Cheep cheep. Cluck cluck
Well here they are, mother and (some of the babies.) Granny is sorry the pictures aren't just a bit better. But taking them within their coop isn't easy; with sun there's too much shade, without sun the light's not really good enough. Excuses, excuses. But she did her best. And you get the idea.
All five babies are doing fine; somewhat to Beloved's surprise. The viability of chicks, he says depends on the extent to which the embryo grows round the yolk. The yolk is what they feed on in the shell. Those who get too little - there are often one or two who get too little - don't survive. But all these evidently did get enough: they do.
The chicks are not only getting bigger, they are growing wing feathers. They are developing 'Chicken Behaviour Patterns' according to Beloved, who knows about such things - he is a biologist after all. And a raiser of chickens. And he sits and watches them. Beloved likes watching chickens: so does Granny as a matter of fact, but not quite so much as she likes watching people. Beloved is not interested in watching people, even in foreign places. They do just the same as people do anywhere else, he says dismissively. Granny doesn't like to point out that a chicken anywhere does what a chicken does; that's what interest him about 'Chicken Behaviour Patterns.' Isn't it? CBP's among other things, if you're interested, consist in grabbing up a piece of food and taking it away to eat alone. Or making scratching movements just like their mothers. Or preening themselves; or stretching like grown-up birds. Cheep cheep, cluck cluck.
This may well be more than any of you want to know about chickens; but it’s what you get reading someone who lives with a biologist like Beloved. She is happy to be able to assure you that his knowledge on biological matters is not just limited to the birds (or the bees). That his knowledge of humans in the necessary respects is more than satisfactory. Nor does he call that kind of functioning 'human behaviour patterns', either. Or at least not out loud. He wouldn't dare.
Granny you can see has been playing with her template. Not her favourite activity. With many curses she did manage finally to get the picture of her house to head her blog. The photo was taken at the driest time when the land was totally dry. It is not always so desert-like. It is, for instance, greening up now after the rain, the beginning of the yearly miracle. Less usual is that now the wind has died, what there is of it remains from the south. The air is still hot.
After the first rains, the weather cooled down, granny got out her jeans, Beloved lit the fire at night. Winter seemed on its way. But since the not-typhoon she is back in her knee pants. They eat their meals outside; last night they even ate dinner outside, not a normal possibility at any time of year here; something that may surprise those of you from more northerly places. But it's true; the wind is too often cold. As it's also true that the glassy sea of the last few days, mirroring the sky in places, is an equally rare event. Another nice one. Back in London it's dark and getting cold. Here Granny plays at summer. She doesn't complain.
Oh and thanks to all you nice people who wrote about her blog on Guardian Abroad. As they say in Tesco ads, 'every little helps.' Blessing on each and every reader; on those who just want to read her too. She likes to please.