Eleanor–by popular demand!

8 x 10, oil on gessoed board.  Click to bid. The other day I was thinking about blogs, and how difficult it would have been to start a blog without digital photography.  In other words, what if all this internet stuff had happened, but somehow no one had thought to invent digital photography along the way and we were all still using film cameras, getting pictures developed, scanning them, etc?  It would be impossible for me to run...

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The Girls!

Lots of people write to me and ask for more chicken posts.  So here, by popular demand, are some pictures of the girls.  There’s not a great deal of news to report–they are all healthy and happy, and they spend almost all day free-ranging in the backyard now.  Dolley had an impacted crop for a while, and then it got very swollen and seemed like it was no longer able to expand and contract the way it needs to in order...

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Gardening With Hens

My good friend Michele over at Sign of the Shovel and GardenRant asked me how on earth I keep the chickens from destroying the garden.  I thought this was a blog-worthy topic, so here you go: Forget about annuals.  Anything that self-sows is history.  The girls love to scratch in the dirt, and when they do that, they uproot tiny seedlings and probably even eat some seeds.  The bright side?  They do the same thing to...

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We Interrupt Our Regularly-Scheduled Programming for This Important Chicken News

Dolley’s moulting!  Look at this scraggly girl.  For those of you who aren’t chicken owners–and why not, may I ask?–hens go through a moult in the winter where they lose their feathers in patches and grow them back.  Here you can see quills coming back in to cover a bare patch on her breast.  I sure wish they wouldn’t lose all their feathers just as the cold weather sets in, but that’s...

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A Damn Fine Chicken Coop

Spotted in the English countryside:  just about the smartest little chicken house a flock could ever want.  (Sorry for the fence in the foreground; there was no getting around that.) On the left, a nice wooden coop with nesting boxes sticking out the side, making it easy to collect eggs from the outside.  Windows that can be shuttered up on the coldest winter nights.  A nice big run, screened on top, with board along the...

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