Monday, August 24, 2015

Blogging days are here again AND a backyard chickens update

Ever start a blog?  Get real excited and post a bunch of thoughtful, interesting stuff?  Maybe you too have made lists for future posts, and found yourself scribbling down notes about common threads that link them all together and create Profound and Valuable Insights?  I hope so, because those are some good times, for sure.  If you’re like me, however, you’ve also hit patches where you look up and suddenly realize that its been weeks or months since the last time you posted anything, even though you can't actually come up with much of a reason for the lapse.  Having been through it a few times in the three or four years that I’ve had a blog, I’ve come to view it as a cycle, with peaks and valleys and seasons and all those other great metaphors from nature, rather than a narrative that just cruises forward in the kind of straight, unbroken line that I might've originally imagined.  The good news is that, this time around, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally stopped beating myself up about it; I’ve stopped feeling guilty, stopped identifying as a slacker, stopped being sure that I’ve failed at what has to be the lowest stakes game out there.  In other words, I’ve just gone ahead and embraced the fact that its completely fine for a blog to have a life of their own.  The tide comes in and the tide goes out.  This time around, no worries; I readily admit that I’ve just been farting around with lots of other things in the non-digital sphere instead of pontificating in front of a partly real and largely imagined audience, and I’m cool with it, and now, as of August 24, 2015, I’m ready to squeeze the bellows and fire things up again.  I’ve always had Things to Say; I’m simply recommitting to getting back in the harness and doing it again.  Until my next lapse, at least. 

photo credit: Austen Diamond
A while back I added a teaser post about the upcoming relaunch of our adventures in chicken-keeping, and I promised to add details for the fun of it.  So I’ll do that now, and I also want to add a plug for my good buddy Austen Diamond, as he was kind enough to interview me during the summer and do a nice profile on Chris Gleason, coop builder in the October issue of Salt Lake Magazine.  It isn’t the largest hat that I wear, if you’ll forgive a lousy allusion, but it is definitely in the mix, and I take a lot of pride in trying to build coops with 100% reclaimed materials and helping to keep things local.  I also like to come up with unique, creative designs, and after more than 30 coops, I’ve never built the same one twice. 

Our new flock is a small one- just 4 birds (in the past we’ve had up to 25, which is admittedly way too many).  We've got 4 different breeds, including a bantam silkie.  Silkies have smooth, fur-like feathers and they're the only kind of chicken that my wife Michele has ever really warmed up to.  Unfortunately, the last one turned out to be a rooster, in spite of being named Veronica, and his tenure was thus short-lived. We've got our fingers crossed for the new recruit (Petunia), and so far it hasn't displayed any overt male behavior (aka bossiness, strutting about, or crowing) so I have to say that I like our odds.

They get so shy when you try to photograph them

Petunia is the smaller bird on the left

This is the "sidecar" where we'll
collect eggs starting in about a month