I’ve got a big surprise.
When Dick, the man who had given me Violet, found out about what happened to her (I still cringe when I think of that horrific episode), he offered me a new chick. “Far be it for me,” he said, “to not try and fix a broken heart.”
I was moved beyond words. Still feeling guilty about what happened to Violet, Dick not only voiced confidence in me as a chicken owner but he also assured me in his words-of-wisdom way that “things happen.”
“The cinder block thing, it didn’t happen in the last five years and it might not happen again in the next 5 years. Sometimes things just happen.”
On Sunday, I and two of my kids got into our car and made the 2 hour trip down to Dick’s house where we got a tour of his garden, hot house (where he grows plants to share in a group called Gardenswap – gardenswap.org where people share plants with each other) and of course, his flock.
Dick with one of his marans (yup, it’s a white maran.)
Dick will be 78 in about 2 weeks and this guy could run races around just about anyone (including myself.) He keeps himself busy for the simple reason that that’s the way he likes to live his life. Continue reading
What’s the number one thing that people do when they go to a poultry show (except of course sneeze from all the dust at the end of the day)?
Why it’s take pictures! Chickens are notoriously difficult to take photos of. This is because they don’t have stereo vision like we do. Instead, they sense depth by constantly moving a focused eye. It’s like taking snapshots from a whole lot of different angles and then crunching all that information into a scene that lets them evaluate a possible threat.
And let’s face it, a million people walking by your cage is a pretty big threat. People who try to take pictures of chickens end up getting a lot of blurry photos, it kind of comes with the job.
I did get a few clear shots. See this guy checking me out with his eye? He’s doing that threat evaluation thing.
Here’s another one. He’s asking “Are you lookin’ at me?” in a gangster voice. Continue reading
Recently, A friend pointed me to a pirate certificate MIT was handing out to its students who had successfully completed Archery, Fencing, Pistol, and Sailing. My friend knew that I was partial to pirates. (Captain Jack Sparrow, le *sigh*) What my friend didn’t know is that I also want to be a pirate, no really, forget Calgon taking me away, Jolly Roger – have at it.
I carefully constructed an argument of why our entire family should be awarded an honorary Pirate Certificate and sent it off to MIT.
What follows is my petition to them that be at the MIT helm.
If it please ye, this here New Hampshire family consisting of 2 rum-swillers and 6 scallywags petitions to be accepted as Honorary MIT Pirates.
According to the venerable and highly respected website: wikihow, me shipmates and me all pass the stringent requirements for bein’ pirates with flying Jolly Rogers colors.
- We growl and scowl often (especially the parents to the children after a long day of swabbing the decks and then seeing dirty dishes in the TV room instead of the sink.)
- We use pirate lingo often and tell pirate tales at parties including the ever popular:
- What did the pirate say when his wooden leg got stuck in the freezer?
- Shiver me timbers.
- We gesture with our hands (a skill most useful when on the high seas during wild winds and hearin’ be hard – just be mindful of gesturing before ye be used to yer handhook.)
- We slur our words together (especially when an “r” is involved as in “adventuraarrrrrrh” or with the adults when the rum bottle has been passed around.)
- We never use you or you’re and instead always use the favorite pirate vernacular of “ye” or “ya.” (Me dear mum demonstrated that grammatical rule to me on a daily basis when me be only a young pup. “Ye be strong, Ye be smart, Ye be beautiful,” she said each morning as she helped attach me sword to me belt.)
- We embellish at will (especially the youngin’s who have never met a tall tale they wouldn’t like to tell, although if you asked them, they’d like to think that, bein’ fine upstanding pirates-in-training, they would never embellish anything in a million years.)
- We mutter unintelligibly unless of course we be yelling. (see above notation regarding the rum bottle.)
- We are as loud as humanly possible. (What’s the use of being a pirate if ye neighbors don’t know?)
