Category Archives: bird eggs

Chicken Headlines; What a Difference a Year Makes

Posted April 17, 2015

By Amy Lemieux

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. -C. S. Lewis
Our chickens, Fritzie and Miss Chick, turned one year old this April. Some of you remember them as tiny balls of fluff. Now they are plump and portly. I say that in the least edible way, despite threats from the kitchen staff upstairs. Miss Chick, named after our beloved original chicken, is a gigantic Partridge Cochin. Fritzie, named for Grandpa Kenny Fritz, is a golden (plump) Buff Orpington. Both breeds were highly recommended to us based on their gentle dispositions.

Last April our chicks were snug, cozy, and nestled under a heat lamp in the Autumn Room. They were petted gently by the children daily and grew accustomed to the constant chatter of preschoolers. Despite our best efforts, they refused to eat anything but ground corn. At two months they were allowed to go outside in a little hand-made pen, but only in the presence of active preschoolers who were deterrents to predators. This year, the moment a teacher arrives at school in the morning, they remind us assertively that it is time to go outside. Currently, we trust that our chickens are too fat to be plucked off our playground. I don’t know there is a hawk capable of heaving one of our buxom girls to carry away. Our most cherished time is the end of the day; when Sarah Kern opens the classroom door, the pair comes running from wherever they happen to be, and walk right into the school on their own! This shows tremendous progress, folks, as months ago it often required four of us teaming up to capture them when it was time to come inside. 20150310_102536
Fritzie and Miss Chick have been the grateful beneficiaries of fruits and vegetables leftover from lunch and snack time. Their culinary tastes have grown exponentially. Their cuisine now includes blackberries, strawberries, wheat crackers, mealworms, and barbecued ribs. Their favorite is watermelon. The warm sun of spring along with their ample diet has transformed them into prolific layers. They each lay an egg almost daily. These delicious eggs are welcome payment for the time we spend cleaning up after them!
These two girls are so inseparable that my heart skips a beat when I catch a glimpse of one outside without the other. If you see Fritzie or Miss Chick in the courtyard, please stop to say hello. If you happen to have watermelon in your pocket, you will become instant friends!

Art Camp 2014 – Birds!!!

Posted August 7, 2014

Birds were the focus of this year’s two week art camp.  From the variety of bird books and field guides in the classroom, each child chose a special bird to study and draw.  Both in the studio and in the classroom, children set to work, using markers, crayons, oil pastels, colored pencils and watercolors to represent their birds.  As the drawings and paintings accumulated, the children were able to observe their birds more closely, and notice details they had missed in their earlier attempts.

During the two weeks, we also read bird books every day, with a special focus on the first great bird artist, John James Audubon.  We learned about his love of the outdoors and his ability to watch birds closely and quietly, so he could learn their habits.  He also had a BIG QUESTION:  Where do birds go in the fall and do they ever come back to the same nest?  The children know the answer and how Audubon discovered it – just ask them!

The final week of camp was busy with creating life-sized studies of the children’s birds, and building nests to fill with the appropriate eggs.  Our classroom nest specimens were examined to see what materials would be needed.  After the raw materials were collected and the nests constructed – using clay for the mud- the children researched their bird’s particular egg to see how to paint them just the right colors.

The culminating event was an art show and reception, with lovely invitations created by the children and delivered to their families and the seniors of Inver Glen Senior Living.  The children, dressed in their finest, stood proudly by their artwork to welcome the art patrons and answer questions. Their efforts were enthusiastically celebrated, and we are very grateful for the school community’s support of these young artists!