A short while before Christmas, we had a visitor show up in our yard.
Now, for those of you who don't know, I should clarify that my house is in the middle of our city's historic district.
One of my neighbors keeps bees, though, and raises pineapples, and the other keeps chickens. The lady down the street keeps cats, but that's a story for a different post. And so, it is not entirely unsurprising to find elements of country life in our little urban-ish neighborhood.
Our Christmas vacation schedule had us staying up very late and sleeping in rather long. But one morning, our morning rest was cut short by a foreign sound. My mind was having trouble placing it. But it repeated, endlessly, until my sleepy brain fog dissipated enough to recognize the crowing of a rooster.
This was new.
My neighbor has heretofore only kept hens and not a one of them can muster that sort of noise.
So, I shook Chris out of his slumber and jumped out of bed, dashing to the window to confirm my suspicion and I really did find a rooster, crowing away in our back yard! This proud bachelor was checking out the fine lady chickens in the coop next door.
Of course, I sent Chris inside to grab my camera while I sweet-talked my new friend into hanging out a little longer. We woke up the kids who were just as amused as I was - which is to say that we were all slightly more amused than Chris, who had been sleeping through the commotion just fine until I felt compelled to share the experience with him.
This handsome gent, with glossy, richly-colored feathers, has been strolling through the neighborhood every morning since then, crowing away at street lights and full moons and sunrises. He has recently been joined by a lovely hen of equally-unknown provenance. She has black and white speckles and remains very quiet so far. They are truly free-range chickens, pecking about the urban jungle, scratching a living out of whatever they find, making their way down the street every morning, moving from one yard to the next in a now-predictable succession, presumably enjoying the unique delicacies each one has to offer for breakfast. In my particular yard, they are partial to my ferns. I know for a fact that my chicken-keeping neighbor has put out some feed for them (I may or may not have begged him to do so). There is one neighbor whose citrus trees are dropping unwanted fruit all over the yard (what a shame!) and I can only guess at what other treats they have found.
And he struts, showing his new lady friend how important he is to the neighborhood, telling everybody what's what and that it's time to wake up.