Thursday, March 21, 2013

Before you look down, look up!

meaning, don’t expect your seeds to romp away when the weather remains unseasonably cold; a pertinent italian saying that I saw on the Franchi Seeds website (take a look, great seeds, informative and a good narrative), run by a cheerful Italian accordian player, now that’s a painting waiting to happen!

So... instead of harumphing at the passivity of my tomato seedlings, I had a mooch outside. Fur collar turned firmly up against the cold and ignoring the odd snowflake, I scoured the garden for signs of spring.

I found lambs tails quivering on the hazel, 

pink silk rosettes clipped to the prunus, 

and velveteen pom-poms stippled on the willow.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Jungle Telegraph

The latest four recruits to the hen house have settled in very well. The white one lays a big white egg, the two small brown ones lay small brown eggs and the large brown one.... is a cockerel. 
To the untrained eye it’s very difficult to tell young cocks from hens, although I’d had my suspicions about "Fifty" on account of his strapping yellow legs.

I do not need another cockerel; patriarch Johns Junior is very protective of his hareem, very attentive to their needs and very possessive. He rules the roost.
So I’d been mulling over the two salient options for my unwanted bird: re-home or roast.

Within hours of whispering my predicament to the breeze, Yan the genial farmhand arrived on my doorstep at dusk. Grinning from beneath his woolly hat, 

“Cockerel make very good soup!” was his opening gambit.

With a torch, to double check we’d got the right bird, and some string to lash those yellow feet together we crept up to the hen house. Moments later I was waving the duo down the drive, “Fifty” unaware of his destiny and compliant in the crook of Yan's arm. 

Considering the sudden dip in temperature this week I’m rather envious of Yan and his steaming pan of hot chicken broth. I should really learn how to wring a chicken’s neck myself.