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If I were to paint the world today

The trees and sky would be waves of grey

The chickadees, the twigs, and snow

In dabs of dullness lacking glow

For the sun has been shut out.


Today we’ve been given a day of gloom

Where we huddle together in the warmest room

We tell stories and brew pots of tea

We take a rest and watch to see

The snows keep falling down.


But the gloom’s not enough to keep at bay

The call of Snow to come out and play

Snowballs get rolled and packed to throw

From behind a wall that begins to grow

And we let out shrieks and a shout.


A snowman is built and armed with a broom

A carrot for a nose and a hat with a plume

Then Angels rise from where comfortably

They’ve stretched their wings while singing softly

And their radiance shines like a crown.




Is it any wonder that the birds wing to Pine,

Whose every branch silhouetted against grey clouds

Is adorned in feathers,


Come! Bring your findings,

Those bits of silken fluff

Plucked from cracked pods

Once open

Bearing orbs of sweetness

Spilling honeyed fragrance

Out into the warm days of yore,

Those dry grasses and twigs

Remnants picked from a waving green ground

Where droppings scattered by the wind shaking loose

Dead weight below a shade-giving canopy

Awaits your beak,

Come! Weave your nests here,

In this bleak landscape

I will be your feathered home.






The ground rests, covered with a dusting of salt,

Pearly grains glisten side by side;

My footsteps rouse them where they lay

Releasing crunching noises as I pass over.


Pearly grains glisten side by side,

Each beginning its descent from above,

Releasing crunching noises as I pass over

Making the air visible.


Each beginning its descent from above,

Dancing solo, then in pairs, in groups of threes and sevens,

Making the air visible;

Heavenly Snow flutters toward an Earthly destination.


Dancing solo, then in pairs, in groups of threes and sevens

My footsteps rouse them where they lay

Heavenly Snow flutters toward an Earthly destination

The ground rests, covered with a dusting of salt.



Chickadee’s back!

She perches outside the kitchen window

Watches me wash dishes,

Cocks her head and calls out,

We’re hungry, where’s the seed?

Have you forgotten to what you agreed?


I’m surprised to see her,

Winter’s been a long time coming,

She only visits when it’s cold:

The blustery rosy reddening cheek biting

Finger numbing kind,

Which only arrived today mind!


She joins her flock,

Black headed, white breasted,

They look like stuffed felt toys

Come alive,

Fluffy balls tossed by no child’s hand,

Moved by the wind moving over land.


Chickadee’s back, she hops outside,

Pecks at the kitchen window,

I fill a bucket with millet, amaranth, thistle

Wrap my shoulders in a woolen shawl

Step out the door, scatter seed and grain all around

In a circle on the frozen ground.


A gust of wind brings the flock over

They pick at morsels, feast together

Hopping by my feet

Feathers orbiting

Until bellies full they fly away

Disappearing for the day.


I return to the dishes

Warm stiff fingers with hot water

Steam rising from the sink

I hear pecking at the foggy window

Where Chickadee’s back scratching into the hazy pane

t.h.a.n.k. y.o.u.

Amazing Hatching


It was three weeks ago when I went out to feed our hens. We currently have 12 hens and 3 roosters. I emerged from the coop and heard a most suspicious peeping sound. Looking to investigate, I entered the run and, there in the highest nesting box, was a hen with three chicks!

I got them some food and water and put it up on the flat, wooded perches outside the nesting box and stood back to watch. This is a funny time for hatching chicks, but it has not been that cold lately.

As I watched, one of the chicks hopped out of the nest and fell right through the slats of the wood! It peeped feebly on the ground and I moved forward to pick it up. Just as I reached it, the mother hen clucked angrily from above. She jumped out of the nest and landed furiously on my head! She pecked and clawed until U shook her off and backed away from her. The mother hen then picked up her chick using her beak and claws and flew back up into the nest with it.

There are two brown ones and one black one. The next morning when I went out to feed the chickens, the mother hen had transported all her chicks to the ground (I personally think she just pushes them out of the nest. They can obviously survive the drop). I blocked off the hole leading from the coop into the run and shut the run  door so she could not get out. Our dog would eat the chicks if she saw them.

I feed her in the run now, and she stays in there. The chicks have lost most of their fuzz and have wing and tail feathers. They can fly and hop short distances and, at this time of year I feed the hens cracked corn; the chicks could eat it right from the day they hatched. We still have all three and they still peep. When they sound like hens and they are bigger, then I will let them out of the run and we all hope they are hens, not roosters!

With three roosters, a fight is guaranteed soon and two someones are going to end up in the stew pot.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




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