Not in Her Usual Nest


I can hear Special. She’s not in her usual nest. She’s decided to try a new nest for a change. It’s something hens often do. They get bored seeing the same things, gossiping with the same hens when they settle in a nest to lay an egg. What these two were talking about before I showed up I’ll never know. It may have been about me because they shut up the instant I appeared.


There is Special trying out a new nest, and she has a young suitor. Young roosters have it so hard. They have to sneak about and court when the older roosters are not around. Of all the young roosters who hatched last spring, only two remain, this handsome two-toned gentleman, and Billy Junior, a pure Buff Orpington, a spitting image of Billy. The rest ended up in the oven. Who lords over them? Seven year old Billy, Sven the Swedish Flower rooster, and King Richard.


Special’s laid her egg in the new nest. It’s the smaller egg. Below is her mother, Hazel’s, two-tone egg. She’s done a great job with the shading, going from light to dark. I’m sure one of these days a hen will lay an egg with the Virgin Mary on it. If it happens, I won’t tell a soul. The last thing I want is a line of faithful adorers down the driveway, wanting to venerate the miraculous egg.


It’s a Beautiful Morning … But


It’s a beautiful morning, the cherry trees are ecstatic, Special is on her nest, I saw the first swallow of the year, who could possibly be cranky today?


Midge is cranky, that’s who. Pepper is on her nest, never mind that there are empty nests on either side of Pepper, Midge wants that one. It’s the only one that will do. For some time, Midge and Pepper have been laying their eggs in the same nest in the woodshed.

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Midge can work it out with Pepper. They do every day. I’ve got fencing in the woods to repair. It’s a chance to see the first trilliums of the season.

You Can’t Have Too Many Tulips


Each year I keep planting more tulips. You can’t have too many tulips, can you? When you have free roaming chickens, you need two to three times as many tulips because they like nibbling on tulips when they start pushing out of the ground. They like nibbling on the blossoms too.


Tread Lightly Like Deer


I love the forest floor this time of year. It is green with false lily-of-the-valley and bleeding hearts. I lived once in a desert and learned that I can’t live where it’s not green and moist. Every day, just a few steps away from my front door, the forest beckons. This time of year, tread lightly through it’s soft floor, and it blesses with delicate bleeding hearts. Soon the white trilliums and false lily-of-the-valley will bloom. Being creatures of the woods, one reason deer have such slender, delicate feet, is so they don’t disturb the forest floor and trample on the bleeding hearts.


Size Doesn’t Matter


You never hear people say, “I can’t wait for the maples to bloom.” I never thought much about blooming maples either, until I saw these scarlet blossoms on a Japanese maple. They’re rather stunning. They’re as pretty as the cherry blossoms.

Maple trees have a wide variety of flowers: Maple Flowers –


The chickens this afternoon are as colorful as any flower. They come in such an array of colors, they should be called Dazzle Birds.


No Dressing Needed


The greens this time of year have so much flavor, adding dressing would desecrate them. After going through a winter, the kale is tender and sweet. The ruby streaks are so mustardy, they clear your nose. When you eat an apple, or orange, or banana, you don’t think of adding any dressing. When salad greens taste this good, the thought of putting something on them doesn’t even come up.


The Aliens Have Landed


Oooo! What is that? This is why walking in the woods is important. You get to see the alien life forms that live among us.


I guess this is what happens when all you eat is wood. You turn into this spaceship looking thing that makes a passersby say, “Oooo! What is that?”

If it’s gone tomorrow, it’s probably flown off somewhere, right? Flown off to another solar system to colonize another forest?


So Fleeting, There’s No Time to be Sad


A gust of wind this morning filled the air with swirling petals … a blizzard on a spring morning. Petal blizzards. No need to bundle up, and put on a coat, and a scarf, and a hat.


Cherry blossoms are so fleeting. They only last a week or two. They’re so fleeting, there’s no time to be sad.


On This Solstice Day


On this solstice day, the pears open their flowers.

On this solstice day, Tangerine checks to see if the old doghouse is good for laying eggs.


On this solstice day, a potato wakes from its long winter’s sleep. It’s a gentle reminder that I can start planting potatoes.

On this solstice day, Midge helps me with the weeding. I weed, she helps herself to all the worms.


On this solstice day, Sven is there to guard the hens as they join Midge to help me with the weeding.

On this solstice day, the skunk cabbage fill the spring air with their skunky perfume.


So Much Happens in Just One Day


So much happens in just one day, it’s enough to make your head spin around. Biking home, I noticed a “No Trespassing” in the middle of a flooded field. Is trespassing really a problem in this case? Maybe people are launching boats to go duck hunting in the field.


Nature is the consummate producer of disposable items. One wind storm and a thousand used-once branches come flying out of the trees. The good thing about the items nature throws away is that they are all compostable.


The maples are putting out this year’s leaves. In six to eight months, they’ll be worn out and falling to the ground. Better enjoy them why I can.


There’s less time to enjoy the plum, cherry, and pear blossoms. A few weeks and they will be just a memory.


From dust bathing hens come the world’s most delicious eggs. These won’t last but a few days.


So much happens every day, that it’s taken me ten years to notice these wild cherry roots growing down an old cedar stump. Ten years! And I’ve walked by this cedar stump a million times. I wouldn’t have noticed them either if my husband hadn’t asked me to help him gather up fallen branches. So if someone asks you to help them do a little chore, don’t say no, you might see something worth seeing that you’ve missed for ten years.