|Ethel the Easter Egger, Ameraucana|
“Winter’s coming.” The days are short and though temperatures have been higher than normal, it’s
still chilly outside. Assignments have slowed to a trickle and the beekeeper project is on hold till
spring. With the exception of the occasional iPhone photo I really haven’t been shooting much. That
began to change yesterday after my son sent me a text asking if I could make some new photographs
With temperatures in the 40’s and partly sunny skies, I spent a few hours following our eight hens
around the backyard. We like to let them free range during the day as long as someone is home to
chase off the occasional hawk or fox and to close up the coop at dusk. We never have to worry about
rounding them up, they rise with the dawn and roost at sunset, we only need to remember to lock the
doors at night in case a racoon or opossum decides to pay a visit.
|Thing Two, Buff Orpington, exiting the Hen House after laying an egg.|
After a long dry spell our hens have begun laying again, thanks to increasingly longer days and the
string of LED lights draped through the coop. There is a direct correlation between amount of light
and egg laying. Now, we get seven or eight eggs per day. We fry them, boil and bake them and
what we can’t use we give to neighbors.
|A Buff Orpington and Swedish Flower Hen at the feeder.|
From a photographic standpoint there are less hours of daylight in winter but all the light is usable,
even at mid-day, as the sun travels across the sky at a lower angle. The day was an even mix of
bright sun and partly cloudy so some of the photos were contrasty with sharp shadows while others
where soft and diffuse.
I think one the most important aspects of photographing animals is to get down to their level which
often means laying down on the ground.
Read other posts about our experience as urban chicken keepers.