Category Archives: run for the hills

The Inside Coop: Coyotes, chickens, and Spring veggies.

As promised, here is your long-awaited update of life in our backyard paradise of west Tucson.  Lots has happened with the onslaught of Spring here in the desert, at least in the 1/5 of an acre that I inhabit.  Most notably, I have had an overwhelming obsession with gardening and digging and compost and seeding plants.  It is so intense that it has almost become a problem at work, in that it has been really difficult to think about anything else but the next project, or if the seedlings have popped up yet, or when I will get to Sprinkler World with my brother to purchase irrigation supplies that I have long needed and will finally be sufficiently organized to have.  I have framed one existing and one new garden bed with wood edges in order to lessen erosion and in order to further define the beds themselves.  My brother and I also went all the way up to north of Tucson to visit our beloved Aribico Organics for a whole pickup load of sweet smelling warm compost made from maggot poop and pine shavings (all true), which we split, and I have promptly used nearly all of my share for the enriching of my newly framed garden beds and for a potting soil mix for seeding eventual transplants of mostly tomatoes, basil, and peppers, with the occasional eggplant, watermelon, and herb.  During one of my potting extravaganzas one Saturday in the middle of the afternoon I was visited by a coyote at the back fence, presumably in search of rabbits, field mice, and ground squirrels, though he did spend a good half minute staring through the fence at the chicken palace that holds eight very plump and well-nurished hens that would make a coyote quite happy and me quite devastated.  Though really, I think the potential danger is quite low given all that the coyote would have to go through to make off with one [fingers crossed].  Amid all this flurry of activity, both human, vegetable, and carnivorous, all eight of my hens are officially laying and on Monday, March 9, the chicken stars aligned and the bird gods conspired that all eight would lay an egg on the same day.  Nice.


Coyote visiting.


Coyote close-up.


Vegetables in training.


What eight (dirty) eggs in one day looks like.  (In the handmade chicken basket that my cousin gave me for my christmas this year.  Yay Andrea!!)


This is the never-been-used-and-newly-framed-in-garden-bed-with-plants-I-didn’t-seed-but-purchased-and-then-planted-because-I-have-a-problem-with-patience-and-needed-to-see-some-real-life-green-plants-already.

From top to bottom:  (Left row) green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, (space for future plant), cucumber.  (Middle row) Thai hot pepper, jalepen(y)o pepper, Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil, Native Seeds basil.  (Right row) zuccini (x2).


My circle garden bed with Cherokee Purple tomats (cages), volunteer parlsey (forefront), I’itoi’s Onions (chive-like plants), sunflowers (right), and radishes (where it looks like there is currently nothing).


Let’s roll.

Somewhere over the pond in Willoughby, Northamptonshire, an bowling-pin shaped egg was laid by a chicken.  Naturally, the owner thought about selling it on Ebay.  I mean what else would you do with an egg like that?

Chicken lays bowling-pin shaped egg

An animal lover has found her chickens are game for anything after one laid an egg resembling a tenpin bowling pin.

‘I’ve done a bit of research and there’s nothing to suggest you should ever get eggs in this shape,’ said the 43-year-old.

Natalie Wiltshire said the bizarre creation was laid by one of her 20 chickens and reckons it is one of a kind.

The mother of three found it last week and was initially tempted to sell it on eBay.

‘I don’t know how much it would fetch but I remember a cornflake shaped like Jesus that sold for quite a lot of money so you never know,’ added the yoga teacher from Willoughby, Northamptonshire.

But the odd egg has proved such a hit with children Oliver, 13, Edward, ten, and six-year-old Benedict that she has been persuaded to hang on to it.

‘It really is quite an extraordinary shape. All I need now is another nine pins and a round one for a bowling ball and we have the complete set,’ she joked. []


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