- We wear the nearest facsimile to a parrot on our shoulders. Chickens are a bit more hardy during the fierce New Hampshire winters and during these economic hard times, even pirates have to make do with what we be havin’. See our outstanding pirate family chicken photos here: Pirate Family Chicken Photos
Honored, our crew would be if ye would consider conferring upon us the award of honorary MIT pirates and makin’ us one of the gang. We know a fine crew when we be seein’ one.
This request be signed by:
Wendy –Grog-slinging -Thomas
Marc- Rummy- Nozell
Spencer –Deathbringer – Nozell
Griffin- Fishbait – Nozell
Trevor –Deepsea Dog -Nozell
Logan – Gold Tooth – Nozell
Addy –McLifetaker – Nozell
Emma – Evil Eye- Nozell
Happy President’s Day
This is one of our hatchlings from the summer (yes, I plan ahead, how do you think I can pull off Christmas with 6 kids?) Although as a writer, I don’t have the day off, Marc does and he’s offered to take me out to lunch in celebration. Lucky me!
Tomorrow I’ll be back with my prediction of whether Charlie is a boy or a girl and give supporting evidence why. Also, this week, I’ll talk about another rooster that popped up in our flock (they were all born at the same time, it stands to reason they would all mature at the same time) and tell you about a bird that I think may be a rooster but who has now decided to talk through clenched teeth.
When we got our first baby chicks, they were all brown. Didn’t surprise me, as far as I knew all chickens were either brown or white (like the ones at the petting zoos I had been taken to as a child.) It wasn’t until I brought home Isabelle (our Silver Sebright) that I even knew other kinds of chickens existed.
Today I wanted to show you some of the photos I took at the Northeastern Poultry Congress just to give you an idea of the diversity there is in the chicken world.
Female Black Polish
The female Black Polish (as opposed to the photos of the male yesterday) wear Dandilion puffs on their heads.
Unfortunately I don’t have the names of the breeds for all these birds but I loved the pattern on this one, enough to take a closer look.
And then we have this stunning breed. (There’s a mama hen somewhere who loves this little guy.)
Some of the birds were big on tail bling. Continue reading
Remember that we live in New Hampshire, and this being the high holy season of a Presidential Primary, we have access to all of the potential candidates. It’s not unusual for me to get several invites every week to see and ask questions of those who are running. I can go to Holiday walks, living room meetings, and even chili fests (to this day, my kids will tell you that John Kerry had the best chili ever.) And of course, when I’m wearing my journalistic hat, I even get to join the press corps to get interviews (have I told you how I was almost arrested when President Obama came to a town hall event because I had inadvertently followed his car too closely after the event?)
The chickens became involved one election day when I was challenged to somehow work chickens into politics. This is what I came up with:
At the time it was the best I could do.
And then it continued. This past summer, I made the general observation that a then visiting politician looked remarkably similar to a Vietnamese fighting cock. Apparently I’m not the only one to appreciate this comparison because that particular post happens to be one of my most searched entries (although why anyone would come up with the combination “Sarah Palin and fighting cock” to search is beyond me.) Continue reading
I thought I’d share a few more photos with you of what a 13 year old girl thinks is important at a County Agricultural fair. If you recall, I gave my camera to my daughter Addy and she took these photos (wearing down my battery almost having to make me cancel an article interview I had planned later that day). Apparently Addy thinks that Tupperware is important (and to give the girl credit – in a family of 8 when leftovers are usually what we have for lunch the next day, Tupperware does have importance in our lives.)
In this photo, for what ever reason, Addy thought the Tupperware sponge was REALLY important (I don’t know, maybe she thought this photo was a little bit of d’art):
Well, okay, I can see the significance of Tupperware, right? I mean even a sponge is needed in everyone’s life. But what comes next defines the word necessary for Addy who is, after all, a mini-lady-in-waiting: Continue reading
Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Chick Photos, Chicks, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, Teaching kids, The Family, The kids