This might be a good time to explain that while Ann and I are neighbors, we aren't exactly neighbors. We can talk over the fence, if we yell. We cannot pass food or beverages over the fence. We cannot climb the fence to access each other's yards. To make exchanges or talk in normal conversational volume, we have to walk around the block, approximately 500 steps. Yes, I counted, but I lost track a few times, so 500 is an estimate. I tried to count again while walking the slightly longer way back around the block, but I got distracted first by a woodpecker destroying a telephone pole and then by these amazing flowers.
They are in the messiest yard on the block, you know, the "wow, that is kind of scary" yard, so their beauty knocked me off my feet. Not literally, of course, but I was compelled to stop and snap a few pictures. The bulbs had been planted in large black plastic buckets everywhere the homeowners could squeeze one into the front yard. They are stunning.
Ann and I met just over a year ago when we both made comments on Exit 133 about the bike path near our neighborhood. When we discovered that we were practically neighbors, we were pretty pleased with ourselves.
What is less than pleasing, now that we are talking about raising chickens together, is the exact location of our back yards.
Who "gets" to have the chickens in their yard, and who "gets" to walk around the block to share in the chores and rewards? There are several important considerations:
- I am slightly more willing to walk around the block in the cold and rain
- I have a large rambunctious dog that loves to chase squirrels and birds
- Ann is concerned, rightly so, about the smell of a chicken coop
- I have slugs in my vegetable garden and I'd love to have chickens around eating them
- Ask one of the neighbors to put/allow gates in their/our fences for more direct access
- Build a wheeled cart cage, circus train style, to transport the chickens frequently from yard to yard
- Build a second cart that rolls easily up hill to transport chicken poop from coop to my truck or my compost pile. I'm not relishing pushing a cart full of poop up out of Ann's back yard
- Build a skybridge
- Build a cable system to transport pails and chickens from yard to yard