I spent much of the day at the two garden plots my mother and I share. She manages the plots and makes sure plants get planted at the right time, and I’m mostly labor. Today was a day of labor. Lots of weed killing and getting some rows articulated with some nice wood gifted to us recently.
As I turned the soil in some places, I saw grubs and worms, once deep in the soil, now exposed. Apparently, a nearby gray catbird (I think that’s what it was) saw them, too, and in short order had flown down to the ground, grabbed a grub and flew off; only to come right back for more.
I stayed rather still while she grabbed her grub, happy to let her have at them.
I was reminded of Brownie, a chicken at Buckland Farm I “knew” back in the day. Haha! Just now I went looking for a photo of me and Brownie but found this one instead–along with this note.
Meet Brownie our pet chicken. She follows us around and loves to sit on shoulders. She’s good at finding grubs and has a very distinct personality.
Brownie was awesome.
See, as we’d dig the soil and harvest beets or other root vegetables, we’d leave in our wake many plump earthworms and grubs. While the farm’s other chickens would cluck and follow along near me and other people when we worked in the kitchen garden (which closer to the house and not the field where vegetables to be sold were grown), Brownie was mere feet away from the action and always the chicken nearest whatever worm was wiggling and announcing itself as a lovely snack.
Hands down, Brownie probably got 80-90 percent of the exposed and wriggling chicken snacks. Not being a chicken whisperer, I couldn’t know for sure, but I figured she was either 1) fearless and willing to be close with people, 2) smart in realizing people working in gardens meant worms and grubs aplenty and/or 3) just hungry. I don’t know.
I love the sound of chickens clucking and doing what they do as they dig around in the soil for insects and other things to eat. I just love it! It’s such a peaceful sound.
Oh, but to hear them ratchet up their excitement when one of us would head out to the kitchen garden with a digging tool in hand! They knew! They knew the bounty of grubs and bugs was coming when the digging starting happening.
But it was Brownie–fearless, smart and/or just hungry–who scored the most snacks!