Sunday, 4 October 2015

Elspeth, Bernice, and Friends, Have a Very Big Adventure

  As with all excursions it's a question of scale; the breadth of ones normal horizons; and your starting point..

Here, the ladies have been resident on this particular patch for over two months; they've been very busy clearing the aftermath of the sugar snap peas and broad beans; but now the ground is starting to look a little stale; and pastures new are called for.

So the early morn whilst the mists still hang low, it's time for the wagon to roll, or, for the closed up coop, hens within, to be moved.

First job: check that the tractor starts.
Its disappointing for the girls if you create a frisson of "We're going somewhere" if it then turns out that the essential to operations infernal combustion won't play nicely. A not infrequent occurrence on a cold damp morning.

Next take down the netting fence that (mostly)  keeps the chicken where they should be, noting how the grass does indeed appear to be greener, this side of the fence?
Caught on camera wearing my 'best walking wellies' for purposes agricultural, controversial!

Hitch up the house to the tractor, bit of an ad hoc arrangement this, but it does the job.

 Pretty sure that a lot of rural Devon would fall to pieces if it weresn't for lengths of baler twine, old wire, and making do with whatever's to hand.

Hold on to your eggs girls (please don't fret, no shells were broken in the making of this docu-drama)
Proceeding now with caution, at a most leisurely pace, there really is no rush.
Especially as the house; which is built onto a very ancient but perfectly serviceable hay trailer; has one flat tyre.
The chances of getting that wheel off now, in order to fix it will have been made mighty slim by 70 years worth of rust on the wheel nuts.
I think she might be a job for an angle grinder.

Welcome to your New Home, my feathered fiends.
 How do you like the window treatments?

Unhitch, minding ones fingers, and toes.
Then fence re erected, with only a few snaggles to undo.
 I surely can't be the only person who actually enjoys untangling things?*
 Even kite strings... its actually part of the fun of flying them for me. That and and feeling the weather in your hand, whilst  appreciating the sky.

* there will be an online community I'm sure of it..

The anticipation builds...within and without the house...
The sound of forty plus chicken having an excited conversation is almost deafening...
But sweet at the same time "Oooo Bernice where do you think we'll be??

Then...Open the pop- holes and
Fluttering freedom,
Every day there is a bit of unseemly bustling to be first out.
But today after the delay, and the thrilling journey...

Once everyone is out, clucking contentment reigns all round, the ladies get to work; clearing their new patch. This is where the first outdoor salad of the season was grown, there'll be rich pickings of bugs and greenery for a good few weeks now.

It may eggsplain why their offerings taste so good.

I think I've earnt my proper coffee and buttery toast, before commencing the rest of the days duties...

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