Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chickens! Squirrels! Ducks!

Once upon a time, in a previous life, I lived in the country and kept chickens.  Chickens are great.  They are small, their requirements are minimal, and they take little care.  They are two-legged garbage disposals, efficient manure producers, and just plain entertaining to watch.  One or two learned to fly the coop, and their patrols through the garden kept it bug-free.  And the eggs!  The eggs were delicious.

Now I live within a city that outlaws "agricultural operations" within its borders.  There is a city park nearby that includes a demonstration 1930's farm.  They have chickens, but it's part of the educational experience the park offers.  And maybe that is the key:  education.  Because while walking the nabe with my daughter last night, we passed the private school on the hill that buffers my addition, and lo and behold - they have chickens, too!

I would love to have two or three chickens in my backyard, but I assumed such a thing was an impossibility.  After last night's poultry sighting, though, maybe it can come to be.  Must investigate.

In other animal news, my daughter and I also spent some time sitting in the West Wing, where we observed a rather clumsy squirrel trying to negotiate the telephone wire along the back of my property.  It's clumsiness was due, no doubt, by the birds that were harassing it.  Seriously.  One bird repeatedly attacked the squirrel as it scrambled down the line.  We had never seen such a thing before.

And this morning, what do I see in my backyard but a pair of mallards.  I know it has rained a lot this spring, but really, my yard is not that soggy.

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