‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

predator

Speaking of silent death descending from the sky, Chris had to admit yesterday that I was completely right. Not about being suffocated by volcanic ash. About something I didn't tell you of, which is hard to imagine since it's been busying out all my brain cells.

About a week ago, I got a call from the upstairs neighbor telling me that a hawk had its eye on my chickens. Just think, a few short years ago, this would have been a euphemism for getting checked out in a bar. "Don't look now, but there's a hawk at 2 o'clock whose got his eye on your chickens...."

We ran outside and I herded the girls back into their hawk-proof coop. Chris helped by taking pictures.

He did not take pictures of me wringing my hands and shooing chickens.

On Monday the hawk was back, so I left the girls in the coop for the day. On Tuesday, despite gale force winds and a snowstorm, I went out and tied fishnet over the garden. Real fishnet, from the real fisherman who lives down the street - not rows and rows of fishnet stockings (although that would probably help, too). Given the weather, it was not unlike a scene from that show about crab fishermen. I gave up all thoughts of being a fisherman, as well as all thoughts of being an actual farmer. Dang, being responsible for little live things is cold.

The net looks like the airport in Denver. It points up in the middle where it's draped over abandoned tomato cages and is pulled into points that tie to the fence on the sides. I did a terrible job. And then I gave up, promising to come back and do a better job when the weather cleared.

Lucky for the chickens, Denver International Airport is (at least for now) hawk-proof. Chris reported seeing a hawk flying THROUGH OUR VEGETABLE GARDEN yesterday. And then it buzzed the house. It did not look amused. The chickens were paralytic with fear and huddled in a corner. Poor little things.

We are beefing up our air defense system.

19 comments:

Laggin said...

I am laughing at the mental pictures you have left me with.

And holy hell, woman, why did you not tell me to tell you about the. best. movie. ever?

I mean, you might have gone your whole life and known nothing about it. It's a movie about chickens! And there is a hawk in it. And it is made by PBS.

Now I know you are saying, "Laggin, hold on just a darn minute. I may have been cold but I didn't freeze ALL my brain cells. A PBS movie aboout chickens and a hawk cannot possibly, by the very rules of nature, be the. best. movie. ever." But it is.

Unfortunately, to see it, you might have to buy it.

It's called "The Natural History of the Chicken." http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-the-natural-history-of-the-chicken-dvd--pi-1428832.html

Laggin said...

OMG. OMG. OMG. Someone has posted what appears to be the whole movie on YouTube. Go pop the popcorn and prepare to fall in love:

Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkxO91TLKVg

Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84vXdEdSJI4

Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2C1E1_BN1Y

Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaO1hDMgJsw

Part 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJFU8mjMEK0

Part 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXXUPK-OvtQ

Susan said...

I have never kissed my chicken. More comments on best. movie. ever. to come soon.

Laggin said...

In response to that, my teenagers would say, "That's what she said!"

Dana's Brain said...

I might have to check out the chicken movie. But I kind of don't want to give up the "crab fisherman for a day" image of have of Susan right now!

m j casual said...

Glad to hear the chickens are safe, but what I really want to see is a photo of an amused hawk.
Then again, the notion of an amused predator has a kind of sinister overtone, so I guess I'm asking for a photo of a happy hawk.
Maybe this is a task for Pollyanna Happypants (which, by the way, should be the name of your sitcom).

Susan said...

Okay everyone, please get thee to YouTube and watch the best. movie. ever. Laggin is not kidding even a little bit.
I was laughing so hard by 4:35, Chris came up to relive the glory. Yes, he had already watched it. When I came home, his first words were not "how was your meeting, dear?" they were "have you watched the chicken movie yet???"
Some of it is unwatchable if you have a weak stomach. Other parts will make you laugh so hard you may as well have watched the weak stomach parts.
Thank you, Laggin!

Laggin said...

Come summer I want pictures of you swimming with the chickens!

JAbel said...

I think Hawks have a pretty good memory so he/she might be around awhile trying to figure out a way to get at the chickens.But with warmer weather and more birds returning to the Cape hopefully it will find a new place to look for food.Even in my neighborhood in L.A. we have a resident Merlin a small hawk and I'm surpried at the size of some of the birds it goes after.Pigeons ,Doves and soon nestlings.

Laggin said...

Susan. Wow. Ok. I guess I made San Fransisco up. Wrong coast. Yes, we can still be friends. Actually, it may make you even cooler. (Wonder if you are near Picket's "small town"? Do you read Picket?)

Susan said...

Laggin - I read Picket obsessively. I bet you figured it was SF because of my reference to living by the bay.

I will work on little chicken flotation devices so I can swim with them safely. That lady was making me nervous.

TwoBusy said...

I just watched six minutes of a chicken video.

I never thought I'd say those words.

Lesha said...

Okay, so....the chicken videos. I can't watch much more at work or I'm going to give myself away as a slacker and YouTube watcher!


Also, one time we had a hawk swoop in and pluck a turtledove right out of the air right in front of the hood of our car. It was frightening and I've always had a very healthy respect for the hawk since that time. I think they should do a Hawk Movie.

Rose Brier Studio said...

Geez, I've missed all the fun being here in the sun! Hawks, chickens, fishnetting, oh my.

I will watch the chicken movie on my own computer tho, mom's is 1) dial-up, 2) slow and 3-25) slow, slow, slow!

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Oddly, I've never seen a hawk over our property, despite seeing them everywhere else. I guess pickings are easy enough in corn fields that they don't need to hunt our chickens.

I will watch the movie today. Obviously. How could I miss a movie all about chickens?

Lisa said...

Wow. That's a lot of work in bad weather. You are an excellent chicken mama.

Anonymous said...

we started calling phoenix miss morsel when we first got her and she was only 12lbs. walking in the bogs, she was spied by hawks and coyotes. i think they've killed all the coyotes now :( so it's just hawks. she's could take them now though.
-erica

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I watched the movie. It is, indeed, fantastic. However, as someone who HAS chickens, I must say that the over-riding theme of "chickens are people, too" was a bit much for me. I mean, I'm all for letting them run free and eat little bugs to their hearts content, but I'm going to eat my chickens, so I don't get all caught up in "Chickens are such characters! They have such personality!"

Or maybe I just have spectacularly dull chickens. That's fine. Makes 'em easier to eat.

Ms Picket To You said...

Please come help with fox in my 'hood.
I am sure my veggie garden's failure is his fault.

You? Awesome. PS.