Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Ripley officer receives commendation for quick action Bicentennial at Ripley First Presbyterian RULH welcomes new school principals Aberdeen’s Police Dept. continues to grow Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Rickey L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Water distribution plans for Ripley move forward Historic Trapp and Wilson building sold RULH graduate wins HFR Scholarship Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann RULH selects Wilkins as new superintendent Corps of Engineer to study erosion issue in Ripley More funds available through Revolving Loans Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Historic home in Ripley is sold following renovations Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Students speak out in support of Skinner Ripley Council to pay half the cost for Air Evac services John McGee Timmy Burson

My favorite bird

There is something about my birds that just makes me want to smile. One of my red hen runs up to the front porch to greet me every morning as I step outside to empty the coffee grounds. I hear her heavy footsteps on the side deck and know that she is on her way, but even so, we almost collide as she rounds the corner. She cocks her head to the side and looks up at me out of one eye, as if to remind me that she is my favorite bird, and then she settles in to wait patiently by the front door, as we eat our breakfast. She knows that I will save her a bit of my cereal for a special treat, because she is my favorite bird after all.

And then after breakfast, as I open up the pigeon coop and spread scratch grains on their landing board, I love to watch the flutter of perfectly white wings. In what seems like an instant, 10 or more pure white birds are contentedly pecking at their morning treat. They mill about and peck here and there, and then, in an instant, they take off. They circle higher and higher into the sky over their gazebo coop. Their circles grow wider and wider as I continue on with my animal chores, but in time, I look up and see that they have changed their flight pattern and are now flying in a huge figure eight that spans from one side of the creek valley to the other. Their pure white freedom is beautiful to behold and gives my heart a flutter. Without a doubt, they are my favorite birds.

As I near the duck house, they see me coming. They stand up on their sturdy jet black legs, and stretch their ebony necks. A green shimmer shows along their backs, glinting ever so subtly in the morning sun. When I open the gate and scatter their grains, they begin their gravelly chorus, black bills pausing in raucous song just long enough to snatch up some delectable grain. I fill up their water trough, and only after they have flowed like a squawking river through the water do they head out into the yard, waddling in squadron formation, fanning out behind their leader. I have to smile as they head out into the orchard, my comic flock of black feathered foul. Yes, they are my ever so silly favorite birds.

And then there is the rooster! He stands at knee height, but when he puffs out his chest and thumps his wings I feel as though he is looking at me eye to eye, and I am wary. I have large sticks stashed about the farm that I often use as rooster deflection devices. My perfected move is half baseball half golf swing. He eyes me as I pass by and stomps the ground. I implore him to be gentle, but I thank him for his tenacity in protecting his multi colored flock of hens. Three times, that we know of, he has chased off the fox. This big bad rooster is very near and dear to my heart, the perfect protector of my hens, and perhaps my very favorite bird.

And then, of course there are my hens, all 31 of them; two black, three gold, four white, five buff, seven grey, and 10 red. They wander all over the farm all through the day, but every evening, just before dusk, they gather in the upper field, hunting for bugs and looking like scattered feathered gum drops. I go out to collect their multi colored eggs from the drop down doors at the back of the chicken coop. Every day I have a wonderful egg hunt, a few eggs from this box, one from another, none from one, and a whole basket full from the last! A few of the girls are already in the coop. The others are slowly making their way across the field. One heads up the ramp, then changes her mind to go after an unseen bug. I return to the cabin and stand at the kitchen counter as I put up the eggs. I watch out the window and see the last few hens waiting patiently in line to head up the ramp to roost for the night. I know that the solar powered door will close safely behind them. I put their eggs in the refrigerator. Without a doubt, they are my favorite birds.

http://ripleybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_1-Standing-GND-Tailer-sig.jpg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright The Ripley Bee