25 March 2008

Easter eggs and chooks

We closed the gates on Thursday afternoon when we returned from our day out and they have remained closed since then. We've been shut off from the world, working on this and that, and content doing it.

Little Lotte, the silver spangled Hamburg.

My main concern has been the care of Martha, Jewels, Beatrice and Heather - the youngest of the chickens - and I have to tell you they are a hand full. Beatrice, the little Campine, is an excellent escape artist and at one point we had to take some pickets off the fence when she wedged herself between a sheet of corrugated iron and the fence. My intention was to have them on the grass in the sun, but the wire circle I made didn't keep them in because the holes were too big. I then fenced them off in the vegetable garden with a length of lattice and while that kept them in securely, it blew over just before a downpour of rain and I thought it wise not to put them back there. In the end, they stayed in the 200 litre box they sleep in and that was under cover because of the frequent showers. We have some smaller gauge wire which makes up a wall being replaced on the chicken coop, so when Hanno puts on the sides of the enlarged house, I'll have my wire circle. I have a feeling that circle will happen today as Hanno has to look after the babies while I'm at work. ; - )

It's been a slow and quiet Easter here. I did some sewing on my tote bag and the stitchery, sorted through yarn, organised my work notebooks and diary for next week and did barely enough cooking to keep us going. Seeds were planted, pots moved around, worm castings harvested and scattered on the vegetable garden and fertiliser was made. I did all my house chores and watched part of two DVDs one of the ladies here sent. Most of all, I enjoyed my new book, Green Mountain Farm. I finished A Very Small Farm on Thursday and found it wonderful in places but a little light on substance; Green Mountain Farm is making up for it in the best way.

Visitors arrived yesterday to look at the new chooks. My step-son, Jens, and daughter-in-law, Cathy, arrived with Cathy's mum and dad. They only stayed for a short time as they were about to go back home, a drive north of about 200 kms.

The ever watchful Anne Shirley, our Hew Hampshire girl.

I had to go looking for Cocobelle on Saturday. She's sulking because we have new chooks and she disappeared and didn't come home to roost. I knew she'd be safe because there are a lot of trees she could sleep in but nevertheless, I went searching for her down by the creek the next morning. The path down there is rarely used, it winds down from our backyard to a jungle of wild maiden hair fern, vines hanging from the rainforest trees and little palms struggling up to the light above the forest canopy. It's cool down there, a noticeable drop in temperature, and with the sound of the creek ambling by, it was the perfect place to just stop and look. Shards of sunlight broke through to light the green jungle and although I heard a whip bird and the rippling water as it snaked its way to the ocean a few kilometres away, there was no other sound. It's like another world down there and I am ever thankful that it's part of the land we live on. Cocobelle broke the silence with her gentle cackle. She was sitting up high on the ledge above where I was standing. From there she could see the creek and our back yard, and, of course, the new chooks. I told her she has to get used to the new girls, and came back up to the yard. I'm sure I heard her go pfffffffft.

I love living here. I love being separated from the rest of the world and being content with that. We have plenty to do, in fact there are times when there is too much, but never times when there is too little. We are kept busy, interested and satisfied with all the small tasks that help sustain us. There will always be something to do in the garden, always food that can be cooked, sewing and mending to be done, eggs to collect, herbs to dry and soap to make. Those tasks that make up our days help us live this free and easy life. And while I look forward to my time at work with all the challenges and joy that brings, it is the drive back down the mountain and coming home that fills me up.


  1. Hi Rhonda,
    Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! I know what you mean about there always being something to do - although I don't do half the simple living activities you do I find I still have plenty to do!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Hi Rhonda,

    I think a lot of us closed our figurative or literal gates this weekend and just reveled in family or routine.

    I love being able to step back and simply live with the people I love around me.

    Kind Regards

  3. Beautiful new babies you have Rhonda. I have a Dutch neice called Lotte. I love the hen house that Hanno is working on. Do your cats ever bother the chickens or are they too well trained? I would love a couple of chickens but I worry that my cats will bother them.
    Best Wishes

  4. Hi Rhonda,
    I love the pictures of the "girls." I can't wait to move to the country and have a few of my own. I love that we can make our homes a refuge that refreshes us and gets us ready to go out into the world again. Have a blessed week!

  5. I am so glad you had a quiet week-end to recharge. I love your new girls and if your Cocobelle is anything like my dogs I KNOW you heard a pffffft! It is funny how they cna get their feelings hurt. Have a good day! Hugs and hi to Hanno.

  6. One of our girls, Baldy, has her name because just after I'd put her in with the rest of the flock, she got herself wedged between the fence and the coop wall. By the time I found her, the other girls had pecked the top of her head open to the bone. I thought she was dead, but she blinked her eyes when I picked her up. I brought her in, cleaned the wound and, covering her eyes, sprayed the top of her head with a liquid bandage. It's been years now, and she's fine, but neither comb nor feathers ever grew back. She can still be quite the escape artist, too.


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