There’s been a lot of clucking about chickens lately, what with everyone staying home and envisioning that long longed-for coop. When grocery supply chains threatened to snap, there was even more than the usual pleasure in stepping out to the coop for fresh-laid eggs from our lovely ladies.
But Willa is having to hide from the paparazzi
ever since the latest issue of our local neighborhood magazine hit the stands:
A little history: in 1925, Harold Chase purchased 1,200 acres of land bordering the Pacific Ocean just north of Santa Barbara proper. Lucky for us, his sister, famed civic crusader Pearl Chase, convinced him not to chop the plots into the usual tiny subdivision dice. With every lot an acre or larger, Hope Ranch has ever since been a semi-rural paradise not just for its residents, but for happy hens, horses,
and other neighbors, like Miss Daisy across the street. (We share our eggs, but for some reason Daisy doesn’t seem inclined to bring home the bacon).
Each of the families interviewed for the article echoed the same sentiment about keeping chickens: “It makes me feel so peaceful when I look up and see them there”, said one neighbor. Another refers to his flock as “members of the family”. “They are the happiest addition to the house we’ve ever had”, said a third, who added that with the eggs “they give you a gift every day”.
It was a fun article to write, and according to the publisher, there are already requests for a follow-up to include other neighbors who want to show off their backyard flocks. Hard to find things to smile about these days, but I dare you not to laugh at a chicken. Good for breakfast, and good for the soul.