Just as Spring is creeping in and all is beginning to bloom, in a quick, cruel moment the other side of Nature is shown to me.
Last night a fox visited our terrace gardens. My neighbours hens have all gone and my three ladies were wiped out too. He took and ate the youngest and then, with that senseless side of fox nature, bit the heads of the other two and left them. Perhaps he plans to come back and eat them later and maybe there is his family to feed but I am left hen-less and feel bereft indeed.
I'm very fond of my chickens and watching their simple, vigorous enjoyment of scratching, eating and dust-bathing in the sun never failed to give pleasure.
So, to mark their passing, I thought I'd post a few photographs, to make me smile as I remember them.
This is Madame Pompadour guarding her chicks and settling down for the night in their tree-
A closeup of our little grey hen at about a week old
The two ladies in the garden last year-
And this winter, in the tree despite the snow-
And finally, as is fitting, the last photo of the most beautiful eggs that they laid
I will have some more hens, but I shall leave it a while, especially as Mr Fox may still be sniffing around.