Author / Melissa

Stories from Our Nest

Life’s Seasons

Hello friends.  I wanted to take a moment to share the past few months with you. Life has thrown us an unexpected curve.  We lost my Dad of 28 years unexpectedly this summer after dealing with some things since spring. It threw us all into a tail spin and all of us went into survival mode. It was a loss that rippled across all of our lives and the most difficult of all was watching my children have to suffer as they did. Their hearts were broken and mine broke even more than I though possible watching my own children learn how to grieve and rebound from loss.

Chickens

Essayist for Literary Chickens

Good morning folks! I sometimes feel as though I have been under a rock, but truthfully, so much as been going on.  School is out and I have two kiddos home with me and we have been having a blast planning summer fun! I have also been incredibly busy trying to get my gardens ready, as they will be on tour for this year’s Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival. I think I am almost done. We spread 15 yards of mulch last week for part of the finishing touches. If you are on Cape, maybe you can make it!

In other fun and exciting news, I was asked to collaborate on a new chicken photography book by world-renowned photographer Beth Moon.

I’m thrilled to have been asked to contribute an essay about about chickens in Beth’s forthcoming book this fall. Beth has captured so many gorgeous chicken breeds in her photography and I hope that my essay does justice to these gorgeous breeds. It’s so hard to convey in words sometimes what pictures can!

From one chicken lover to so many others of you who follow along on my adventures, this book is absolutely breath-taking! A perfect addition to your library.

You can explore Literary Chickens , learn more about Beth, the book and pre-order a copy of your own.

All images in this post by Beth Moon courtesy of Abbeville Press.

Findings Gardening Stories from Our Nest

Discovered: A Secret Nest in the Window Box

Spring has taken it’s sweet time to come to Cape Cod. Still with temperatures in the 40s at night- mid May, it seems as though everything is stalled. Beautiful annuals that usually spill from the window boxes on the front of my home were also delayed. The window boxes lay dormant and lifeless. Still filled with dead, brown and decaying evergreen branches, it was time to do some thing about it.  This was not the first time, but little did I expect to discover a bird’s nest.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Chicken Language: Listen to Common Chicken Vocalizations

I’m having so much fun traveling and sharing my new book, How to Speak Chicken. I can’t tell you how many emails, messages, and in-person requests that I have received to create recordings of the chickens’ vocalizations that I share and “translate in my book”. Chickens have their own language, and over the years I have been able to decipher what they are saying. I am excited to share with you my insight into some of the more common phrases. Yes, the vocalizations that you hear in the sound bits below are me. This is my “chicken voice” and how I “speak chicken” with my flock. 

Chickens Giveaways

Coop-A-Palooza: Chicken Coop Giveaway and More

Hello friends and Happy Chick Days! This spring, I wanted to celebrate you! Thank you so much for all of your support, fun and friendship over the years and thank you too for your supporting my newest book, How to Speak Chicken. Earlier this year, I thought to myself, why can’t I reach out to some of my favorite chicken keeping companies and see if we can do a chicken coop giveaway and tons of goodies to one of my followers to celebrate the new book?!  Well, they said yes! I am so thrilled that I have been able to partner with some of the very best chicken product companies that I have gotten to know over the years. I cannot contain my excitement to announce one of the biggest chicken coop giveaway prize packages that I have ever seen. One lucky winner will be awarded everything below valued at over $1400.00!

Chickens Health Issues Seasonal Care

Can I Get Salmonella From My Backyard Chickens?

It is in the news again and I suspect that as the popularity of keeping backyard chickens continues to rise, so will the cases of salmonella. I haven’t really chimed in on this topic, so I think it is time. I also think that it is very important not to leave our common sense at the door, when reading the articles that are filling up the headlines. As I write this, it is chick days. New chicken keepers are going to be embarking on this amazing adventures and others will be adding to their flocks, because chicken keeping is so much fun! Here’s what you want to know.

Stories from Our Nest

Sweet Treat: 11 Tips for Visiting the Silos Baking Co.

I think one of the most wonderful things about visiting the Magnolia Silos has to be a stop at the Silos Baking Co. Did you know that the bakery was originally called Magnolia Flour?  The very bakery that was featured on an episode of Fixer Upper, is still delighting guests. Lines typically form and wrap around the building. If you know what to expect, it’s actually a system that is pretty efficient. The experience of course, is so gorgeous. I wish we could linger in this small space. It smells so good. Think sugar, butter and cupcakes! 

Findings Gardening Plants Tours

Gardening Fun: Magnolia Market Garden Tour

This past week, I took a trip to the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. I was super excited to have the opportunity to return to Chip and Joanna Gaine’s Magnolia Market at the Silos again this year. The Silos are definitely an experience. I had my daughter in tow and that made it even more special to experience it together. Of course, it is February and the temperatures were in the 70s. It was definitely a much needed change of scenery from the 20-30 degree temps on Cape Cod. Being over 1600 miles away from home and touring the gardens, made me grateful and excited for spring. I was not surprised being in growing zone 8, that they are ahead of us. This garden is where I spent the most time–sitting, resting, people watching and plant watching too. I loved to see that Joanna and I tend to do many of the same things in the garden. Today I’m thrilled to take you along on a Magnolia Market Garden Tour.

Chickens Gardening Stories from Our Nest

Happenings in the Nest

This week I was down with the flu. I guess I kind of knew that it would only be a matter of time. It seems so inevitable working among ill patients. I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2 weeks in bed. At first, lying there wishing that this would all just go away and then simply too weak to care for the chickens, the dog and even the family.  Still now as I type this I still feel weak.  Yet, time is marching on, the first few signs of spring are arriving and I’ve got some exciting happenings.

Chickens Lessons from the Flock Stories from Our Nest

Chicken Speak: When Fate Intervenes

I spent half of 2015 and most of 2016 writing, How to Speak Chicken. It was a labor of love and something that I felt needed to reach the backyard chicken community. During my research, one of the many scientists that impressed me was psychology professor, Dr. Evans. A leading poultry researcher, he dedicated his life to decoding chickens. Like me, he too wanted to know exactly it was that made them tick and he made some pretty amazing discoveries. Sadly, Dr. Evans passed away in 2011 quite prematurely, from what I understand was a motor neuron disease. A man who had dedicated his life to communication lost his ability to speak due to the progression of his disease.