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

Friday, March 23, 2012


Nine years ago, I was cleaning out a bird house at the corner of the yard.  As I pulled out the nest material my ring flew off my finger and into a pile of leaves.
I made mental note of the exact spot where it landed, then put the bird house back together.

When I went to retrieve the ring, I couldn't find it. 
I was not heartbroken - it wasn't especially precious to me. Just a ring that I liked. 

Weeks, months, years passed. Whenever I was in that general area I kicked leaves around, looking for a glimmer of silver and red. 

I wondered if it had rolled down a chipmunk hole, or had been buried deep by hard-working worms. 

Today, I parked the chicken-tractor in that spot so the girls could do some worm-hunting in the cool shade.

Well, I'll be darned.

Pigeon didn't seem interested. 

She had more important business.

The sparkly red gem is missing, 

but I'm not going to hunt for it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Once Upon a Flock

It's true!

I'm writing a book, based on Scratch and Peck blog! 
The title:  Once Upon a Flock.
It's an illustrated memoir about life with my flock of remarkable individuals, and Marky too.  Loaded with suspense, thrills, laughter and tears.  To be published by Free Press in Spring 2013! 

And I have you, my dear readers, to thank.
Your comments and enthusiasm for the stories in this blog are my inspiration.  

Fresh new blogposts will of course continue!

Yours most truly,

Lauren and the Ladies
...and Marky!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Food Chain

In addition to feeding my ladies,

I feed a healthy population of mice.
It's kind of inevitable.  
They live in the rafters of the shed, in nests made of Marky's shredded dog-toys.
They tunnel into the coop and eat the spilled chicken feed.
Last fall, these creatures had quite the population explosion.

When I stepped into the shed, great herds of mice brazenly scurried across my boots and stalked me fearlessly from the rafters.  

When they moved into our own attic, I began to think unpleasant thoughts about mouse traps and such. 

But I didn't have to think about that for long. On a warm night with the window open, I was pleasantly awakened by the calls of three different types of owls. The mice had been discovered. Their numbers swiftly declined.

So my mice are doing their jobs supporting the food chain, and I'm feeling much better about supporting the mice.  

Now a fox has made a home in the woods right behind the coop. 

I'd like to think that this fox is attracted by the mice, but...well, it did find a good chicken-dinner in our yard a couple of years ago (see Silent Morning).

A raccoon, a fisher cat and several hawks also check in on the girls from time to time.

Recently, we left town for a whole week, and I made certain that my flock would be safe and comfortable while we were gone.

When we returned, the ladies were incredibly happy to see us.
You'd think they'd seen a predator or something.