Monday, September 11, 2006


This morning I had to put on pajamas. I suppose I was cold most of the night, but it is my God-given right as a resident of New Hampshire to sleep with the windows open so I can hear the frogs/crickets/occasional owl/coyote, to wear nothing to bed and to complain about about the heat --

Oh. It's September?

If it were three months later, it would be my God-given right to wear sweaters all the time, up to three pairs of socks, and generally justify the Knitting Way of Life. This would continue into early May.

I have trouble with transitions.

I was going to talk about the Hopkinton Fair. We went in search of other chickens. There were, most of them silkies, a breed we are told was described by Marco Polo as a "fowl with fur." I was happy to see some outside of a book, and if the nine chickens we have were not already polluting the deck and chasing the cats I would have been tempted to buy one of those for sale. (As it is, no.) There were a few other breeds, enough to suggest that our chicken Joyce is a Duckwing, and Auk, our big black Cochin China hen... is a male. Making four out of nine, with Cordelia, Faith, and Spike (in ascending order of dominance).

(As to what we will do with four roosters: so far only Cordelia, the Polish with the silly haircut, is suffering from much bullying. He has a bald spot. I have heard stories about other breeds killing Polishes because they are gentle and philosophical. We hope not, but I am worried about the winter. Faith is missing some neck feathers and Auk has been the odd bird out since he was a chick; none of the others interacts with him much. Only Spike crows, and usually only about after we let them out of the coop. The hens still don't seem to be interested in sex, to Spike's apparent disappointment. No eggs yet.)

The fair: there weren't enough chickens. I doubt that the rabbit, sheep, or goat fancier would have been impressed with the numbers of those animals. There were some very lovely cattle

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hostingand a few pulling horses. There were some unremarkable vegetables, except for the pumpkins

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which were pretty good. I am told there were a lot of rides, and I noticed there was an great assortment of food (though not nearly enough things on sticks). I had a felafel plate and some excellent French fries, and I hope to see the barbecue first next time.

What really surpised me, given the way I behave at fiber fests, was that there was nothing I wanted to buy. There was only one pitch-man (car wax) even trying to persuade me to be interested; three different sets of Bible-based Christians (which, if you want to get theological, is dubious; wouldn't they be Biblians?) offering salvation. There was no pie contest, no handiwork contests, no homebrewing contest, no home-made jams or canned vegetable or pie contests.

So we are going to a poultry fanciers gathering in October.

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