When our four girls were young I would jokingly tell them that it was time to pick up the house -- just in case Better Homes and Gardens showed up to do a photo-shoot. My camera-like eyes were always panning the layout to make pretty pictures in our home. Last year on Mother's Day the girls, now adults, gave me a camera. For the first time in my life I was able to preserve some of the vignettes my eyes were seeing.
Little did I know that the real camera would have an appetite for chick flicks.
Four new girls moved into our backyard. Their "home" fit nicely into a corner that had recently been renovated to be a wedding backdrop for daughter number three.
The love of my life, My Prince, often brings me gifts from landscape-land. He had recently brought me some flower stalks, cut from several Yucca plants. He knows me well! His gift was better than roses! I sprayed the 4- 6 foot stalks Rustoleum Eden Green and wired them to the playpen. Did I forget to mention that he was not very happy about the chickens coming to live with us? My Prince wouldn't have anything to do with the birds and their "creepy feet," which left me constructing on my own. The result was a bit shanty-like.
Regardless of the wabi sabi (beautifully imperfect) nature of my expanding coops and pens, my camera snapped vignettes to share with new friends on Facebook -- friends who understood me. My Chicken Peeps, as I call them, would encourage me to explore and develop this new fascination.
These friends were cheering me on when, one summery day, I went to the feed store and came home with two peeping pullets. Adding these new birds to the flock necessitated a temporary coop, so I "borrowed" what I call the ugly duckling, a rabbit hutch that daughter number one had found on Craig's List. Of course, it needed a bit of a lift.
So out came the Eden Green paint and the leftover trim from our office renovation, as well as a few other things around the yard. (By the way, she said I can keep it now.)
Meanwhile, here and there, I had been dabbling in little decorative fix-ups. A Facebook friend showed me some curtains she had made for her nest boxes.
As the holidays approached and the temps cooled, my decorating sap began to flow again. I had to do something to make the coop festive. I decided to find a stack of kitchen calendars that I had been saving ..well...for just such a moment. One weekend I stooped in the coop, happily decoupaging the walls. The mirror? Oh, that was under my couch. It was warped but too pretty to toss, so up it went in the coop. (You can see I had a little fun photo-editing.) Hens like to look nice too!
That's Coconut, the big, bad bully of the flock, a Rhode Island Red. She eats first, perches first and chomps on her own feathers -- a habit I am trying to stop by the way.
Do you think these girls know where their food comes from? Or do they want to try on my golden sandals and dance around like little princesses?
Meet Poor Little Matilda, my newest bird. PLM is a Barred Rock. She brings our flock to eight lovely girls and this is where I must stop adding because of space constraints. Adding a lone hen to a flock is not an easy task. Hens have an established clique, including who gets to sleep where, who gets to lay when; who gets to eat what. I imagine in a few weeks Poor Little Matilda will be allowed to have free access to crumble and treats, but for now she spends a fair amount of the day perching safely out of reach. In the meantime, PLM has an advocate. It appears that somewhere along the way, My Prince decided that the chickens aren't so bad after all. PLM captured his tender heart. Hearing her miserable little noises when the big girls picked on her, he began to come in to get me, saying,"Becky, they are picking on my chicken, make sure she is eating; make sure she is drinking." HMMMMM.
You can follow this link to view other Hen Houses: Deborah Jean's Hen House Hop