Thursday, April 17, 2014

work, with the participation of chickens

This was a humdinger of a day. The weather was right for work: slightly cool, dry. Perfect for finishing up the strawberry beds at both sides of the sheep shed. And for continued work on the new chicken space (to go up next week).

So simple to write. So hard to execute.

After breakfast (made so much brighter by the porch glass roof)...


...we go out with our shovels and rakes. Dig, pull fabric, remove weeds, cover with chips. All with the assistance of our brood. First by the sheep shed...


...then by the old barn.


And just so you know, we aren't the only ones working the farmette land today. Farmer Lee's sister is back on the field to the north of the barn and she is planting onions. From morning 'til dusk.


When Ed pauses for a rest, the chickens continue their play: scratch, pull out worm, swallow it whole.


They're really quite entertaining. For the most part. Twice, they do cause me to shake my head in dismay. First, when I put out a pot of spring pansies. They've not shown a love of young plants up to now. But for whatever reason, they decide that pansies are their food of choice this afternoon. I quickly hide the pot from them. To be resolved at another time.


The second misdeed is really just a Lexie issue. When we sit down to plant the two dozen strawberry clumps, she gets right into her pecking mode. You cannot do much before she flies after your shovel, shoe, sleeve. It's as if she believes that we are fighting her for the worms in the ground. Or maybe it's that she is out of sorts this afternoon. (It was one of the rare days when she did not lay an egg.) Kicking her is pointless. Shouting at her? Nah -- she has the louder squawk. A calm tone? Ed can be counted on to supply that. With very mixed results.


There is much about a chicken I will never understand.

Still, it was a productive day and truly, working with a flock of chickens at your side is far more delightful than working alone.


Besides, how can you not feel grand on the day your first daffodil sends out a yellow bloom?


By evening, we are completely exhausted. Ed suggests I not cook tonight, but as always, I find fixing supper far easier than driving out in search of food. Especially now, when eggs are so abundant. Organic! Free range! Delicious.


You didn't get a sunrise photo today. It was mostly cloudy in those early minutes when I went out to clean the coop. But I'll hand you a sunset. As seen from our bedroom window.


The chickens, at least in the summer, keep to a schedule that tracks the arrival and the disappearance of the sun. A glance out the window tells me it's time to lock the coop for the night. And as soon as I publish this post, I'll be right there with the chickens and Ed -- retiring for the day. We're all pooped. Completely, thoroughly.