We have pommie chooks! Or from somewhere north of the equator, anyway. I’m not sure how they managed to make the perilous transcontinental journey before their cute fluffy butts made it to our place at a week old, but somehow they must have dodged border control.
How do I know our feathered friends come from the far north?
Well, here in Sydney, we’re past the equinox and the nights are drawing in. We may have had a February that smashed heat records, 1.3 degrees C above the longterm averages. But it’s hours of daylight that tells chickens when to get laying (thanks to that sort-of-third eye) and the days are getting shorter. Even as the world goes to hell in a handbasket, it is, nonetheless, autumn.
And yet my chooks have decided to start laying. Just in time for spring with its baby bunnies, and peeping chicks, and Easter eggs, and its celebration of rebirth and renewal. In the northern hemisphere, that is.
I love Easter. Most religious festivals are a delicious mish-mash of stuff from the Big Book and whatever else people were into at the time. But with Easter the syncretism is really out there, bouncing around with its ears pricked up, laying coloured eggs in the spring greenery. After witnessing the pre-Good Friday panic by shoppers terrified by the prospect of a day without ready access to a new packet of Cocopops, the nice young guy at the checkout reckoned we might add a zombie apocalypse to the usual combo of vernal equinox, Passover, and frenzied confectionary consumption. As he pointed out delicately, Jesus did after all, come back from the dead.
In the midst of this cultural mash-up, it seems appropriate that it’s Morgan the flighty leghorn, named after a Welsh enchantress in an Arthurian legend, who has marked the occasion of the (deeply seasonally inappropriate) Christian festival of rebirth with the gift of her first lovely white eggs.
A muddled pagan blessing to egg eaters, one and all.