Mary Lucille Hays

Mary Lucille Hays

Letter from Birdland | Two great evenings of poetry

It's not that I forgot to shut the chicken coop door, but it was after dark when I went out to carry the day's compost to the birds.

Letter from Birdland | Signs of spring can be found everywhere

Spring has come to Birdland, bringing flooding, but also color to the yard and beyond.

Daffodils and jonquils from bright yellow to pale ivory have opened in abundance. They have been blooming for a while, and I was worried the frost we got last week would nip them, but only a few gave up and lay down.

Letter from Birdland | Father writes about his son's incredible journey

Spring has come to Birdland, and it finds me with my nose in a book.

"Ephphatha" (which means "to be opened." Don't be embarrassed to look up the pronunciation: I had to) by Thomas M. Caulfield details his deaf son's journey through the educational system, basketball teams and a hearing society.

Letter from Birdland | Dog party in the big city

In the sudden spring morning last week, Michael proposed taking the dogs to Chicago. "We can skate!"

Letter from Birdland | Get ready to see green

For my birthday, my friend Cheryl brought me an amaryllis bulb. Her daughter, Lena, helped us pot it. Lena, who studies horticulture, showed us how to dig in and separate the roots when we planted it. When we had finished, about a third of the big bulb stuck out of the soil.

Letter from Birdland | Travels of two bad dogs

Some say it was the wind blasting from the northeast. Some say a traveler knocked at the door a little too firmly. Some say that Ursula, the black dog, finally mastered the trick her old friend tried to teach her, of rolling the knob between her two paws. And some say that Michael simply walked out the kitchen door with his big rucksack of lunch and forgot to close it behind him.

Letter from Birdland | Where did the snow go?

We left Birdland yesterday on a sunny afternoon for Chicago to do our weekend work. This morning, we woke to a grave drizzle, but that just keeps the distractions down so we can get busy.

Letter from Birdland | A winter stroll in the woods

Snow has come to Birdland, blanketing the fields and settling on the trees.

Last summer's corn stubble pokes through, stippling the white with tan bristles, and Michael and I are on our way across the field to the Benson timber to walk and cut brush to groom our little trail.

Letter from Birdland | Enjoying the sights in the Big Apple

It was our last night in Brooklyn, and I was starting to get homesick. I wondered how the dogs were doing, whether my tiny serama hen had started laying yet, if the cat was still pouting in the attic (reports from home were that even though she seemed to be eating, nobody had seen much of her).

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.