In which there is a Circle of Life and we Moil for Gold in the woods

On the farm, we are in close proximity to the circle of life.

So long and thanks for all the...worms.
photo by M. Bretherton

Lots of people like to talk about "the circle of life" but we're a little more up-close-and-personal with the whole thing than most folks we know.  

Today was no exception: one of our older hens was clearly failing this morning.  She was wet (despite ready access to shelter from the rain) and quite unwell.  Monica wrapped her in a dry towel for an hour or two, but chicken veterinary stuff is pretty straightforward:  either they bounce back fast or they fail fast.  

It was pretty clear to all of us that Minerva Louise was failing.   Jim and I escorted her to the Next World.  

When we got back to the house, we discovered that Wynette had laid her first pullet egg.

Wynette's first egg  (left, shown next to Dora's egg for comparison)

Although predators or egg-binding sometimes claims a hen, we have a relatively substantial flock, including 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Lavender Orpingtons, and Twelve (an elderly Barred Rock hen)

Chicken Twelve, the hen voted
"Most Likely to Die a Quick and Bizarre Death"
is the final survivor from the first box of peeps.
 plus the Junior Varsity Squad of Silver-Laced Wyandottes, including Wynette and her friends.

Wynette was the sole survivor of chick-eating intruder earlier this spring. Monica dodged the odds and chose 4 other hen chicks and no roosters, which means that the current count of chickens is eleven, including the confusingly-named hen called Twelve.

Junior Varsity Squad Squabs are pretty

We kept thinking this hen is a rooster, but she's not.

The adult chickens are beginning to molt this week, which is never attractive.

Twelve and Dora display their transitional outfits.  Not a good look.

When speaking of unattractive birds, the turkeys always come up in the conversation.

They spend several hours each day performing the "Sexy Sexy Dance"
for each other and for any motorized vehicle that they can hear from the pen.

The turkeys are enormous, and still have another month to go before harvest.  They walk ponderously already, with their own weight slowing them down.

Elsewhere on the farm

Bicolored Squash gather for a class photo by the flagpole.
Short kids in the front row.
 the pumpkins are gratifyingly huge.

Foxie Loxie is teeny by comparison

the sunflowers have begun to droop under their own weight

Biggify the picture to see the pollinator still hard at work on this sunflower!

and the green beans are still green

Purple Dragon Tongue Beans

but we're making plans to shell out the runner beans soon for winter soup.

Scarlet Runner Beans

Off-topic, but of interest:  Roo is teaching Foxie how to handle himself properly on mushroom hunts.

Come when she calls, and DON'T GET LOST

Not an enormous haul today, but enough for dinner, and that's plenty.

We totally moiled for gold

One the drive home

Close your eyes, Foxie.  Luna will play with you when we get home.

there was napping.

And that is Good.


  1. Honoring the memory of the feathered fallen. Then big smilings, from the floofs and from me! Thanks for this.


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