Cast and Crew

Friday, November 13, 2009

An Afternoon of Sunshine

Yesterday was a rare treat for the Pacific Northwest in November. It was cold, but the sun was shining all day long. I skipped out early from work and went home to let the girls out for a little grass-pecking fun.

They get more bold with each outing. Originally they crowded under the lilac tree by the garden shed and flew back to the coop anytime someone got nervous. Norma Jean is the Magellan of the group, frequently wandering far from her feathered friends. Her explorations have convinced them all that foraging under the weeping maple tree is worth the exposure, especially now that most of its leaves have fallen and been raked into the compost bins.

The ground in front of the compost bins we built this summer originally held a brick patio. I'm guessing that the brick came from the original chimney in the house, most likely the part from the attic that would have protruded through the roof (which it obviously no longer does). Our house was remodeled in the 1980's, and that's probably when this little patio was put together. I removed it this summer, and it has been transformed into the path around the chicken coop. Yay for reusing! Where the patio had been, compost was spread and grass seed was planted. It recently sprouted, which brought great joy for a moment before I realized the girls were systematically consuming the whole patch of seedlings! Well, that's life with chickens, I suppose. I shoo them off, they wander back when I'm not looking. It's an agreement we can all live with. That grass had better be hardy stuff if it wants to live in this household.

This was also the first year of growing nearly everything from seed for the garden. While most of the annuals are in the compost pile after a productive summer, the front beds are loaded with onions for the winter and spring to come. In preparation for next year, I've begun a collection of herbs and ornamentals which will live in the garden shed once the cold weather really hits.

The Bunny Tails grass has been a favorite every time we've visited the nursery, so I bought some seeds, and look what we got! It's soft to the touch already, much like the downy fur behind a rabbit's ears. We also have a good collection of Elijah Blue Fescue, rosemary, sage, borage (which is an annual but seems to be defying our current weather!), and lavender. My goal is to have something green in the shed that I can visit when the days are grey and dreary. So far, so good.

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