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

Friday, April 12, 2013

Everything's Bigger -- even the Grackles!

The 2013 Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour has come and gone, but the thrill of Austin is fresh in my memory. 
Ah, the sunshine! The flowers! The Austinites!

....The grackles! 

We have grackles in New England, and they're a gregarious bunch.  But the Austin grackles are twice their size, 

and far more... um... outgoing.

This here grackle, for example, helped himself to an entire slice of my tomato and basil pizza without even a "Thank you, Ma'am."

But Austin's grackle guys are the exception. All the the other Austin fellas are polite and good lookin'.

Here’s a truly charming Texan:

Pretty Boy, a cream Barbanter, and the official mascot of the Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour. Pretty Boy stole my heart. He’s a friendly rooster...the kind of guy you'd like to take home to meet the flock. 
 .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

Other Texas observations:
The sky... definitely bigger in Texas.

The boots are fancier.

Flowers are explosive.

Thorns and prickers? Enormous. 

 Rain Barrels are big enough to swim laps in.

Even my head seemed bigger in Texas.

The coop tour was so fun and inspirational that I forgot to take pictures of chickens.  
But I did snap some shots in and around Austin for funky inspiration:

A mushroom greenhouse.

Old baby crib as Garden Gates.

Tidy graffiti,

sweet graffiti.

plates and bowl as chicken feeder,

my dream-home.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

Speaking of dream-home….
The coop I built for the gals is almost three years old now. And while I still love its design, I’m getting itchy to build something new.

With four fresh chicks arriving in May, this might be the perfect time for a major construction project....

I'll keep you posted!




  1. Yee-haw! You make Texas and the Funky Chicken Coop Tour look mighty appealing.

  2. Looks like a very good time was had by all! What an exciting trip. Thanks for the little insight into Texas.

  3. the boots on that grackle made me chuckle!

  4. The boots on the Grackle are AWESOME.

  5. Just let me know when you want Brabanter eggs. I will send them to you.

    Deirdre in Seattle

  6. What wonderful images. Have to love Austin - so lovely. Hope you took some cowgirl boots home with you!

  7. Great post on Austin. Glad we Texans could make you feel welcome. Come back anytime but be prepared if you come in July or August unless you like 100 degree plus weather all the time.

  8. Looks like you had fun in Texas! Pretty Boy is so handsome - I think he would have stolen my heart as well! Can't wait to see your new chicks in May :) We just got five new chicks yesterday!

  9. The grackles here in texas are Great-tailed grackles while the ones in New England are probably the common Grackle. I wish my mom and I could have gone on the Funky Chicken coop Tour, we are in far west texas in El Paso. Maybe another time XD

  10. What a fabulous time you had! Thank you for sharing...though don't feel the need to share the Grackles, you can keep those! :D x

  11. I love the boots on the grackle! We have some very large grackles here in NC. Now I know where they came from; I saw one today that had a bumper sticker with "Native Texan" stuck on his butt. Mystery solved.

  12. I was the lucky winner of one of your books from the book tour on the blogs. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying reading it. What a treat for me! Great writing thoroughly enchanting.

  13. make me want to go back to Austin now! My co-writer for the book is from Austin and I went there twice while we were writing the book. (It comes out on Monday! Yay!) It looks like you had a great time there, too!

  14. Love the boots on the Grackle! I must remember the crib/gate idea - brilliant! Half of the pictures I take on vacations are reminders of things that I want to build, color combos I want to try, etc.

  15. Sounds like your trip to Austin was great! Loved the post.

  16. I called Austin home for a few years and loved every minute of it. I'm three hours south of it now so still get to visit on the occasion. It truly is unique. ; ) I'm glad you got to go to the funky chicken tour. Your post cracks me up. Loving the birds with boots. Thanks for posting.

  17. I may never get over my disappointment at not being able to to go to your book signing/get together while you were here in Austin. :( I'm glad you had a good time though, and I will cross my fingers that you will be back next year, Lauren! Thanks for the pics, makes me look around with a fresh perspective on my adopted town.