Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Snowflakes and Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers…Emily Dickinson
 
 

It seems that mid-Winter is upon us. We are finally experiencing our first snowstorm, yet everyone is eager for Spring. Gardening and seed catalogs are abundant in the mailboxes, yet they seem to be the only sign of warmer weather ahead. This time of year can be downright depressing for some. The joys of the holidays are behind us. The skies are perpetually gray and gloomy. The trees are bare, revealing their tangled branches reaching for the sky, and the grass is a dull muted shade of green. I too have fallen victim to the gloom of Winter. After having lived in Southern California for years, where it seems like everyday is filled with brilliant sunshine, adapting to gloomy Winter weather has taken some time.

Even the chickens seem to be done with Winter.  Despite my continuing efforts of smothering them with toys, treats, distractions, hanging balls of cabbages and affection, they too are bored. I can’t blame them. There is not much to see. Birds have migrated away.  The wild turkeys have not been around.   The little chipmunks are busy stuffing their cheeks instead of teasing the girls. Local squirrels are hanging out by the bird feeder and I can’t be out with them for hours at a time.

Yet somehow, this year, I have yet to experience feeling any seasonal depression. I revel in the fleeting sunshine. I enjoy taking care of the girls in the Winter. I thaw their waterers. I keep them entertained.  I think about gardening just for them; filling their own garden with herbs, lettuces and other tasty things. But I think what has made the most difference is the girls themselves. They are so peppy and energetic. Their feathered colors form a moving rainbow on the gray backsplash. They have a lust for life that is overflowing from their tiny little bodies. It is difficult to experience anything but joy when your flock is so incredibly inspiring.
Eventually I know today’s snow will melt.   The birds and wildlife will return for the chickens to see along with budding trees and sunny skies filled with white puffy clouds. I will be out in the yard tilling the warm garden soil and calling to the girls when I discover a fresh juicy worm of Spring.  They will come running, teetering their robust bodies back and forth on their legs, as they happily oblige in a little free ranging and exploring the wonders of Spring.

Photo Credits:  Tilly’s Nest

 

  • Do you cover your run with tarp? Something else? We have our run covered with tarps and then on the end green house plastic. We're thinking of going green house plastic next year! It lets the sun in – what there is! LOL – but keeps the snow out of the run!

  • Lovely. So well written. Thank you.

  • Beautiful pictures. Cheer up the days are getting longer again. Maybe is just my upper midwest region but I don't feel the depression of winter that some feel. The days are longer, the sun is magnified by the snow on the ground, the sunset can fill the sky with a beautiful pink/purple light and I'm a sucker for snow hanging on the trees. Like chickens I handle the winter better heat of summer. I am looking forward to coming home from work in about an hour and letting my girls out for the first time since Wednesday afternoon. Bitter cold has confined them. I imagine they are dying for a dust bath!

  • Fortunately, we are having a very mild winter this year in NC. Up and down from 70 to 30. No snow. No ice. Wondering what Feb will bring. Chickens are a blast. I'm searching for more.
    I recently found your Fb page and subsequently your blog. Following both and enjoying what I'm seeing.
    Mike – our little meadow

  • Hi Our Side of the Mountain, we use thick (6 mil) clear painter's plastic to cover the run and leave the far end open. We roll it up on nice days and roll it down on ones with snow and rain. It allows the girls to be outside at all times and they stay nice and dry. I love the idea of the green house plastic. Keep us posted on how it works out!

  • I'm so glad you enjoyed the post Williamettevalleyhomesteader!

    Thanks Linda for such encouragement! You are right. I hope it warms up enough for your flock to go outside. I know how much they love being out and about.

    Hi Mike! I am so happy you are here with us. Welcome. You live in a very beautiful place. I am so glad you are enjoying your chickens. It is so hard not to get addicted. LOL!

  • You expressed our sentiments so eloquently, thank you. Perhaps we will get an early spring; I have noticed that my dogwood trees and some others (in SC) have tiny bits of buds on them – here's hoping!

  • Anonymous

    Hello from New Zealand! Wonderful blog, wonderful chickens. Will be sharing with my poultry-loving friends here down-under. sending some summer vibes your way.

  • Liz

    I really appreciate your blog, so genuine!
    Good job

  • Thank you Tilly and Milly's mom, the south has such a beautiful Spring. We have family in NC and they are about 5 weeks ahead of us 🙂

    Hello New Zealand! Welcome, so glad you are here. Yes, please send those summer vibes north!

    Thank you so much Liz for such a sweet comment.