This is Goldie. Goldie was one of the chicks that my husband brought home last spring. We would feed them meal worms when they were tiny little balls of fluff, and Goldie would always get the worm.
She is the most photogenic of all the girls, always posing for the camera. Turning her head just so and clucking at me to get her good side.
This morning on our little farm, its crisp, cold and bright. The contrast between the bright blue sky, the glittering ice covered branches and the brilliant white snow is magnificent.
When I come out of my back door, I have to open the latch on the gate to enter the backyard. As soon as I touch the latch, the girls hear the sound and begin calling to me. I imagine it goes something like this "We haven't had food for days! We want bananas! Can I have a drink of water? I want to come out of the coop! What do you have? Do you have something? Do you? Because I want something. How about oatmeal? Did you make oatmeal?"
When I walk into the back yard, if they are free ranging, they lift their wings and run to me. I know, I know.. you have to be a chicken mama to understand, but it is possible to love a silly hen.
I open their coop door and reach down to check the water level. As soon as I touch it, all of the girls gather round to drink as if the water hadn't been there before I touched it. I pick up their feeder and swirl it around with turns of my wrist to evenly distribute the food. They then run to the feeder, pecking at the crumbles as if now they are fit to eat.
I gather the eggs and scold them. One of the girls forgot to jump down from the nest box before relieving herself. Naughty girl.
Reaching into their warm pine scented nest is probably the sweetest part of my day. If I'm wearing an apron I will lift the hem and gather the eggs gently in the fold. Once I placed the eggs in my over large coat pockets and then forgot they were in there...well thats not exactly true. I did forget they were in there, but it wasn't my coat pockets, it was my husbands. Imagine his suprise.
There is just something so yesteryear about gathering eggs. I feel as if I am in line behind a long chain of women, lifting eggs from nests and placing them in aprons or skirt folds. I am standing in the present and living the past.
It's a lovely thing.