Saturday, December 25, 2010

My pulse is still racing...

Today, Christmas, started out mildly, with a beauty of a sunrise.

Very nice.

Later, I commence to cleaning (guests arriving). Taking a break at the kitchen table, I see through my window that the chickens are playing statue--they are all standing stock still.

Knowing this may mean there's a predator around, I go outside to take a look. I step out, barefoot (since was cleaning the floor), and walk out onto the grass, looking up into the trees for a raptor.

I notice our Rhode Island red, perched high on a cement block, staring west, is the one issuing the call for "statue." I follow her gaze.

A movement from underneath the huge oak tree 25 yards to my left catches my eye.

A gray cat.

I start running after it (yes, in bare feet). I make some distance, then I see it dash across grassy opening between the oak and the manzanita thicket that is the back of our property (i.e. "safe" for any wildlife I'm pursuing).

This time, in better light and in full profile, I realize, woah, that's no gray cat, that's a gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)!

This increases my motivation, as our first chicken "loss" was due to same.

I run faster, but it disappears in the manzanita maze. I mock it, yelling "Yeah, right!" (creative, I know), and head back to the coop.

The time for chicken play in the outdoor chicken runs is over. I lock them up tight and take a picture of our hero, Fanny.

Incidentally, she FINALLY is molting. She's 2.5 years old and has never molted. And wow, now that she's begun, she's not foolin' around. This is the most naked I've seen a chicken. Here's her side of the coop, with the attendant red-feather explosion (pardon the poop).

Then, chickens secure, I walk back toward the house, and what do I see?

Apparently, the chickens and fox are not the only things experiencing turmoil, today...


Who said life in the sticks is dull?



  1. Hah! Fanny got the britches scared off of her!

    ho ho ho!

  2. Ha! That's a good one. I'd be proud if I'd thought of that. =)

  3. You are one bad A (for alpha) chicken mama. Guess that fox didn't get a Christmas dinner but since it is likely the fox isn't a Christian, the chickens live another day.

  4. I really enjoyed your story.Cats are always in my yard swiping birds, but I would love to see a fox that I could chase off. I though Fanny just got away by the seat of her pants. Lucky this was just a molt.

  5. I would take Christmas in the sticks over Christmas in the suburbs (where I was) any day. Especially with fresh eggs available...


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