This weekend, my husband and I took an excursion to the Elizabeth Islands. The Elizabeth Islands are a chain of islands adjacent to Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. They were used as stop overs for many years by merchants and pirates, as well as the Wompanoag Indians. The Wompanoags spent their summers over on this small chain of islands fishing.
Penikese Island has a very rich history. It was owned by many until the State of Massachusetts acquired ownership in the early 1900s. It served several purposes, including serving as the state’s leper colony, a research aquarium and more recently, as a school for troubled boys. We took the trip last year and had a wonderful time. I was looking forward to revisiting the island and it’s chickens. The school kept a few farm animals and chickens were one of them. However, when we arrived, we had learned that the school was now closed due to lack of funding. The coop was locked and the run was overgrown with invasive weeds as tall as my husband. I was so saddened that this place was looking so different without the boys’ school to attend to it’s needs. Then, as we walked a path up to the leper cemetery, there were the two Helmeted Guinea Fowl! They were still here. Most likely, they were unable to be caught and were left to forage for themselves. Apparently, it was working. As soon as I had caught a glimpse, they were gone; hidden within the underbrush.
After Penekese we went to Cuttyhunk. I was sure that I would find someone on this island with backyard chickens. This island has approximately 30 people that live here year round. In the summer, the population reaches 300. The island is known for its striped bass fishing. In fact, years ago, President Taft was a member of the Cuttyhunk Bass Fishing. The inhabitants of the island get around via golf cart or by foot. It is easily walk-able. As we walked I looked for backyard chickens. I saw lots of beautiful clothes lines.
I saw beautiful scenery.
I never did find a backyard chicken. This was the closest that I came.
Someone was saving egg cartons on the side porch of the only little market on the island. Maybe I just hadn’t found them.
Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest