Here the answer to the age old question: Chickens. The chickens came first, followed shortly by this beautiful egg. OMG.
I have as yet no photo of the girls, their arrival having been a bit too chaotic, the farmer a bit too stressed. As they live behind a wire screen at the moment, photography is difficult. When they are turned into the orchard in a few days, I will introduce you to them properly.
Meanwhile, do you recall reading about the wood-splitting adventure of several days ago? After the long hot summer, we learned that burning was again allowed, from 1pm to 5pm on Thursday. Larry thought it a good opportunity to burn the pile of un-splittable chunks, and spent the afternoon standing by the rather formidable fire. I looked out at one point to see him swinging a golf club. Well, one way to spend an afternoon.
But it isn’t clear to us if the 5pm deadline means that we have to extinguish the fire, or simply refrain from starting a new fire, at that point. It was to our advantage to presume the latter interpretation, and so we did. But at 10:00, our fire was still pretty hot, smoldering if not actually aflame. We took the flashlight out with the intention of hosing the embers down, but, on examination, decided that, on such a still night, they were safe to leave. The moon just then rose behind the oak woods, mysterious as always, and at that moment, the first coyote sang. Eerie enough, but when he was joined by his pack, which seemed to be circling behind us with their polyphonic song (I always think the coyote song is what the aurora borealis
would sound like, could we hear it), it felt like church, or what church should feel like. Sorry, long sentence.
Fine, right? But I worry. So, when I woke up at 2-ish I had to go look. Out the window, I mean. Damn. I saw actual flames. Fuckdoodle. If it hadn’t been for that fire in the woods next to us, while we were out of town, but which we have been made to feel was somehow our responsibility (yes, even from the middle of the Baltic), maybe I would have been able to go back to bed. Should I wake Larry? He’ll think I’m being ridiculous, but, being Larry, will find his slippers, look for a jacket, and I will have to beg him not to go out there. Which means the fire . . . Okay. I’ll go. Damn it. I’m kind of scared, but I get the flashlight, pull on my boots, climb through the fence, find the hose, and put out the fire. The moon is full, high overhead. It’s so quiet. No coyotes. Just a few peeps and a whistle. It’s so beautiful. You should have been there.
I get back in bed, filled with righteousness. A lovely feeling. Ha. But you want to hear about the chicken acquisition. So Saturday was the day of the Corvallis Poultry Swap (aka Poultry Faire). I had to get to band practice, but the event opened at 10:00. Who knew how it would go. Would all the best chickens be snatched up by early swappers? Haven’t been to such an affair before, so we decided that Larry would go on without me, and when I could get back by noon, he’d show me what he’d found, and we’d choose our chickens. As with most plans, that didn’t work. By the time I got back, the chicken supply had seriously dwindled, and Larry had been forced to buy the two remaining chickens of one vendor. A Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock. By the time I phoned in, there were but two remaining Novogens, a French breed. We thought a French chicken would be a nice touch. They were bred to be good layers, so perhaps our lovely egg is hers.
The distaste on Larry’s face was so funny it would go viral if I could have captured it when, upon opening the box and attempting to put the birds in their coop, one flapped away. The one we have named Sally. Larry had to go after her and honestly, it was hilarious. Of course I didn’t dare laugh, but I’m laughing now.
We got the three of them into the coop part of their cage and watched as they timidly looked out the little door to their stairs, thought about going down. We knew this bird was Sally when she shoved the others aside. I will go first, and when I get down, you may follow me. Took her awhile, though, and eventually she just flew down. But she’s the largest bird, the Barred Rock, very sure of herself, in control, obviously very smart, and thus reminds me of my own beloved Sally, who takes care of me in the way Sally-bird seems to take care of her flock. Okay, now I’m going to bore you, but when it was Henrietta’s turn to come down, she moved, elegantly, one graceful toe at a time. I’m serious! Right now, it’s such fun.
And that’s it. We went out to dinner — found a super Italian store-front — I had their special, slow-roasted lamb with grilled Brussels sprouts and some yummy potatoes, while Larry had a pizza. A really good pizza, but when I asked him why he’d ordered that when there were such good-looking pastas, he said “where.” He didn’t see any pastas on the menu. Too bad. But at least we found a fun new place to eat. We’ll take you there next time you come.