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Friday, October 2, 2009

Raising Fowl

During the summer, Nancy (Molly's mom) purchased baby chickens with the eventual goal of having them in the backyard to help manage bugs and insects in the yard and the garden and also produce the occasional egg. The chickens are now approximately 24 weeks old and love to roam the yard during the day. If you ask Nancy, she'll say they have a specific route for browsing for snacks, moving from the hill near the pool to the pool house yard to the back patio of the house and back to the garden for the best pickings. They're interesting creatures to watch, with erratic head movements, awkward walking patterns, and unnecessary fear that would rival any paranoid conspiracy theorist out there.

My earlier attempts to capture their backyard behaviors were met with frustration as my Tamron zoom lens just couldn't keep up with their quick and unpredictable actions. I have been dying to share a photo with you from the market of one farmer's huge volume of fresh farm eggs, but wanted to wait until I could couple that photo with ones of our chickens. After work yesterday, my Canon EOS 30D and I walked out to the chicken coop in the back yard to corral them and put them to bed as the sun began to set. Though my 24-70mm lens is fast and sharp at 2.8, the dying light kept things interesting, with my ISO creeping up and up to keep the shutter speed fast enough to capture the chickens without blur. Below are my two favorite photos of the chickens.

Nuggets poses for a portrait against the crisp blackness of the coop.

Nestled in for the Night
Cordon Bleu nestles under another's wing for the cold evening to come.

And finally, I could not pass up sharing this photo from Chico's Certified Farmers' Market with you. The amount, color, and display of these farm eggs stopped me in my tracks.

Chicken Harvest

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