My baby sister became quite attractive, but she had a pronounced Ugly Duckling period as a preschooler. Excema left red scaly patches on her cheeks and mosquito bites she'd scratched left huge scabby welts on her arms and legs. During this time, my mother was caring for her aged parents, so Teresa spent a lot of time at our grandparents' house. One day, the excema had abated and it was probably late enough in the year that the mosquitos weren't a factor. My grandfather complimented her, said for once she looked "almost human." While I've always suspected that he meant it completely affectionately, my mother never really forgave him for that. Guess mothers are like that.
Remember Amelia? Well, it turns out that chickens molt in the Fall, creating a new warmer coat of feathers. But those new feathers push out the old ones, leaving a scraggly mess for a while. Even though Jamie told me about molting, seeing Amelia's bare neck kinda freaked me out, was she sick again? No, Jamie came over and assured both of us that there was a full complement of pin feathers erupting. She's probably molting earlier than the other birds from the stress of being sick. In a few more weeks, the new feathers should make her more gorgeous than ever, but in the meantime...
Last night Amelia was not in the coop. I got worried, searched the yard and all the trees, finally finding her roosting in the Bay tree. What to do? She'd be safer in the coop, and I had to lock up the coop to protect the other chickens. But she was really well hidden in the dense Bay. I would have needed a ladder to get her down. How she flew that high with her current feather situation I have no idea. So I locked up the coop and let her be in the tree. I worried that I wouldn't be able to sleep and although I did sleep OK, I had a dream where a dog attacked the chickens. Amelia was fine this morning though.
I love our Bay tree. Nothing is like fresh bay leaves --- dried just do not compare. If you have access to fresh leaves, try tucking a dozen bay leaves under the skin of a chicken or turkey before roasting it. Yes, a dozen. If you are in Seattle and want some, let me know. I'll cut you a branch or two. But you'll have to supply your own poultry.