Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall colors and bald hens

A couple of photos to help you visualize how the ladies' coop looks during a molt: sort of like someone plucked a hen! Note how Lena's (far left) head and parts of her wings have only new pin feathers where the old feathers fell out. Each hen molts yearly, replacing the old with bright, new, healthy feathers. Hard work for the hen's system, so she stops laying for a bit during the molt.

Here too are some of the beautiful fall colors from the yard: The orange red of my red maple (chosen for its fall color and because maple provides one of the earliest spring food sources for the bees), and similar colors from my Muskogee crape myrtle, chosen for it's disease resistance, size at maturity (medium large tree), lavender blossoms, and fall leaf color. Last, even the young blueberry bushes have great fall color. Here you see the blueberry bed, with an understory of collards and flat leaf parsley.