new children of the corn


I chose 4 new chicks on friday. it was a bittersweet event as i mourned my hen Red. but this is the very meaning of spring. one thing ends and another begins.

I try and pick chicks that will blend in well with the forest floor. I think these will be bb reds: old english game bantams. They had some of those fancy japanese bantams that are white with black tails but i think having a white chicken in such a forested area is like ringing the dinner bell for predators. but then again, Red blended and she got killed.

OEGB's are widely trashed as being fighters and generally fussy little pills. but since i handle my chicks daily they get used to being with people and Trout. This is continuing training for Trout as well.

i did buy one polish crested for moi to have as her virtual pet. and i think i am going to photograph him everyday for a year so i can put together a video of him transforming from chick to adult.

I took a close up of the polish so you can see the top of his head has a little bulge where his head dress will be. What does a grown polish crested look like?

Next saturday i am going up to Dalton Georgia to the Carpet City Poultry Show. and i will be calling into the "Chicken Whisperer" radio show which is syndicated nationally. I will be giving a "field report" on the show including an interview with the organizers and the winners of the 4-H division. Of course i plan to take lots and lots of pictures. This will be my first radio blog and if i can post the podcast of it later, i will. *ya'll are just dying to hear me on the radio, arent you? ;-)*

In the evenings i worked on making the cabin more like home and less like a vacation spot. which meant i needed a few pieces of furniture. I was at Wal-Mart earlier in the day picking up something else and cruised by the "furniture". looking at the little desks and storage units made of compressed wood chips and covered with cheap laminate i was completely put off. Instead i went to the junk shop and antique mart and found a lovely but simple primitive table, a cute farm hutch and this little chair all for the money that could have been spent on that junk at Wal-Mart. Fact is, the dealers at the junk shop were hurting and i was able to bargain down the price of this sweet chair to 40 dollars. it even has a needlepoint seat cushion. It is quite charming.

The cabin at night is like living inside a glowing pumpkin. it's vibe is the sweetness and goodness of "home" where a big saturday night is laying in bed with a good dog looking at seed catalogs. I miss V, but im excited for when he comes up because he is going to get a big surprise with all ive done to the cabin! i rearranged the bedroom and worked on the art area. V did give me a DTV receiver but i never really watched TV cause i wanted to hear all the creatures instead: woodpeckers, titmice, little chipping sparrows, crows in the field, the little peeps from my new "peeps".

Dovey had a good saturday. I took her out to the field with me while i staked out the garden plot. The man who is going to plow up the plot came over and Dovey was very sociable with him. He said the soil was in great shape and that he wouldnt plow but till it instead. he said after he finished it would be very easy to work the soil with hand tools. He also gave me a ton of great advice, i can't remember it all. but i do know that i know nothing and will soak up the locals wisdom as best i can. we are also going to do a big plot of wildflowers up by the drive way so the first things you see when you come over is flowers.

some friends from Atlanta are looking for a place to retire to and wanted to see Chickory. i dont have a street address, so i direct people here with landmarks. i also paint the gate like a flag to identify my place. I repaint it every year. by fall it will have a good rusty fade to it that looks really cool. They found me and we talked about what they were looking for. like many folks right now, they've had it with the bailouts and these trillion dollar spending sprees. they are not going to perpetuate the consumer culture by "buying things to get the economy going" and seek to live more simply.

i know it must be hard to be the only hen in the family. Dovey has been hanging out with Trout most the time. and Trout has been really good about it.

even though it was 68 degrees yesterday there is very little blooming right now. Here are the snow drops i put in about 3 years ago. Theyre doing great, but the lily of the valley i planted have disappeared.

aren't these lovely? they are so fresh and green, but not fragrant. last year they bloomed through snow - just like their name "snowdrops" promises.

i found some snowy white crocus in bloom too. no sign of the violets yet.

i hiked up the little mountain across the street and the view was lovely as always. that is a good walk because i can feel my butt burning. yay!

when we got back from our walk Trout and i cooled off in the creek where it is always misty with moisture and the sound of the waterfall thunders.

the woods are so beautiful even before it greens up with spring leaves and tender shoots of plants on the forest floor.

no afternoon is complete without some tree climbing for Trout.

i hope everybody is having a good week-end. i want to thank you all for the comforting words last week regarding the loss of Red. That really meant a lot to me. xo


  1. SPLENDID POST! How beautiful your place is and how wonderful you must feel being there. Trout and Dovey – what a pair. And of course you know my fave photo is of the lil' crested. I love my virtual pet! Have you named everyone yet? And keep us clued into your radio report.

  2. those little chicks of yours are of course adorable..
    made me remember the spring i raised a duckling ..
    that was in mississippi a loooooooooooooooong time ago.
    your place is charming and peaceful ..
    a haven ..
    i hope your garden grows well ..
    and may all predators not see your chick family ..
    they can go dine on something else.

    you know, trout may think dovey and those chicks are his pack now .. :)

  3. When can I come????? As Moi said, this is a SPLENDID post.

    Oh, those baby chicks break my heart, so sweet and I love that you will be photographing "Moi's" so that we can see her grow.

