Fall Clean-Up

November 20, 2011

Fall clean-up began in our yard this morning after much procrastination. By mid-November, the excitement of Autumn’s leaves has worn off. I have cleaned the yard of leaves for the past five weeks. This week was hopefully the final week and a thorough job was on today’s to-do-list.

All of the perennial beds were cleaned out. Flowers were deadheaded. Lily and hosta leaves, dead from the frost, were pulled to reveal open spaces in the beds. The lawn was cleaned and reseeded. The hydrangeas were cut back. The vegetable and herb garden were cleaned out and the soil was tilled. I spent five hours today getting the yard tucked in for it’s Winter slumber.

Usually the chickens love to frolic and free range in the leaves. However, I rained on their parade. I felt badly, but a hawk flew overhead and that was enough for me to put a damper on today’s escapade. Last weekend, a chicken friend in town had his girls free ranging in his yard while he was outside with them. A hawk swooped down. He could hear his chickens squawking loudly. He ran and when he reached the girls, the hawk had flown away, leaving behind all of his chickens. Unfortunately, he discovered his sweetest Buff Orpington had her wing punctured by the hawk’s talon. Thank goodness, he still had his girl! However, she required a trip to the vet to repair her wing.

After I had cleaned out the area near the coop, I spent some time with the girls. One by one, I was able to say hello to them. I held Feathers, then Dolly. Dottie Speckles is usually too busy to be bothered with being held but she is always interested in what I am doing with the other chickens when I hold them. She looks at me and the chickens in my arms that like to be held with a quizzical look, trying to understand what is happening. Dottie Speckles is used to me petting her on her back as she darts quickly by to the next latest and greatest thing that catches her eye. Today was different. As I was sweet talking her she came over and I picked her up.

She was a bit nervous but settled down after she was in my arms for a while. My husband and kids came over to say hello. I was surprised. She is our biggest chicken and by far the heaviest! I had no idea that she was so solid! I held her for about 10 minutes and then returned her to her family. I put her down and with a shake of her feathers she ran back to Tilly to let her know about her latest adventure in my arms. I was so happy to have accomplished so much in the yard today, but the day’s highlight was getting to hold Dottie Speckles. That was something I had been trying to accomplish for the past couple of months.

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Today’s reward for my hard work

Photo Credit: Mr. Tilly’s Nest


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3 thoughts on “Fall Clean-Up”

  1. I used to think chickens were simple minded – they just eat and poop. But the more I am around them, the more I realize what complex beings they really are… like what was on Dottie Speckles mind this afternoon that drew her in close to you, who knows, but it sounds like a wonderful day!

  2. How cool. Glad you got the work done. We had a HAWK last week– I snapped some pictures and posted them. I'm so glad that you got to hold your Dottie Speckles and enjoy her company.

    I took some of your tips(things I'd been doing, but had stopped) and applied them today. I sat on my bucket and held scratch in my hands and all the chickens and George too came and ate out of my hands! ~smiles~ That is when I surprised them with raisins and dried cranberries. They loved them. They each behaved pretty well…except for some reason every time Ethyl came in for a bite—she kept grabbing skin and fingers. It didn't hurt, but I found it peculiar. They have such precision when eating and they are quick too! They can pick a sunflower out of your hand without grabbing another seed— with lightning fast moves!
    Funny little things aren't they?

  3. SA Kim, you are right on! She is always the most curious chicken. Maybe she realized that the others returned unscathed and she wanted to see what being held is all about.

    Oh, Pat, how wonderful that the girls ate out of your hand. I love the way you describe them. I can relate completely. They are funny little things.


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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.