Tag Archives: eggs

Spent hens

My old buff hen sits the nest as if still young, her plump red comb signaling fecundity she no longer possesses, being nine, or decidedly geriatric in woman years, her last viable ovum having gathered yolk and dropped sweetly into her infundibulum long ago, no fanfare, quietly adding albumen, spinning slowly down the tunnel of […]

Mutiny of the bounty

I’m feeling in need of what might be called a harvest nap, having returned yesterday from my gardener friend Ann’s home with several hundred ripe and rosy peaches. The yield of one ambitious tree, the fruit has already deranged Ann’s exceptional sense of order.  When I arrived to help pick stragglers and take home surplus, […]

Just put that anywhere

In journalism, we speak of the 5 W’s: who, what, where, when and why. Thereby, I can report that my little flock has begun laying eggs where ever they please, each at the time her physiology dictates, because she cannot help herself. While I am grateful for the what — eggs being a raison d’être for […]

Before there was cake

I am an earnest but not especially gifted baker, so when a good friend told me she’d like red velvet cake for her birthday, I suspected I was out of my depth. For starters, I couldn’t reliably hold onto the name; my mind kept substituting “black forest” — that other color-noun cake — which then […]


      Laying Manitou Springs, Colorado Sept. 29, 2015

Chickhood: Proxy hen

In the matter of babies, things are going well when the wee ones grow stronger and more capable daily, while their mother, eroded by sleeplessness and beset by a cavalcade of legitimate and fantastic worries, becomes increasingly bedraggled. Things are going well. I passed half the night crumpled on a love seat near the brooder, alternately dozing […]

Chickhood: Prologue

The four baby chicks who will join my flock Thursday are having a momentous day, though they are still folded inside their eggs at a Missouri hatchery.  Within the incubator, they are responding to light; they are opening and closing their eyes, clapping their tiny beaks, vocalizing. They are moving into hatching position. Soon, they will […]

Oh, you meant there

Just a brief update to report that — after an inauspicious start (see “Just put that anywhere,” Dec. 15) — my little flock seems to be getting the “nest” idea. Ellie, my green-egg layer, got it right the first time, and at least one of the other girls — I’m not sure who — has joined her.  And […]

The elegant egg

There was much commotion at mid-morning yesterday, not just one but all of the hens clucking loudly in a raucous chorus that was hard to interpret: predator warning, or some benign excitement? I hustled out to the coop — the girls were staying in, due to snow and cold — and knelt beside them to get a birds-eye […]

First egg

Today marks a milestone in the life of my little flock: the arrival of the first egg. Ginny, the black Australorp who began squatting for me a couple of weeks ago  (see Nov.  7, “Assuming the position”)  delivered a perfect brown oval this morning.   I knew the moment had arrived when I heard that unmistakable egg cackle.  You’ll […]