In which the coop door resembles the merge lane on the 520 bridge

The Swampland region boasts several of what outsiders call "marvels of engineering" and locals call "a pain in the patoot."

Notable among these is the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge , (recently officially renamed the Governer Albert B. Rosellini Bridge) which is essentially a freeway built onto a barge nearly a mile and a half long, stretching between Seattle and Bellevue, over a bit of Lake Washington.

Locals don't use either of the official handles for the bridge. We call it "the 520 bridge", and if we don't cuss while talking about it, we will at least spit while discussing the traffic on it.

The 520 bridge was designed to carry a whomping 65,000 vehicles per day, which everyone in 1963 thought was an outrageous number that would never happen. However, on an average weekday in 2009 the bridge carries about 115,000 vehicles--nearly twice the number expected by the designers.

All those cars.

They ... move ... very ... slowly ...

... because there isn't actually room for all of them to get through the merge lanes.

So it is with the doorway to the chicken's Winter Palace around bedtime each evening:
The door was designed for a long line of chickens to enter the coop, one at a time.

Alas, chickens can't--or won't--read the design sheets. At rush hour (i.e. bedtime), they all try to merge into the coop at once.

Just as on the 520 bridge, the coop door is subject to what traffic reporters call "blocking incidents." These can last for quite a while as the hens perch in the doorway and fall asleep, corking up the entrance.
Meanwhile, outside in the dark (it usually IS dark--I had to use my flash to get these photos), the other hens wait for traffic to clear.

Finally, some chicken or other appoints herself as battering ram, and throws herself at the cork chickens. This clears the jam momentarily, and a few more hens enter. Then another blocking incident occurs, and the whole thing repeats until, at last...

...all then hens are safely indoors for the night.



  1. i'll never forget the time i drove a friend from out of town across the 520 bridge, and he looked out at the water and said, "gee, this bridge is so low, it's almost like it's floating." hehehehheheh it is!

    don't ya love it when it's stormy and a wave comes over and gets your car? (terrifying)

    speaking of famous bridges, did you know the old tacoma narrows bridge is world famous? i wouldn't have believed it, but when i went to a science center in bremen, they had a tacoma narrows bridge exhibit! called "resonance failure."

    and years ago my man taught his students a lesson about it, complete with video of it undulating. physics teachers around the world, looking at that bridge for a fail lesson!


  2. I love that - a chicken traffic jam! LOL!

  3. I don't think I'd like that bridge AT ALL.

    Major chicken gridlock!

  4. Apparently one of the chickens had a flat tire going into the coop this evening.

    I had to remove the blocking incident myself--there was a five-hen pileup outside the door.



Post a Comment

To err is human. To be anonymous is not.

Popular posts from this blog

In which we take (metaphoric) coals to Newcastle by boat and barge

In which we go to the Highland Games and there's a Henry photo dump