Monday, May 05, 2014


 Sometimes it just happens. You're a parent, you need your kid to behave. You give a bribe. Maybe it's sweet, sugary and maybe it's excessive. You just want the kid to sit still, or go away, become invisible. So you hand over the treat.

I was reminded of this when I did my first of the season planting of new perennials. (After breakfast, of course).


Oh, the chickens were interested alright! It's as if everything up to now was just a prelude to bliss. They keep close to my hand shovel,  looking me right in the eye, hoping that I'll produce their caviar. Digging? You're digging? I want some of whatever it is that you're digging!


I should tell you this: I don't know how the weather was in your neck of the woods, but here, at the farmette, it was a brilliant day. Windy, true, but when the temps stay in the fifties, I'm not going to complain.

And so it's not surprising that I should set out to plant a few things. Slowly at first. It's a bit of a risk after all -- you don't know if the warm weather will last.

So I pause to let them feast on worms. In fact, I help them a bit here. Scotch gets one first from me, because she is the most tentative. But the others get their share. And before you know it, I've abandoned my plants and I'm digging for chickens -- finding worms for them. Ridiculous?

And this makes them sleepy. They nearly always nap after a big meal. Secretly, I'm thrilled: it's like your toddler has finally settled for a while! Wonderful! I can plant!


In the afternoon, Ed and I get back to raspberry patch repair (dig, pull, remove weeds) and the chicks are there as well and this time they need no assistance. When we stir up the dirt in this way, there are so many bugs and worms that it is easy for them to get their fill. And I'm thinking -- what a good life! Eat, nap. Eat, nap. Food readily available, in amounts that would satisfy a million chickens (I exaggerate; or maybe not...).

Does this create spoiled chickens? When is a happy chicken one who is too well provided for?

I'm not worried. They dig, they eat and they make us smile. And maybe somewhere in that chicken face, there's a smile as well.


To complete the post, let me put up a few photos that describe so well the last details of a sunny May day: 1. Oreo and Scotch, resting after a particularly worm-filled morning; 2. collecting eggs, with Isis in for the ride; 3. bringing outside the wintered-over geranium pots; and lastly -- 4. the farmhouse, finally putting on her spring cloak of greenery, with just a few early flowers. It's such a favorite image for me that I keep returning to it in the course of a day. So, here they are, all four snapshots:





Think how much has changed in a month!