...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


chickens and garlic... and dogs.

This year we took a gamble 
and planted our ENTIRE garlic crop 
inside our chicken yard.  

I've watched with curiosity so far this spring
to see how it goes 
between the girls and the garlic, 
and overall, it's been great!

We haven't closed off the beds to them or anything,
which we could do if they were being destructive.

They hop up sometimes.  They peck around a little.
Maybe scratch a little.  
The most damage they did was in one of our beds,
where they just kicked up too much of the mulch,
and so Boo added more.

A not-very-smart thing we did 
was add old chicken bedding as mulch to some of the beds,
which in and of itself would probably be an okay thing
except for ours had bits of chicken feed scattered through it,
and that attracted the girls.

They're not at all interested in eating the garlic, though.
Just bugs and little bits of stuff.  

Thankfully our hardneck garlic isn't delicate 
it's hardy and strong, and even if one of the girls steps on any of them
at this early stage of garlic growth, they've rebounded.

Here is Sweet Jerz in one of our garlic beds.  
You can see how she's after the feed, not the garlic.   
So the girls and the garlic are really paying each other no mind at all.

Speaking of paying no mind,
our dog Clara has become quite fond of coming in the chicken yard,
but it doesn't seem to be because of the chickens.

She loves scrounging around for their food, and looking for eggs to eat, 
so we have to make sure we check the nest boxes on the porch before she comes in.  
She loves to gobble up eggs.

Maybe one of these days a chicken will fly up on Clara's back and perch on her.
That would be so cute!!

It's really fun watching them together,
and it's nice to have at least one dog who is safe with the chickens.
(our others, not so much...)

When Clara comes into the chicken yard,
the girls kind of perk their heads up when they see her
and then they collectively decide, "Oh, it's just Clara..."
and go back to their business.  


looking for signs of life

This has been the longest, winteriest winter...
Too long of a winter can really take a toll.  

As soon as the weather starts to really break, 
my favorite thing to do 
is to walk around looking for all the little Signs of Life.

All the signs of spring are a salve for the spirit.

Every little thing I see,
 I can feel the cells in my body
let out a collective sigh of relief.

But it's beyond relief.
It's relief paired with JOY.
Now that I think about it,
it's actually beyond joy.
It's downright exultation!

I could dance a muddy-boot-dance
around every bed of crocuses,
every burgeoning tulip or daffodil.


They are such assertive little spikes...
emerging, self-assured, and so vibrant. 

This annual rebirth.


It's staggering to me.

The world presents itself 
with so much metaphor and meaning.

Opportunities for insight and growth
and just plain old fun
abound every day.

The world is springing back from the weight of winter 
and I see 
the trees are pulling sap up
from deep within the earth
in order to grow their buds.

I've been hearing ovenbirds and yellowthroats
and the bubbly exuberant songs of wrens

And I saw a robin!
Hello again, old friend...

 Water is flowing once again.

And the gardens are even perking up, with no help from us!
...some hardy beautiful kale mix that over-wintered with absolutely no mulching!
and garlic, glorious garlic...
is starting to peek out and say
"Geeez, Spring, what took you so long?"