True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Blizzard 2010

Marky squinted with joy -- he's a certified snow-dog.

Lil'White watched as I shoveled the path. But she knows all about snow and how it feels on her little pink toes.  Once the door was opened, she retreated to the dry leafy depths of the coop.

Pigeon and Daisy paused a moment to take in the wonder of it all.
In a burst of excitement, Daisy launched herself across the yard, 

and was stranded.

Fern seemed confused.

Pigeon went exploring for a bit.

But Lil'White and Lucy fluffed themselves up and mustered their patience. They know it's a long way til Spring.

Friday, December 17, 2010


She's an Ameraucana. Puffy cheek-feathers, little pea-comb.
She and Daisy were born this spring.  
Daisy started laying eggs four months ago, but Fern
has shown no sign of ever laying any stupid ol' eggs, 

Fern's just too busy to grow up.

She's always on her toes.

Fern is quick to warn the flock of danger, 
using the universal chicken-alarm that is reserved for hawk sightings, foxes and other very scary things:

She's a vigilant little chicken, on guard for any threat.
Yep, always on the lookout for danger.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

Fern's at the very bottom of the pecking order. 
Normally you'd expect a hen in that position to be timid and to keep out of everyone's way.

But Fern -- she breaks all the rules of chicken-etiquette.      Never charge full-speed at your superiors.

This always results in a good plucking.


Never fly over the dog.

She's had some close calls with that one.

And this--- 
If you're unfamiliar with chicken-etiquette, this may look like a cute little dance.
But let me tell you.

This is Fern challenging Pigeon, the TOP CHICKEN, to a duel. 
This is so totally rude.   I mean you just don't do this if you want to live.
But Pigeon's not offended. She's amused. 
Pigeon adores Fern.
So she gives her a swift little tail-plucking and sends her on her way..

Here Fern's coming back for more.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

With all this plucking going on, I've managed to collect some nice samples of her plumage billowing around the yard:

And here's how those feathers looked when they were still attached to Fern:

Another endearing little visual:

Fern's butt-feathers are in the shape of a heart.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

I let the girls out for some free-range time every day.
And every day Fern sprints from the forsythia to the bird feeder and back again - over and over and over.
It's an adorable sight. 
Took me a while to see exactly what she is doing:

She's chasing birds.

Chickadees, Nuthatches... 

What is going through her tiny little chicken-head?
Is she racing them?
Does she think she's a chickadee?

She's a free-wheelin' little mystery, Fern.

And Pigeon is a mystery to me too --
that she understands Fern's playful taunting.
Her sensitivity to all the individuals in her flock is uncanny. post: PIGEON: Blind Wisdom