    Congrats on the first phase. I'm so amazed and proud of you because I know this isn't easy.

    WalMart furniture is crappy from overseas. Good job on buying local and it sounds like you've been nesting.

    (New video up for my Mute.)

  4. Oh!!

    Mah heavens chile'--this is a lovely post.

    ADORE them wee babe chicks--what do DOvey think of 'em?? An Trout?

    Yore patch of mountains, the creek, snow drops, looks so enticin' yore garden will be wonnerful--folks will hep ya', jes' wait an' see.

    Ya know ya got a good thang, right?

  5. I favored the second chick down. Had the looks of a first class clown.
    And with Trout checking in
    And yon falcon may make a sin,
    If'n it zigs instead of zags and Ol' Trout pulls it down!

    Really, though gal, that is a great place! Mountains nearby, plenty of florals and stuff!
    No shortage of things to paint!
    (pictures of, not the trees)

    Waters here are still too cool for dippin
    But it's sweet and fine for sippin.
    (and your new bird looks like it will have a great day
    scaring all the predators away,
    Yup, a really great place for your chicken!


  6. New peeps! So very...Spring!
    Bravo for not supporting Wal-Mart the number 1 influence in off shoring manufacturing out of America.

    GLAD to hear you are supporting the locals, better quality and better community relations and it keeps funds in the community.

    Radio? Something new to look forward to.

    Your Kingdom of Chickory looks very nurturing, hope your Big Dog gets okay with your being there and hope he will be eager to come often.

    If your locals are like the ones over here in the Carolinas they will be eager to help you with the garden.
    I just have this notion of you providing the flower arrangements for the eateries on Saturdays or pulling a little yellow wagon
    chock full of eggs, and flowers and your regional inspired etsy cards like peddlers of old. Bet you sell out by noon every Saturday.

    It's March at the Pond. Happy MM.

  7. moi: i do have a good feeling here. i think the biggest gift is the escape from noise! we are bombarded by noise in the city. it never stops there is a constant hum in the air. then there is the TV. V always has a TV on. always.

    no names yet - i have to see what their personalities are and maybe their sex too. i might name the crested "ski" cause he is a po-lock. grherha

    foamy: ducklings are even cuter than chicks. but boy oh boy the shite they make -very slick and lots of it, too. i appreciate your little prayer for my place -from your keyboard to God's ears. come on over this summer!

    boxer: you are welcome here anytime. you know that. i think the end of october and first of november is truly spectacular. even the NYT magazine put us on the top 10 leaf watching destinations. i have been nesting and its been a happy few days. but tomorrow i will go back to the shitty, er, i mean city, and catch up in the studio.
    thank you for what you said -it isnt easy to leave V to slog it out at a hard time. but i just have to.

    aunty: yes i do know i have a good thing. and i am grateful and blessed. im hoping i will learn quickly. i looked around at the co-op on friday at the cold weather plants but my tiller man said to wait until mothers day to plant. in fact, he wont even till until may first so the ground doesnt get hard with the next frost or cold snap. thanks aunty.

    boney: that water is super cold! Trout will swim in water with ice on the surface. i like the second chick too. i love its eyepaint. i think its going to be a little pistol judging from the way it zips around. these were the smallest of the bantams too. nice poetry!

    fishy: i like that! i just happen to have a little red wagon. maybe a basket with a hen and cut flowers? little heirloom tomatoes? very dear. very very dear. I will think of something. i had a good weekend on Etsy (i made the front page which is great for sales) so between that, V's support and whatever else i can cobble together i should be okay!

  8. there are sugar pineapples and animals waiting for you there.


    More peep pictures, please.

  9. boxer: where is your blog?! it looks like what happened to sparring k9 a few weeks back - no posts at all. i want to see the video. (oh i can WAIT! to see the sugary art)

  10. weird, it happened to Mr.C, too. It's there if you type the addy into your browser.

  11. i might just do that .. :)

  12. boxer: no it isnt. i just tried that. go into settings under format and pick a new number of posts to show and save and it will come back. go! now! grrrrherha

    foamy: really?! i would LOVE that. seriously, please do come. i will be here pretty much full time after may 15. (i have to go to san fran for V's moms birthday celebration but after that you couldnt dynamite me outta here) dont come in august. its hot and buggy and i dont have air conditioning.

  13. Sigh. Quiet contentment. Just to wander and explore. Turn over rocks, poke into holes. Much envy. And those chicks. Glad to hear they will be models for your camera. Does Phyllis Diller know there's a chicken breed based on her hair?

    When is berry season?

  14. shamu: right after morel season. ;-) morels are unstable. they are good for about three days and then mold sets in. does that sound like something you want to EAT! there goes my cash crop.

    come and poke and turn over rocks! you would never come inside!

    yes. YOU would love the sound of it here - rushing water, bird song, wind, crickets.....

    phyllis! good chicken name

  15. Whew, I did it! Thanks. All fixed now. I hope.

    Phyllis a a great name for a chicken. So is Lucy.

