I’ve always loved the idea of having chickens, though I’m not actually sure on the follow through. I certainly enjoy buying eggs from friends who raise them.
When the kids were much younger, they took pottery and drawing lessons. The drawing lessons were especially helpful for my son, who had both dysgraphia and amblyopia. The lessons were amazing, and came from an art studio based out of a beautiful little ranch/farm property north of town. It was called Dragonfly Pond.
The family who lived there and owned the studio didn’t really have an actual “farm” like some of their neighbors, but they did have chickens, peacocks, guineas, geese, and all sorts of other birds that freely roamed their entire property.
Did you know that peacocks will hunt snakes? Such beautiful birds, and very loud.
In the back of the art center, the owners built a little bubbling brook; a man-made fountain stream, running through the back “yard.” There were bushes and Texas holey rocks and flowers and bits of pottery projects all around.
A picnic table and tree swing was set up next to the little stream. Parents and students would wait on their lessons outside in the little garden brook area (and enjoy the scenery). It was beautiful and the farm birds roamed everywhere. There was plenty to enjoy even while waiting for lessons to begin or end.
I enjoyed some blessed little Zen moments waiting in that little garden stream area for my kids. Waiting for the moments when they would rush outside, “Mommy, mommy – look what I made!” Cheering them on. Picking up acorns, feathers and rock treasures and soaking up the fresh air.
Though the art studio family had a fenced off coop for the birds at night, the chickens would literally lay eggs just about anywhere and everywhere. Eggs could be found in the rocks by the stream, by the parking area, even in the prickly pear cacti! Seeing eggs nestled up against the base of a cacti is one of those moments I wish I’d caught on film. I mean, just imagine…
Many of the chickens were very docile and there was one in particular that my daughter Jack would pick up and carry around. The little hen seemed to beg for her attention, follow her around. And once a year when the peacocks shed their tail feathers, the art studio would let each kid take home a feather.
Coming there every week was an amazing and healing experience for the kids and I both. Back in the days when John was deployed. The days when the kids first cried every night for their father.
And I always thought, you know – that’s the way to do it. It was obvious the birds were happy in this place. And it was such an organic experience for the kids and I both. If I were to have chickens, that would be the way to do it.
Sadly Dragonfly Pond has since closed and sold, years ago. Volente bought the ranch land backing their property with the intention of putting in a water park. I’m not sure if the park will ever be built, but there was a big brew-ha-ha when the land was first bought. Several homes on the other side of the fence sold. Supposedly the water park was going to be like a Robinson Caruso theme park, with tree-house hotels. But nothing has yet ever been built. Sad.
I’m just glad someone introduced us to the studio and that we were enriched by it. And during a time we needed nurturing. I’m grateful that it became part of our treasured memories before it went away.
I’m not sure I’ll ever own chickens one day or not. But if I did, that would surely be the way.