Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Duchess of Chickens

Duchess of Devonshire feeding her chickens. Photo by Bruce Weber
Welcome new chickens! 
Two Black sex-linked and four Plymouth Rock pullets. A pullet is a teenaged chicken, in between fluffy chicks and egg-laying hens.   If all goes well we might be eating the most expensive eggs ever.  
We are socializing them by bringing treats, teaching them about the dog aka their protector, and to come when called.

This picture, The Duchess of Devonshire, illustrates my delight with the whole process of Chicken-ing.  I am working on the outfit.  Thanks to Sally Kohler for bringing it to my attention. I am honored it made her think of me.  Here is a poem to go with it.

Woman Feeding Chickens-- by Roy Scheele 
Her hand is at the feedbag at her waist, 
sunk to the wrist in the rustling grain 
that nuzzles her fingertips when laced 
around a sifting handful. It's like rain, 
like cupping water in your hand, she thinks, 
the cracks between the fingers like a sieve, 
except that less escapes you through the chinks 
when handling grain. She likes to feel it give 
beneath her hand's slow plummet, and the smell, 
so rich a fragrance she has never quite 
got used to it, under the seeming spell 
of the charm of the commonplace. The white 
hens bunch and strut, heads cocked, with tilted eyes, 
till her hand sweeps out and the small grain flies. 

 "Woman Feeding Chickens" by Roy Scheele, from A Far Allegiance. © The Backwaters Press, 2010. Reprinted with permission. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy music & Goat Rodeos

Bluegrass music & Yo Yo Ma? Someone isn't sticking to their genre and then you know what happens? ...... Something cool and creative

Here is a leap up and dance song called "here and heaven"

The group is called "Goat Rodeo" and they explain the term as follows--

A Goat Rodeo aka Goat Rope, is a term worth knowing.  It is the most polite term used by aviation people (those in high risk situations) to describe a scenario that requires about 100 things to go right simultaneously if you intend to walk away from it.  As in "that workshop was a goat rodeo" 

 It speaks to the miraculous alignments that can happen occasionally when things work-- the music sounds good, the paper reads itself, the people all smile, the pilot doesn't die, the food is fresh and tasty, and more. When we are part of creating these miracles it may look/feel a lot more like a Goat rodeo than a symphony.

The chorus...
"have we all forgotten that we’re getting old"

Speaking of a Goat Rodeo, well aging is a lot like that.  Lets get old dancing, way outside our boxes and comfort zones. Try something different!

Have something like-minded or like-manifested to share?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

RIP chickens! Hello Fox

Chickens chasing bugs 
A yard dance
A moment so perfect comes as
wide gaited she lobbles along until in mid-air she stretches
and snatches catching a mosquito
That is my girl!

RIP Chickens. 
They went down... ALL of them to a mother fox in one afternoon.
They disappeared without a trace
O O O O O Oh oh the vagaries of nature and who who who 
do we root for?

We are getting more chickens, pullets this time. God knows by now the value of each egg.

Tigger the cat watches the flock through the fence
Golden Laced Wyandotte
Plymouth Rock
Mother fox and kits have begun to venture from the den. Those of us living in her range speak of our sightings, check our fences, and call in the cats.
It is a jungle out here in Maine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Location location location- mother barn swallows

Bugs come to light
This is my summer of barn swallows, Hirundo rustica. I find them everywhere I go. Perhaps a totem?

In my own barn the female has built a nest between two lights that serve our driveway. She looks like a pilot at the helm of a big machine.  At first she flew out each time we crossed into our barn. Seemed like a silly place to nest if you are human phobic. Then one evening as I went to feed the chickens I realized that the lights were attracting insects up into her nest. Food delivered bedside!

For a historical review and fun facts about the symbolism of barn swallows go to symbolism of barn swallows-- here--  "Swallows are often associated with stars and therefore the souls of the dead. Chapter 86 of the Egyptian Book of the Dead specifically instructs the deceased on how to transform into a swallow."