Oh Dear.

No selfies, just a shelfie.

I was going to keep this post light and chatty. And mercifully brief. I will still keep it brief, but I’m afraid I need to first impart some unfortunate news…

This afternoon, Daphne, (aka Evil Chicken – but not really), one half of the mighty Chook Lady duo, was taken by an eagle. Oui, an eagle.

Poor Daphne. And poor Violet, who was so distressed that she tried to barge her way up my back steps and into my living room, in order to seek refuge from the sky that had well and truly fallen upon her chookie world.

I was also distressed, because I do so love my Chook Ladies. But I’m also philosophical. It is sadly often the Way of Things when you keep chickens. And in a National Park, no less. Also, an eagle (wedge tailed) is a genuinely awe-inspiring predator. They too must eat, (yeah, yeah). And I know that Daphne had a moste excellent chicken life.

This does mean though, that I will be re-homing Violet with a dear friend, where she will have some chook companionship. Because I am not in a position to add more chickens right now, (not if I want them to have a good free-ranging existence); and Violet can simply not remain the Only Chook in the Village.

Daphne (left), and Violet the Affable.

And now that a stiff glass of wine hath been poured…

Apart from that decidedly shitty interlude, and at the risk of sounding polly-anna-ish, today was actually a really lovely day. I got to have some time off my usual obs, and instead spend cuppa-and-chat time with a beautiful friend. And I got to drive through swoon-worthy mountain forest,fringed by long, winding avenues of deciduous trees, their ruby and russet leaves lying ankle deep along the sides of the road. There is something deliciously biscuit-y about them, don’t you think?

Not only that, my sweet pea seeds have sprouted and are sprinting up their bamboo supports, I’m having visions of rose gardens, as I guerilla garden – planting blackcurrant bushes, and a large, shrubby, wildish rose called Duchesse de Brabant. The buds look like lipsticks.

And I’m listening to the sublime Beirut.

But now for some Indian vegie curry, and a farewell toast to a swell broad named Daphne.

Blessings to you. xx


12 thoughts on “Oh Dear.

  1. Oh sigh……. For all of you!!!!! Especially for Daphne, of course.

    An eagle!!!!! Well, if she had to go, I guess it’s classy, that a King or Queen of the Skies, took her off. Quite fitting, maybe…..<–No help, I know….

    You are kind, to re-home Violet… Poor thing….

    Planting and seeing garden things grow! So different from our Winter! When all sleep, under a blanket of ice and snow…

    Take comfort, where you can. Life can be rotten, at times. But those times, make us appreciate the not-rotten-times. Like your wonderful drive, through a mountain forest……

    Gentle hugs,


    1. Thankyou Tessa, for your comforting words. I was feeling bad that the kill happened on my watch, pretty much right under my nose.

      And the seasons here are dramatically different from yours, aren’t they? Your Winter is a true sleep, yet here we never go that deeply under. I’m already seeing the buds on the trees that will burst out in August/September, (our Spring). xx


  2. oh, i’m so very sorry for poor daphne—and you—and violet, too. having chickens is always a fraught enterprise. where i live, they are simply the “pop-tart” of the wildlife world…slow-ish, mostly flightless, plump treats for eagles, hawks, foxes, snakes, coyotes, bobcats, etc. not to mention the endless arguments with lackadaisical neighbors who WILL let their dogs roam…one must either build the moste secure chicken castle, fortified against intruders from earth, sky, and fence gap, and shepherd them when ranging, or else be philosophical about nature taking its course. oh dear, indeed…chicken little was quite often right!

    i do love your ‘shelfie’…and i’m ever so glad that the other parts of the day were agreeable. one would need it after the chook incident. thank heaven for the solace of trees and sky, gardens and wine, tea and chat. never underestimate the importance of those things, eh? i firmly believe that my tuesday ‘curry and coven’ lunches keep numerous people gainfully employed, not a few husbands un-divorced and perhaps even alive, and all of us saner than we might be otherwise…

    and dreams of roses…yes, yes.


    1. It’s absolutely true – keeping chookies is a fraught exercise. It’s always in my mind that the odds are stacked against them. And I remain relatively philosophical about it, although I’m still gutted because I’m a crap farmer who gets emotionally involved with her animals.

      I adore the sound of your “curry and coven” lunches! Heartily agree re sanity and husband-preservation ; ) xx


  3. oh my, poor Daphne! i would imagine it was a swift end, though. it’s good of you to find Violet some kindred company…and relative safety from the perils of the sky.

    trees, good company, dreams of roses….ah, this is the stuff of great joy, is it not? much love! xoxo


    1. Thanks, lovely. And I figure that even if Violet is still vulnerable in her new home, I know she will have a happy, healthy chicken life with company. Which is to me, the most important thing for a chook – the quality of the living, rather than the nature and timing of the death.

      And yes, I feel I have all the elements of joy in those good, good things : ) Love to you, dear one. xx


  4. I am so sorry for poor Daphne. I hope it was quick and she was in no pain or fear. And poor Violet, what a fright for her! And yet … it seems not quite as horrible as when an inconsiderate neighbour lets their dog loose, and it gets to the chickens. Wild nature is somehow more bearable.

    I’m glad you had an otherwise good day. Roses always make for beautiful dreams.


    1. Ah, Sarah, thankyou kindly. And yes, Daphne’s end would have been mercifully swift. And my word! You’re right – soooo much better than a neighbourhood dog getting to her!

      Roses do make for beautiful dreams, don’t they? Especially with names like “Troilus”, and “Heathcliff”, (I’d rather have the rose version of Heathcliff, than Bronte’s bloke). xx


  5. Oh poor Daphne. We lost all ours in a fox swoop and have never had the heart to replace them because Nature will take them and we can’t expect anything else. But I am sorry to hear of your loss and I hope Violet settles quickly into her new home.

    Indian veggie curry is the best – and a fine tribute to a chicken who never had to be in one : )



    1. You know Jo, I’m in the exact same place with the chook-keeping. Haven’t the heart, (nor the nerves) to be getting more chookies.

      And yes, yes! A chicken-free veggie curry is a fine (and dignified) tribute ; ) xx


  6. Lovely shelfie there.

    I am so sorry for Daphne, and for you having to see it – some images remain etched in our memories forever.
    Eagles are exquisite predators with literally razor sharp talons, so she would not have suffered, most likely remaining in a state of (painless) shock until the deed was done.
    Having lived near twenty years in the country, with many and varied adopted animals to care for, I’ve seen what predators can do.
    Have to admit, they (animals) are far more efficient than us dreadful humans, who kill for greed, sport or other evil intent.
    Sorry – off topic there.

    Hugs to you in your grief and shock.
    Here’s to the memory of dear Daphne, pour some out onto the ground for her…


    1. Thankyou for your lovely words, Vicki. And I have to agree – heartily – that animals are indeed far more efficient than we humans. At least a chicken is a reasonable target for eagles and foxes and such. I mean, it’s terrible, but also completely natural.

      And I did just as you suggested – I poured some mulled wine onto the ground, in memory of Daphne, and all that she’s given to us and our home. Warmest wishes to you. xx


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