Mary Lucille Hays

Mary Lucille Hays

Letter from Birdland | My chicken can get a little squirrely

The light is coming back to Birdland, and so are the eggs. Most days, we still get only two from our three grown hens, but the days with no eggs or only one are getting fewer, and occasionally we find a third in the nest.

Letter from Birdland | Distracted writer gets a little assistance

Last night, Birdland was clear and only a little chilly. I know, because as I was lying awake at 2 a.m., deciding whether to keep trying to drift off, or give up and take my book into the living room for a while to read under a low light until I got sleepier, Cullen's throaty bark burst forth into the night.

Letter from Birdland | Wandering dogs can't stop city trip

The plan was to have a quiet breakfast and then head to Chicago for Dylan's birthday celebration soon after. Our middle son's new trip around the sun began last week, but he is so busy that finding a free evening to take him to dinner was tricky.

Letter from Birdland | Chicks getting used to their new home

Birdland is damp and overcast. The snow has melted, and the leaves lie sodden on the ground.

Last week, before the snow, Michael had roto-tilled the earthen floor of the chicken coop, and scooped bushels of compost into the bins to age until spring, when we'll toss it into the garden.

Letter from Birdland | Don't let time change get your goat

Whenever we change the clocks, forward or back, I can count on getting an email with a haiku from my friend Mickey from California.

Letter from Birdland | Our animal family has grown larger

In my defense, the computerized display said I had two days left. I had just checked last night; nothing seemed to be happening.

Letter from Birdland | Signs of fall are all around us

In Birdland, we have turned the corner of the year into autumn, and the corn that surrounded our house with a comforting shelter all summer is gone. We can see all the way to the back fence row, and in the evenings, herds of deer graze in the gloaming.

Letter from Birdland | The simple pleasures of fall

In Birdland, they have started harvesting the beans. I came home last week to shaved fields next to the grass waterway, and the combine had already crossed the road to crawl through my Uncle David's fields. The sun was setting, and the haze of dust hung golden in the western sky.

Letter from Birdland | A mix of fall and summer

We have turned the corner from a long summer into a slow slide toward autumn into winter, and I have that lonesome feeling I get with endings.

Letter from Birdland | Flowers are therapeutic

In Birdland, we are under a heat advisory, and I feel limp with humidity.

Walking to work, I watched a gigantic dragonfly capture a smaller insect. It flew weaving around about 10 feet in the air, homing in on its quarry, and then darted up to hover high above after the capture.