Black Footed Raven

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Life is cold here on the farm. The grass is tipped white from a recent cold snap and the chickens do not like the frigid water in their trough. When we make the rounds doing our morning chores the roosters crow and their breathe rises skyward like fog coming off a mountain lake. The girls have started laying again; their short sabbatical had us coveting every egg we collected. We only get 1 or 2 eggs a day. Compared to the 10 to 12 a day we get in high summer it’s hardly a drop, but it’s enough to keep us in breakfasts and baking, so we are happy.

A raven has taken up residence in the backyard. Each morning he perches on top of the arbor watching what goes on below. Sometimes when I’m writing near the front window I see him standing on the finial of the birdbath, using his long black beak to play with the pebbles that line the basin or take a drink of water that has accumulated from a recent storm or the morning dew. He hops around picking up tidbits he finds on the ground, then lights out for the nearest tree branch to get a better perspective. The hens stay inside when he’s around, and if they happen to be roaming the garden when he arrives they scurry back to the safety of the barn.

We’ve laid a new layer of bedding in the nesting boxes and on the coop floor. With the recent rain storms the flock has spent more time in the coop, tramping down and scratching up the straw. Their abode is now deep and warm in straw, much to their liking, I think.

My sewing machine and I are getting reacquainted, but we’re not friends yet. It’s been months since I finished my last quilt project and the colder weather has given me an itch to start anew. This latest project has been whirling around in my head for quite some time, but I was indecisive on how to start. It’s a patchwork, crazy quilt with appliquéd hearts – all made from corduroy shirts I’ve been collecting from thrift store sales. So – the other day I just jumped in, not really sure how I was going to proceed. So far, it’s been a slow process, like learning the proper way to bow a fiddle or pluck a banjo. Some day maybe I’ll make a quilt from an actual pattern, tried and true. Nay – what’s the fun in that?

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