Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mornings

There is just something magical about the walk to the paddock through the dew and glistening nights cobwebs. The horse snuffling the air softly as his silent foot steps leave darkened holes against the glimmer of the silver tinted grass. His head swings about eager for the sights, sounds, and smells of the early morning creatures he shares his domain with. A stilt legged Killdeer screeches as it takes flight. Their nest is somewhere in the thicket along his paddock and they accept him willingly enough but spook to the skies when I walk by. Released for a few hours of play and graze time he lifts his copper head to inspect the pasture beyond his own, excited for the appearance of his girls, the left over cows from decades of farming who stayed with us when times pushed us to the sides. They are not in sight, his head drops as he meanders to graze and I go on about my mornings tasks.

Red-laced Wyandottes

Guinea hens call plaintively to me as I approach their coop. "Let us out" is begged by the three raucous little birds. As I pull the draw string that works the door they bolt forth, odd looking heads bobbing to the ground in search of any cracked corn from the previous day they might have missed, their chortling sounds announcing to the sparrows that have invaded their turf in search of the odd morsel of feed that this is their home go away. 

Inside, old red hen is setting her nest diligently. She greats me with a chuckle that only a broody hen can repeat. Her fluffy feathers covering a myriad of guinea eggs and five turkey eggs given by a friend. Should she hatch them all she will be mother to a yours, mine and ours collection of babes. Since guineas and turkeys share and incubation period of 28 days give or take a few, and chickens are in the 21 day range, Wednesday I'll give her a few eggs of my EE hens down in the coop that are enjoying the company of the big blue Cochin rooster. Imagine, one old red hen, followed about by a lovely gathering of poults, keets and chicks. What a sight that would be.


An EE hen

Then there is the coop in the old heifer barn. Peeps from Miss Laura's chicks let me know someone slipped thru the wires again and is none to pleased with its situation. The small black chick with its white goggles readily accepts a helping hand back in with momma. Probably because I've tucked the little bugger back under her white fluff a dozen times already. 

A white chick peeks out at me thru her wing. As their little feeder and waterer are filled countless young birds flood to my feet in a tidal wave of feathers rowdily calling for their own breakfasts. Wyandottes, Cochins, mutts and various unknowns all let me know they are ready for their share. A big white hen peers out from the nest box, a signal which lets me know she has already gotten down to the business of laying her egg of the day. She is one of my EE hens. A cross breed that lays the same brilliant blue eggs of the Araucauna and Ameracuana without having to go thru a hatchery. Hers are the eggs which I will put under the old broody hen in the other coop. Hopes of feather footed blue egg laying chicks fill my dreams.

A second bunch of chicks. 
This white one has gone among the missing.

Up to the pea barn I go. No we do not grow peas there. Miss P is a delightful aged Peahen who desperately needs a new boyfriend. But male Peacocks are horribly expensive. So until either one wanders in from parts unknown, or we get ridiculously lucky and find one dirt cheap she is on her own. She greats my presence in her regal way with only a slight tilt of her crowned head. Lighting to the coop floor from her roost she eagerly inspects the mornings offerings. Cat food for protein, a bit of sunflower seed, some cracked corn and a bit of the hens layer mash adorn her blue feed tub. She head tilts to me again as I leave. 

Lastly is my delightful pony. She and Sunny take turns in the paddock and this evening she will trek with me thru the sun and lawn to take her own turn at liberty. But for this morning she is happy to have her forelock scratched, and chow down on a few flakes of my dad's delightful fresh hay and a bucket of cold water as she waits her turn. 

Old lady Silver.
One of Miss Laura's grown babies

 Now is my quiet time. A cup of hot coffee beside me as I peruse the interwebs while my little girl and husband sleep in a bit. Maybe I will see to my own breakfast while the peaceful stillness still cloaks the world as morning has taken over for night and the day has not yet become so busy.

2 comments:

ellie k said...

I love you writing, it seems like I am walking with you to each place and can hear the chicks peep and even see Miss Peacock wait for a new man in her life. Thanks for posting again, I enjoy it all and love that little girls pics. She is beautiful.

Paintsmh said...

Thank you!