I am going to have start building an Ark. It’s ceaseless I tell you! This rain is just never-ending, and I am growing a little weary of being relegated to the indoors for all parts of the day and night. This downpour does not lend itself to photography either. Heading out into sheets of squall lines isn’t my idea of a good time, nor does the gear appreciate it either.
So with limited resources, I’m relegated to digging up what’s in the archives. Lucky for me, there’s some good stuff in there (Well, I think so anyways.) If it keeps raining, a couple more of these posts will be from earlier photo missions that I never got around the publishing.
First up: Chickens. Now this was a Picture Show that was published in Good Magazine’s online column, and I am grateful, but somehow I feel the editors missed posting a few of the best images. So I am left to my own devices to post them here.
Before we get into it, yes, I have backyard chickens myself. They are quiet, clean, happy to rid the yard of pests and weeds, and produce one egg per day per chicken. I can tell you that the eggs you eat from your own hens greatly supersedes anything you will find in the corner aisle at your market or grocery store.
There’s nothing like watching them happily pull worms and snails out of the ground while finishing it off with a nice mixture of grassy greens. You know it’s all natural and good for them, and it shows. I have never seen or tasted yolks so orange and delicious in my life!
When Jen and I first got the trio, we marveled at how quickly our chickens became, well, chickens. They had no other hens to teach them how to scratch around in that weird moonwalk type action they do to stir up all the critters that might be lingering under leaf litter. But there they were, plucking earwigs and beetles off like it was second nature. I suppose it is. Even though they are dumb as rocks, they are amazing in their eagerness to do their job all day long, and I could watch them for hours, happily toiling away on my behalf.
I suppose it’s trendy now, to have chickens. It seems like everything is “organic” or “green.” Sometimes life here feels like that South Park video about hybrids and the smug cloud that’s coming to bring the perfect storm of wrath and Hollywood trendiness to your little town. I fear someone saying, “Good for you!” with chin held high and closed eyelids.
I say that because I am starting to cringe at the sound of “green” and “organic,” even though I am living part of that life. But for me, having chickens was never about being green. Chickens were about egg production, having a little pest control around the house, and being a little more self sufficient. It was a logical choice. An affordable choice.
I’ve always had an affinity for this type of lifestyle. How many people do you know who’ve lived off of solar panels for their electrical needs for over two years? How many people do you know who’ve only used 50 gallons of fuel in two years as well? How many miles did you put on your car during that time? But that’s just it. I shouldn’t care (and really I don’t. I am just making a point.) The last question shouldn’t be asked. It’s not about comparing apples to oranges and saying, “I’m better than you because I am greener.” That’s foolishness.
What you really need to do is take a look at how you live you life. When you leave the room, do you turn off the TV and the lights? Do you recycle paper scraps that you would otherwise throw away? Do you motion to throw away that little Grey Pupon jar, but find that your hand doesn’t release, only to look at it and see the glass and metal could be put to good use in another life? Well, that’s up to you. If you can live with yourself, throwing things away or recycling them, then fine. But I find after living a simple life on a boat and two 2 years in Japan, where recycling is doctrine, it’s actually not that hard to live a responsible, gulp, “green” life.
So get chickens because you want to. Not because it’s trendy. Not because the Smiths got a few next door. Get them because you want fresh eggs, or to ponder your kids with that age old question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg.”
I am not really sure which came first, but as long as they keep producing fresh tasting, vibrantly delicious eggs, I don’t think I really care.
See you down the road.