Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chickens in Snowshoes

aracuna 010Well, well, well....I am wearing the goofey-faced smile. I've lived in Maine for almost a decade and I still can't help wearing the goofey-face smile when the first snow of the year really happens. I guess Mudder Nature was trying to test my fortitude by giving us a whole 16 inches in one long, stormy whoopin' but I will not be deterred from being my dorky self. Pics of the snow on the trees are paraded like symbols on the flag of my goober-freakness. I know, I know, to some the sight of these tree limbs pregnant with cold, white snow conjures shoveling days yet to come, gargantuant heating oil bills, and cold feet. While I get the cold feet issue some days - the hubster keeps us in wood for the fire and the shoveling loses its fear factor after a while.

aracuna 005So, when the winds died down and the damage was tallied - it was time to let the animals do that 'what the hell happened to our dirt?' exploration. This is especially hard on our little Jack Russell Terrier - Sage. He is otherwise oblivious to the fact that he is very small - unless, of course, our german shepherd (Gypsy) is chasing him around the yard. But, on snow day, his confidence wanes. While the sheep are disoriented by the snow in their pasture, they muddle around like a large animal can do, tromping down the snow and reminding us that they own the place and those who are smart enough to grow their own wool as opposed to STEALING it off the backs of hard-working sheep can keep warm wherever they go. Sage steals away to do his bathroom business - buried to the ears in snow - and the only evidence I have of his whereabouts are the brown and white tips of his ears and head poking up from the sea of white. He feels cold and small when he comes in....so we gave him a meaty bone and he perked right up.

029One might think the chickens would be being, well, pardon my lack of control - CHICKENS about the snow (hee hee at least I make myself laugh) but this is just not the case. As soon as the snow stops blowing, they are out walking about and complaining loudly that all those seeds, weeds, etc. they were snacking on are covered in frozen water. They play in the snow, even, and wash their feathers by rolling on it over and over and then shaking it off (has anyone else noticed how easy it is to entertain me when I'm avoiding my holiday knitting?). Here's our Araucana Rooster out bossing the girls around while they eat up the corn that I 'spilled' on the snow for them. He's the inspiration for one of my sets of batts out this week.

We love the Araucana chickens. Our girls are either Araucana or Austerlops - two breeds we have had immense success with in Maine. The araucana handles the cold very well, they lay the most beautiful array of rainbow colored eggs, and the rooster's tail feathers (the hens have none at all) are the most intense black with green shimmering highlights. It is an awesome find in our house when you're walking around outside and stumble upon one of his discarded tail feathers. The simple minded can play with one for what seems like hours, flipping it back and forth in the sun and watching it change from black to green to black.....okay, okay, I'm back to the knitting! 002 There's been a bit of spinning, too, just so you know I'm being productive while I'm avoiding being productive.