keep her safe with the others, at night. Too many predators out there would call her "dinner" and I can't let that happen.
Sleep well, my pretty's. See you in the morning.




Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Birthday wish to my friend "D"

To my friend "D", in Montana (or wherever you are right now)...
Happy Birthday
 Hope you are sleeping in a tent with Bill,
 somewhere in the wilderness, 
warm, safe and happy.

 Tonight, dear friend, I give you the moon and send my love.