We free-range the chickens, in part because it cuts down on their feed consumption, and in part because it’s better for them and the eggs are just that much more scrumptious. But really, the only reason I’m willing to put up with their mess in the yard (and on the porches) is because the bug population in the house drops dramatically when they are allowed in the yard. When you live in the middle of a farm, some things are unavoidable, and the occasional 6- or 8-legged house guest is one of those things. My grandmother managed to keep ahead of them, but I’ve decided that she cleaned house all day every day in order to do so, and I have to work at least a little bit.
Anyway, back to the point of the photo. When we first moved in, Steve built a lovely and sturdy trellis for the very old trumpet vine that grows outside the dining room window. This trellis extends the entire width of the house, and the eventual plan is to plant additional trumpet vines to cover it. So far that hasn’t been successful, but we keep hoping. In the meantime, the chickens are pretty sure that this trellis was put in place just for them, and they have developed the habit of peaking in the windows. I’m not sure it they are hoping that we’ll come out and give them a treat, or just trying to figure out why they can’t come in. Either way, it’s occasionally a bit startling. I guess that’s the price I pay for bug control and great eggs. All in all, I think it’s a pretty decent bargain.
PS – Steve is off working, so this was posted by Ann Marie. Steve occasionally refers to himself as Raisin, a nickname from when he was in the Navy, but I just can’t bring myself to call him a dried up grape.