We had some sunshine shining in our windows today. Both yesterday and today, we actually spent some time outside. It was pleasant...wasn't raining, wasn't snowy, there was no slush on the ground, it was nearly 50 degrees...tropical almost.
I let the girls do some of their schoolwork outside. The neighbor is falling marketable timber in preparation for a road they are putting in their property. The girls kept getting distracted as the trees came falling down. They kept asking questions about how the falls got the trees to fall a certain direction.
Then...a hawk came swooping over our chickens. Our rooster sounded the alarm and my daughter called me to have a look. It turned out the hawk had killed one of our chickens, but hadn't been able to take it with him. The chicken had found a hole underneath the fence (the chickens actually dig them...sort of...when they have a dirt bath), but was outside the fence when the hawk arrived. The chicken appeared to have trouble finding the hole in the fence to come back in and was stuck attempting to squeeze through a spot it couldn't squeeze through. This was probably the reason the hawk was successful at catching the chicken. Chickens are not the smartest creatures in the world. They rely solely on the benefits of the flock and on instinct.
Finally, just now, I hear my 3 year old SCREAMING. My 7 year old daughter told me she was screaming because there were three chickens in the yard. I had locked all the other chickens up, but didn't see any in the yard. When there is a predator nearby the chickens take to hiding. Smart chickens. Sort of.
So I set my 7 year old to chasing the chicken in an attempt to catch them. My 7 year old is REALLY good at this, but catching chickens is easier said than done. The first one we caught because it ran out into the field, then I just herded it toward the chicken coop and opened the door. The second one she cornered against the fence and picked up no problem. She handed the chicken over the fence to me. I was in the field near the chicken coop and just put the chicken in the coop. My 7 year old told me that this is the very same chicken she always could catch in the summer. The third chicken was more elusive and kept dodging my daughter. Suddenly, though it hopped up on the fence. The chicken was facing me, away from my daughter. I said to my daughter, I hope she will let us grab her. My daughter just put her hands on her and grabbed her (the chicken never saw it coming) and handed her to me. Away she went safely in her coop.
Here is a picture of my little man in the wonderful light that was coming in our living room windows today. He's growing and changing.