  16. Oh Chickory my dear,those little chicks are so cute and adorable,love their little faces and I would love to hear them make their little cheeps and chirps.
    I think old English game bantams are amongst the prettiest of hens and this little crested polish guy looks like he has plenty of attitude and when he gets his head dress I dare say he will make any predator think twice about taking him on.
    I love how Trout is taking good care of Dovey, she will most likely become 'mother' hen and watch out for her little feathered family.
    Its true the more you handle them and pet them the more calm and friendly they become, they all have their own personalities as you would know.
    These are such beautiful photos of your little piece of paradise, the lovely snowdrops and crocus,( mine are flowering too), the creek, the lichens on the rocks I can just imagine that sweet forest smell, feel the light and shade and hear the song of the birds and insects.
    Its so much fun fixing things up, I'm pleased you bought your furniture second hand, that chair is lovely, old things have such character, I would love to see your farm hutch... the cabin looks warm and inviting and Saturday nights sound really great.
    Have a lovely time there sweet girl with your Trout, Dovey and your new babes and have a great time planting out your garden plot and the wildflowers up the driveway... that will be a nice welcome.
    No doubt all of the little chicks will be scratching around that garden plot in no time.
    lots of love to you nature's girl.♥
    Dianne xo

  17. Wow!! I love everything about this post! I'm so happy things are coming together and you can have someplace to live and enjoy natures beauty.

    And you were able to get some new babies to love on! The Polish are a great breed. Our Cotton is adorable with the greatest personality! A little goofy, but that just makes us love her more.

  18. Ski? That's pretty funny.

    Speaking of gardening, I just ordered a whole bunch of heirloom seeds and a small container/small spaces gardening kit from the Ark. Although I'm on a couple acres, it's mostly sloping and rocky and the rabbits are merciless. But I'm bound and determined to grow our own veggies and herbs this year. Although, we do have three bustling grower's markets down the road. Which will come in handy if I fail miserably :o).

    And if I don't find work anytime soon, I'm going to try and barter my secretarial and/or housecleaning skills with some local cheese makers and ranchers in the town up from us.

    Travel safely back to Hotlanta.

  19. I am so glad that you got new chicks. Doesn't a part of you wish they would stay little forever?

    And your Trout and his tree climbing has made my day. What a good dog. :)

  20. So sorry about Red. I know I'd be very upset if I lost any of mine. Glad you've gotten new chicks - hope Dovey feels the same :-)

  21. I read your post with real pleasure. I'm just settling into my work day and reading your account of new chicks and a walk with Trout, great pix breaking up the text, was so restorative. So now I can transition into cube world. thanks! alicia

  22. Holy Chickens ! How chock full of Goodness is this post ? Your new chicks are tres adorable and I do hope you do the photo a day project as that would be totally amazing to see. Love your junk shop furniture (the best) and your cozy sleeping nook avec much loved Trout and quilts. I would love to hear the podcast - your images as always are beautiful and as ABG stated above ... restorative. Your words and photos always a consistent reminder to me that most of what "we" consider important in life actually means nothing. And you are living a life completely overflowing with meaning. I'm so glad I stopped by.

    Merci once again and much love from the Gang at 29 Black Street with very special regards to Miss Dovey C.

  23. boxer: and it is excellent! i loved it. you restore my faith in movie making constantly. thank you. phyllis. yes. but if i get girls i might go with some lovely saints like "avila" and" Lisieux"

    dianne: what a naturalists eye you have! you remind me of annie dillard, one of my favorite writers. i bet you would love her work if you are not already well aware of her. xo my heart is with you today.

    dani: im excited about going to the bantam show this saturday!! woo hoo! thanks for encouraging me. im really looking forward to summer. (for once)

    gnome: im trying. thank you for saying so. im really happy there. i kills to drive away but after one last trip to california (ack) i can stay put.

    moi: try some earth boxes or raised beds. i bet youd do fine. good about the market -we have a budding one too. im really thinking about fishy's idea of showing up with flowers and eggs and art cards.....eeeeeeeeeee i am so excited. i really am.

    kmwthay: i do! but, they are so fragile. but their little personalities are already showing. ol trouter. she lives to climb. and swim. and hunt ofr critters....

    anonymous: i hope dovey will be nice. she was hard on red but they worked it out. it will be a long time before they can all range together.

    ABG: you should come up sometime. sarah talked about us all getting together when you visit them. so spend some time at chickory. sound good? thank you for your sweet comment!

    susan: i took their photos again today! i decided to do them ALL. there is a goodness to chickory that makes me be a bit sweeter and calmer. a very good thing ;-) thank you for your kind words!

  24. It's so beautiful...more wonderful than evan the words you posted here- though that seems hard to believe.
    I loved the chicks :) The morning you lost Red- I was telling the kids I wanted to build a cage and get some little chicks so we could have chickens like you do!
    I still think it's a good idea :)
    Hugs and I will be in touch soon~
    xoxo :)


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