Tiny rings of frozen fog formed around tips of ice covered branches creating a dancing lace blanket cloaking trees and bushes outside the barn. Tiny droplets of freezing rain continued painting trees and ground alike with a clear and shimmering frosting. Branches began to bow under the added weight. Wind gusts shook the branches sending crystals showering to the ground. Dark clouds formed a heavy gray canvas behind the trees. Cold, dark and windy as it was, there was a glittering beauty to yesterday morning ... Even if the chickens could not appreciate it.
Inside the barn Kessy, Saturday and I were snug and dry. Kessy munched hay, Saturday curled at my feet, I poured my first cup of coffee . Juncos, Cardinals, Chickadees and Doves huddled under low branches as they scratched and pecked at the cracked corn intended for the chickens. The chickens were up and about alright, they just were having nothing to do with the ice show outside. Their house is on the end of the barn and they usually start out just about daybreak flying out the window and to the cracked corn under the bushes, or just take off on what I call their, "search and devour" missions.
The wind and ice had them running late and the Coffee Clutch gang was all settled in before the first rooster braved the freezing drizzle. Finally the first rooster flew out, landed on the shinny, slick ground only to slide a foot or so before regaining its footing. He promptly stood up, shook his wings, paused a second to scowl at the sky, then ran slipping and sliding, squawking with wings flapping into Kessy's barn. Once inside he shook like a soaked dog. I don't think he even noticed Kessy, Saturday and me.
One by one the other roosters and chickens flew from widow to slippery ice, slid along doing their chicken version "Disco Duck" and half skated, half ran to the safety of the barn. As they gathered around our feet in Kessy's stall, Saturday scampered about saying "Howdy" and doing his best to act as concierge of "Hotel Kessy."
Not willing to let the dark skies win they began to fly up on the half-wall that is the rear of the barn. They often like to sit there a few at a time, but yesterday nearly everyone took the lofty perch and began crowing and clucking at the dripping sky.
Kessy, Saturday the chickens and I enjoyed a noisy (there were 10 roosters crowing) but snug and dry Coffee Clutch as the freezing rain continued to fall. The only thing missing was the song the ice rain played on the tin roof. I'm sure the tune was played, and well played, but the chorus of crows drowned it out. The chickens not on the wall made much ado about searching Kessy's stall, and her hay, for whatever edible morsels may be hidden there. Kessy, the good hostess she is, was polite and even sharing. … It was an all around good Coffee Clutch and start of a great day. We hope yours is perfect too!