Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The chook chooks (as we refer to the chickens) are now over their dreadful bout of moulting, thank goodness. There is something very disconcerting about those rows of white spikes emerging from their necks, not to mention the feathers that fly off whenever they fluff themselves. You show up to let them out of the coop in the morning and there are feathers everywhere. You count the number of chickens still alive. They appear to be all there but those feathers! Hundreds of feathers! Enough to outfit several chickens at once - all lying on the ground. It's a chicken horror movie.

I've been away for a couple of weeks, and the first thing I noticed when I came back and went out to feed the chooks the next morning was, well, how predatory they seemed. It's evident where their raptor relatives fit into the picture, as they raced at me that morning, eyes darting opportunistically, beaks looking for the first peck, necks banging into beaks and combs. Fern leaped up and tried to eat one of my coat buttons and I had a brief and very disturbing vision of me falling down in the grass and the chickens devouring my still-warm carcass in seconds, pirana like. I ended up dashing to the gate and squeezing through, then tossing their scratch over the gate, just in case what I had wasn't a weird overly-imaginative moment but a glimpse of my immediate and very vulnerable future.

Yes, laugh all you like. I'll let YOU feed them tomorrow, then we'll see who's laughing.

Yesterday I saw Prunella and Fern tearing at something long and white, until Prunella finally wrested control, flung herself across the yard, then paused and took a few chunks out of this long white thing. I pushed her aside and picked it up. It was a plastic plant tag. Sorbet Mix Pansies.

Good thing there is a useful, edible product from all this fun, otherwise I might find myself leaving their side doors open one night, so the raccoons can take their chances with my brainless little nightmare fowls.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ring In New Bells

Has it really been that long since I've posted? Hard to fathom, but I'm noticing the same low level of activity in all the blogs I've been following since I first started being on the blog.

Are we all blogged out?

There have been a lot of new developments in the neighbourhood since I've been away: someone turned sixteen, someone turned a whole lot older than that, someone watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special five times because those snowmen were just too wonderfully creepy, several someones had a lovely anticipatory time waiting for Father Christmas to show up ALL MONTH, and the chickens finally stopped looking like characters in a horror film and starting looking more their beautiful, fluffy selves.

We walked around town, exploring new parks and beaches; we walked around houseboats and listened to the sixteen year old enthuse about living in one of them (there were five for sale at the time, a fact which struck me as suspicious and the sixteen year old as fortuitous).

And all the while Toffee slept.