Sunday, December 28, 2008

storm birds

Most of the poultry around here prefer the comfort of the coop. The coop is windless, well lit, and has a pile of fresh straw, barrels of food, and a source of fresh water. It's all a chicken, turkey, or duck could ask for. The geese however, do not wallow in creature comforts. They flat out refuse it. They love being outside, even durring last week's snow storm. Here they are walking around the yard, head into the wind, as the snow flew past them. Their names are Cyrus and Saro, and I don't think they've spent more than a few minutes of their lives apart from each other.

They can fly away, but don't. Together they waddle around, sticking their heads in windows or coming onto the porch to lap up the sun. During the summer they are expert weed eaters, great use around the garden and cabin walls - but during the winter they are just honking lost souls searching for corn that fell off the station wagon's back hatch. Not a rivetting life, but a pretty entertaining one to watch. I've grown used to them, and all their goosey quirks. The screaming, occasional hissing, and the neck-stretch-check-out of all things new. They really have become the background characters of this life.

Did you know Toulouse Geese can live to be 40? That's a good long life for those storm birds. I hope the pair follow me to every farm I land on from here on out. I'd miss them if they weren't around. They kinda give me a morale boost. Whenever I have to brave a storm or go tend to the animals in the pitch black, I can say to myself, "Hey, the geese could do this. The geese would do this." And outside I go.


Blogger Heidi Alfonzo said...

Hello Jenna, I found this blog on the news (seriously!) and I came over to see what it was all about! I love it! It's so well written and so inspiring! This article was very moving. I think it's a must-read for every one in this time of "storms"

Happy Holidays!

December 28, 2008 at 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


First off, what made you decide to get geese?

Secondly, I got your book for Christmas and devoured it in about two days. Nice, nice job. I, too, took the homesteading plunge a few years ago, moving from my apartment in DC to a falling down farmhouse in NH, and while work continues, it was really just pleasant to read again about why I got into all of this--and also to remember that not every project has to be overwhelming in scope.

Anyway, I checked out the blog last night, and have been poking around. If you don't mind my asking, what are you planning to sell on your Esty account? Looks like a very cool website.

Thanks again and have a great Sunday.


December 28, 2008 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

heidi and kate, thank you!

The geese? I don't have a solid anwser. I really liked them, always had, and when I had the larger coop here in Vermont, I said, why not? I just got two goslings this spring, hand raised them (they don't attack people, a plus) and have grown to just like their company.

As for etsy, I had a bunch of stuff on etsy a year ago, hand knit things, farm-made teas, a boat load of old antiques - from deer heads to coffee grinders, but when i moved out west i fell behind on orders, and still owe some people stuff. till they are all cleared up and I can fix old orders, i won't sell new things. feels crappy to do that to the people waiting on soap or prints or refunds.

December 28, 2008 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

oh and heidi - the NEWS!?! Like on TV? what?!

December 28, 2008 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna, I love reading your blog. I'm just an office worker and a single mom currently living in Charlotte, NC but I aspire to be a homesteader like you some day and have a few chickens and goats to tend. Keep up the great writing. I'm looking forward to reading your book. Happy Holidays!

December 29, 2008 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger dlyn said...

I can't even remember how I found your blog, but had to comment about the geese. We don't have any ourselves right now, but friends do and I enjoy watching them. We have wild ones stop by sometimes as we are between the creek and a pond they frequent. I try to get good photos of those but they are too shy. Enjoyed hearing about yours!

December 30, 2008 at 12:07 PM  

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