Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Chickens are Coming!

We have been in the process of getting our landscaping done for the last few months. Finally, this last week the entire process came to a close... we now have a landscaped yard! Grass, rocks, plants, and some trees. Ahhhhhh, I am so glad the dirt is gone! But, the week before the complete yard renovation, the landscaper suggested that we visit our local nursery to choose a few trees and plants that we liked. No big deal, right?

The four of us loaded into the car and headed out to the nursery. This is the middle of September in the Midwest, so how crowded could the place be, right? Wrong! We barely found a parking place on the edge of the property which left us wondering, what in the heck is going on at a nursery in the middle of September? When we got to the door we found out immediately, a farmer's market and pepper roasting. Yum!

We wandered in as the sweet smell of freshly roasted peppers wafted past. So far, this was a great visit! We made our way through the nursery, past the pepper roasting, and out to the area where all of the trees and bushes are located. We wandered around for a bit, then were approached by an employee who answered many questions and offered some great suggestions. During this time, the girls wandered in and out of the aisles of trees, playing hide-and-seek with each other. They were in heaven! They even got to try some apples off of some of the trees (the leading reason why we are now the proud owners of an apple tree... plus, more to come in Spring next year!). After a few minutes the employee thought we would probably like to see some trees a bit farther back on the nursery lot. He said that he would meet us there (pointing to a particular area of the lot) while he went to go grab some food for the chickens. Wait... did he say chickens?!?!? Hmmmm...

We walked over to the particular area pointed out to us by the guy and started looking at the trees, but I swear that I must have misheard the guy because I definitely didn't see any chickens. After a few minutes, the employee returned, with a cob of fresh corn and an tomato in hand. Yup, I definitely misheard him, chickens do not eat tomatoes. It was at that moment that he started calling for the chickens, the same way someone would call for a dog... "Here chicken, chicken, chicken!" And that's all it took to make them all start coming out of every nook and cranny within the trees. About twenty chickens trotted eagerly toward the employee who folded back the corn husks and handed the cob to the Ladybug. She looked at him and asked, "What am I supposed to do with this?" We all laughed. She soon learned to hold the cob out for the chickens who feasted on the fresh, raw corn. I asked why he brought the tomato, to which he said, "The chickens like tomatoes too!" He handed me the tomato and sure enough, the chickens came running.

Interestingly, there was even a half-chicken, half-turkey hybrid. Daddy commented that if we could mate that bird with a duck we would have the perfect Thanksgiving meal of a turducken! You can see the half-chicken, half-turkey in the photo below... they are the ones no feathers on their long, red necks.

We stayed in the area, feeding the chickens for about thirty minutes. The Ladybug loved every minute of it... a "chicken whisperer" in the making! Unfortunately, the Butterfly didn't quite have the same reaction. No, she screamed at the top of her lungs, terrified the feathery creatures were going to peck on her instead of the corn. The only thing that made her feel better... Daddy of course! (I did ask they employee why they had chickens in the nursery. Turns out they were purchased a few years back to get rid grasshoppers and other bugs that liked to nibble on the plants. Cool!)

Notice the Butterfly running toward Daddy, crying for help!

To answer your question, yes we did choose some wonderful trees and bushes that are now planted in our yard... Woohoo!!! But, the day was so different than we expected, so much better than we expected. We thought we would go to the nursery, pick out a couple trees and leave, thirty minutes tops! Not... even... close. We ended up enjoying a great petting zoo-type of experience with the girls feeding the chickens and playing hide-and-seek in the trees. Of course we did enjoy some of the freshly roasted peppers and all of the fresh fixins' (homemade salsa and chips!) that were oh-so-delicious. Honestly, who knew that our local nursery was so awesome! Okay, silly question... we are probably the only people in town who didn't know how cool this nursery is, but we know now and you can be sure that we will be back often!

I don't want to post about the landscaping quite yet, but I did want to share one photo from the day they landscapers rolled the sod. The Butterfly was so excited to watch every minute detail of the happenings of the day. She walked out on the patio, still in her pajamas, apple juice in hand and just gazed at the transformation taking place before her eyes.  Truth be told, she was also grooving out to the music playing from the stereo they brought with them to keep them going throughout the long day!  I snapped this photo of the Bug, watching one of the workers, who was also watching her off and on dance excitedly to the music.  You can see him in the photo, looking at the Bug, smiling as she is watching his with great, big eyes.

Yup, we enjoyed a couple of fun days.  I love where we live!


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