The chickens have begun to use the roosts – not gracefully, mind you – but they are using them.  Yesterday, I had to rescue Daffy when she got too high and didn’t know how to get down – good night, that girl can squawk.  Today, she got herself down but used Hyacinth, one of the fluffy “penguin” chicks to cushion her landing.   Fern Tries Out the Roost

I used to be scared of chickens – scared to touch them, even to walk among them.  But there’s nothing like raising something from a day-old life to get rid of fear.  Plus, we don’t have any roosters. 🙂

We’ve been busy working away now that the rain has left up this week.  This morning, Philip put two pallets (leaning against each other) in the garden so I can train the cucumbers and melons to grow up them.  We’re doing the same with the gourds that his dad and mom then clean, etch, and then paint as beautiful crafts.

Last night, we almost finished assembling the goat shed from pallets, recycled wood, and reused metal sheeting.  It’s gorgeous and will provide the herd a place to get out of the wind, rain, and snow.

Today, we’re going to get the dog/goat houses into place and finish up the final arrangements for the two pups and two myotonics that we will pick up next Saturday.  Lily Takes Her First Venture Outside

I’ve never really paid that much attention to spring, I’m learning.  For so many years, I was buried in books and then in papers to grade that I tended to miss the way the dogwoods burst to life and then settle into the stillness of green leaves.  Having new lives here on the farm helps attune me to the time, too, the way the days are getting slowly longer and the chicks and keets more lively.

It’s taken me a lot of years to slow down enough to really KNOW the way the seasons reflect life.  I used to crave this insight – planting cabbages in deck containers, looping buttercups behind my ear – but now I live it.  I feel like a child again – a tired, slightly sleep-deprived child – but exuberant, lively.  Brave even.

Brave enough to jump from four times my height without even a fluffy bird to cushion me.  Thanks for the inspiration, Daffy.

What are your feelings about spring?

The Full Roster of Chicken and Guinea Names

Polish Chicks





Striped Chicks (whose breed we have yet to identify)



Black Bantam Frizzle Chicks




Speckled Chicks (whose breed we have yet to identify)



Giant Chick (whose breed we have yet to identify)

Daffodil (Daffy for short)

Red-Headed Chick (whose breed we have yet to identify)

Red Baron

Orange Chick (whose breed we have yet to identify)


Black Frizzle Chick (whose breed we have yet to identify)


Black and White Chick (whose breed we have yet to identity)



Don’t forget to check out the Writer’s Retreat coming up in July. Spaces are beginning to fill, so sign up today.  If you’re not a writer, just mark your calendar for the night of July 19th and plan to join us for the reading by Shawn Smucker and concert by John Francis.  Tickets are $10, and you can reserve yours by just commenting below or replying to this email and letting me know how many of you are coming.  Thanks.