Monday, July 03, 2006


I think of the chickens as being quite grown up now, though Doug and Sarah assure me that they will get even taller. They live in the former toolshed at the bottom of the slope, on top of which the courtyard garden sits, so one can have tea and a pleasing chicken vista.

The other day I fed them and then staggered up the hill to the bench (I have a head cold and staggering was about all I could do last weekend). Asterix had followed me to the chicken shed and slowly followed me up the hill. The chickens had been watching him with interest -- they like to chase Mena -- and they followed him, clucking about it, up the hill. He gave them a Look and slinked under the porch. Spike and Buffy stood next to the porch for a good five minutes, looking under it (they are much too sensible to go into the dark themselves) and clucking and wondering if he would come out again.

After seeing my aunt last week and having a grand convocation of Jeffersons (all the ones extant in my family, meaning my aunt, parents, self and daughter, plus ex) last weekend, I was happy to have a glimpse of the other scion of my chromosomes, who is usually in Maryland. I was supposed to pick Sam up and meet my parents and his father in Boston, but as I was having trouble staying awake for more than two hours at a stretch they all came here, and Sam tried out my atl-latl (I tried to link to a video here, but no luck). It refrained from raining for at least 48 hours and and we had a sedate good time. The chickens are a great crowd pleaser; Buffy allowed Sam to hold her for a bit, and she ate sunflower seeds out of our hands.

After they left I took a nap.

On Sunday Sarah (I would link to her, but she needs to update. Poor dear is starting six weeks of day camp leadership today. We are hoping one week fails to have enough registrants so she can catch a break) came to visit. It still wasn't raining and I was still feeble (I mean more than usual. I am better but I think I am going to be spending most of Independence Day napping, which is okay as it is supposed to thunder) so we had a very pleasant time knitting and spinning.

While we were sitting admiring the view, Auk came up the slope to visit us, and after some indecision allowed us to give her a few sunflower hearts. In fact she liked them a lot, and seemed to wish there were more. She went back down the slope and returned with Buffy a few minutes later. Buffy was happy to eat more sunflower seeds out of our hands, and Auk decided maybe it was safe after all. They left after finishing the handful. About ten minutes later, Buffy and Auk and Faith and Spike came up the slope. Auk gave me the look I have seen in the eyes of a dog who knows I am eating Oreos. I went and got more seeds.

Spike thought this was dreadful. She may be a rooster; she spends too much of her time trying to keep the other birds in line. Buffy and Auk continued to get a bigger share eating out of my hand (the pecking hurts only when they pinch. Buffy in particular is very gentle, like a cat doing velvet paws), and then Faith tried it and nothing bad happened, and then Spike said that she, personally, had always eaten out of people's hands and any sensible chicken would. It will be interesting to see if they bring the rest of the flock with them the next time we are sitting out there.

I finished my Meilenweit socks and the '"why are you wearing a cooking-pot on your head?" "I can't hear you, I have a cooking pot on my head"'hat in the short intervals of consciousness on Friday and Saturday. Today I made great strides into a pair of fingerless gloves I am making out of a rare yarn that looks better knitted than in the skein. I finished spinning the lovely sagey green Icelandic lamb Juno gave me some of, and the packet of bright green Romney from Fantom Farm I bought at MA Sheep and Wool, and then the little package of Merino in sort of rosebush tones from year before this past one's NH Seep and Wool form the lamented, vanished Copper Moth. Then I plied these together and made a nice enough heavy worsted, which I have no idea what I will do. Socks, maybe, if there's enough.

I hope the rest of my brain and energy come back by the end of this week, as I must pack and get the last few plants on the porch planted before I go to archaeology field school for the coming two weeks.


Norma said...

I love your chicken anecdotes. Wish I could be of help with the cold. Damn, this is a bad time of year to have one -- not that there is any good time. I don't need to remind you of all the things you should be doing for your cold, right? You ARE a grownup?

Laurie said...

I enjoyed your bird's eye view of chicken psychology. Skinner must have been onto something there.

Sleep. Dream. Hydrate. Om.