Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Barns

Isn't this a great barn? It stands sentinel, both a guardian and a greeter. Notice the white horse on the building at the back. 

What a great color! The cows certainly consider this barn home. 

Saturday, August 09, 2008

When Good Hens Go Bad

White leghorn chickens are known for being good layers, unlikely to go "broody" and set - sitting on their eggs to raise a family. My leghorns are great layers. I had noticed recently that the number of white eggs I was finding had diminished. Two days ago I discovered why.

This lovely girl came out of the woods with 15 chicks. Fifteen. She's challenged the geese and keeps a good eye on her babies, finding food and shelter for them all. Someone forgot to tell her that leghorns don't make good mothers.

Chicks are born with life skills intact. They stay close to Mom, seek shelter quickly, and find food efficiently. They are adorable.
One of my Sebright hens left her friends to make a solitary nest and hatch 9 eggs. She and her chicks hang out by my neighbor's house, foraging and hiding in tall grass and blackberry brambles. I've never thought of chickens as solitary, but I have  another hen who hangs by herself at great distance from the rest of the flock. Whenever I find her remote homes she looks at me as if I have no right to disturb her peace.

So much for a career of selling eggs. I seem to be in the business of raising poultry.

Drive-By Barns

My daily commute takes me through lovely rural areas. I see crops grown and harvested, animals appear and disappear from fields. In the morning grass waves in the breeze, in the evening the field is dotted with hay bales. This ever-changing land is secured by barns. Horses may come and go, but the barns they live in seem to stay forever.

I decided to share the barns on my daily route. This turned out to be more challenging than expected. The small state route that winds its way east has no shoulders to pull off on. I need some car-free time to stop in the middle of the road and take my pictures. Fortunately this is a sparsely populated part of western Washington, and this is an access road, with a larger, straighter cross-country route nearby. I was able to get four shots before picking up a tail. Hopefully more barns will follow soon.

I've shared these silos before - this is one of my favorite places. One grain silo, one tree silo.
This is heading east, away from the freeway.

Looking northwest. I would love to have this barn on my property. My animals would love to lounge under the protection of that roof, taking advantage of any local breeze.

Further down the road is this lovely barn, obviously well appreciated by it's owners. Some day I'll post a picture of the tree whose shadow adorns the barn. 

Here's where I picked up a tail, and my concern must have made my hands quake. Feeding time is soon, as the horses are working their way in. It's been fun watching this foal grow. 

You can see part of a beautiful sunset in my mirror. I may try for a rear mirror picture some day. There are times when I wish I could drive with my eyes glued to my mirror, the sunset is so stunning.