There have been 3 new additions to my mad flock of chickens.
One of the perils of hatching your own eggs is that you never know what you'll end up with, so you might just end up with lots of boys who mooch about the place, get in to scraps, and do nothing but eat (sound familiar?)
So far I've been a bit unlucky with my egg hatching, the first clutch was 2 girls and a boy, then last year I ended up with 3 boys... And of course the 2 who are no longer with us were both girls as well, so all in all the flock composition was a little boy heavy.
That's where these 3 beautiful black ladies come in. As my grey chickens get older they're laying less egss, and they also means more girls to go round and keep the cockerels happy.
They started off by being Boyo's little group of girls, and he did a wonderful job of introducing them to the delights of our free-range garden. Unfortunately they've decided he's a bit old for them, and they're now firmly part of Big Bird and Dusty's hareem. Penny is most happy, because until then she'd had 2 cockerels "taking care" of her...
Sometimes it's nice to to stop and stare.
The old lane above the house. There used to be a hedge for the field boundry, but it's now long overgrown. Look Closer....
Roots trap stones, and flowers grow in cracks.
Hiding in the shadows.
Sometimes we just need to pause. Take notice, open our eye, breathe deeply.
Photos snapped this afternoon, after spotting the clump of violets this morning while playing hunt the chicken eggs in 5 minutes snatched from dyeing fibre.
And you know what, today went so much better as a result. The colours came out as planned, I managed to finish work early, so will actually get ahead of myself, and get a couple of extra jobs done today.
A few days ago, when we were still having the gloriously hot weather I collected some eggs from the chicken house. For some reason I got distracted, and ended up leaving them on top of the small wall by the chicken house. When I went back later they were gone! Something had taken them.
One of Mum's Christmas presents was a small camera trap, the sort they use on wildlife documentaries, but less hi-tech. You set it up and a motion sensor activates a camera, it even has an infra-red light for night time snaps. This was a mystery that needed solving, and we had the perfect tool to use!
We put another egg out as bait, and went about our normal day. Most of the photos feature chickens. Chickens crowing, chickens running across the lawn, chickens investigating eggs in odd places, chickens chilling out, you get the picture!
Chicken bums also feature strongly.
The date stamp is wrong by the way. We've never been able to get the date changed on the camera, so as a result it thinks it's in 2011...
We also got a shot of one of our Yellowhammers, comonly referred to in this house as Budgies!
Mr Pheasant showed an interest, but left the eggs in place.
Finally a more likely culprit! But then, camera fail at critical time, we didn't catch him/her in the act.
The Camera went back up, and was left overnight. We caught another possible suspect on video.
But the eggs remained.
Finally, early next morning the crow returned, and this time took the egg. Unfortunatley the camera had shifted in the night, and the short video clip finishes just before the egg gets taken. We shall have to try again, there's no shortage of crows, or eggs!