Sunday, August 3, 2008

Early risers

One thing about having chickens is that, for better or worse, I rarely sleep in now. If it's a sunny morning, I wake up at 7 a.m. and immediately start thinking about the need to get the chickens out of their coop. (Of course, on weekdays I wake up at 7 anyway, but now I get up at that hour on the weekends, too, even without an alarm to wake me.) Usually, by the time I get out to the coop, the chickens are making a bumping, thumping racket in the coop -- it sounds like they're body-slamming the door. I have even seen Wilma try to fly out the tiny plexiglas window -- haven't they figured out by now that they can't do that?!!

So, that's the bad, never being able to sleep in. The good is that summer mornings are so lovely in Seattle, especially when it's already sunny by 7 a.m. The rays of the sun slanting across the yard, the cool shadows cast by our big Douglas firs and the pleasant sounds of flickers and songbirds all add up to a peaceful, serene start to the day.

I usually make myself a cup of tea and then go outside and sit on the little bench at the end of the chicken run. The companionable chickens hang out at the far end of the run with me, preening their feathers in the morning sun while I sip my tea and plan my day. There's little traffic at that hour so I almost feel like I'm in a park, although occasionally I hear a boat down at the Ballard bridge tooting its horn to make the bridge tender raise the bridge.

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