This would be the view of the world from their perspective:
Dawg wants these girls somethin' bad. She races up and down the perimeter of the chicken coop, thinking it will just magically open, and let her on in. The hens, they don't care. They peck her little snout through the fence if she gets too close, like she is in this picture. They are bigger than her, and they know it.
Our family lives on an old chicken farm. Jeremy's grandparents raised a bazillion chickens (okay, maybe not a bazillion, but more like 13,000+ which is still a lot to cluck about) and supplied the Island and West Seattle with eggs way back in the day. Our property is dotted with old chicken coops from the operation, some of which I use as backdrops in my photography work, and one we have hauled over to a spot near the garden, that now houses our girls. I love to look at this coop. As with many farm operations, you use everything, nothing is wasted. The holes are patched with pounded out tin cans and stapled or nailed to the side. The wood is sometimes mismatched, but now weathered long enough to an even color. The tin roof has a nicely rusted patina, indicating it's seniority. The latch to the door is just a piece of metal with a nail bent inwards to hold it closed. It has so much character, it almost feels like a personality on our property. I love everything about it.
We got our first batch of chickens when I was pregnant with Grace. I became quite attached to that flock right away, as we hand picked them out at Del's, and brought them home. I held them close to my belly during the car ride, careful, and hopeful, that this batch would all survive. I wasn't in any condition to have one die. I know they are just chickens, but being in the fragile state that I was, they symbolized a hope of survival. I needed them to survive.
They all did, and we named them after supermodels, except for my favorite one, which I named Dorothy. They grew, as did my belly, and soon gave us eggs which made us very, very happy. With the exception of one who keeled over one day a year later, they all made it until one morning we came out, and raccoons had tunneled their way under our fencing which we thought we had secure. It was a terrible loss. There is a sick feeling in your gut when you walk to the coop and all you see is feathers, feathers everywhere, then entrails hanging from the fencing where it caught. I try to find a purpose in all animals, but I despise raccoons. Their furry cuteness doesn't fool me at all. They are horrible animals, and have earned it with all the chicken slaying they have done on this property. Bad. Nasty. I'll get off my soapbox now.
After they picked off that flock, we got another flock, only to have the raccoons rip through our steel fencing on a very cold winters night, and do away with them. After that, Jeremy spent a day making it Fort Knox, and then we got a flock of fifty when we did our farming gig. After two years of eggs taking up every available square inch of our fridge, we gave the bulk of our chickens to our neighbors, and kept twelve. Of those twelve, eight are still alive, and this weekend, we brought home eight more new babies to add to the brood.
So as you see, Grace has inherited the chicken farmer gene that runs in Jeremy's family. I wonder if it will carry on into adulthood, or if this will be just a childhood memory of hers. 50/50 chance, I think.
The weather was exceptional this weekend, and the sky delivered an amazing azure color.
The blue was super deep, almost an apologetic deep, for the rain and cold that had preceded it. These are the blossoms in my back yard that take my breath away. With each breath of a breeze it snows cherry blossoms that my girl likes to dance in. Beautiful, sky blue weekend. Speaking of weekends, I will have to skip the next post, and be back in two weeks as my friend and PIC (Photographer in Crime) Sarah and I, kick off our wedding season photography with two back to back weddings.
Until then, may the days be sunnier, warmer, and inviting. Go outside. Eat lunch on the porch. Let your feet go al fresco. Plant something. Go for a walk. Get some baby chicks. Pick some daffodils. Sit under a cherry tree and let it snow on you. Soak up the spring of 2012. Dr's orders. And if you have the energy of a seven year old, go out at dusk, and jump rope barefoot.
See you in two weeks!