Monday, March 28, 2016

Poultry portraits

I'm always disappointed with my poultry pictures. Chickens are just stinkin' hard to photograph.
They move astonishingly fast, so my attempts are usually blurry.
They're very short, so unless I get down to their level, it's hard to make eye contact.
And speaking of eyes, they are constantly blinking, and chicken eyelids are just plain gross.
Anyway, seeing as how they continue to provide me with the most delicious eggs,
yesterday I was determined to take a few decent poultry portraits.

Mrs. Hughes shut up long enough to look me in the eye. 
Oh, how this girl can talk.

But see what I mean about the eyelid? Ewww.

Ten is very beautiful, but she doesn't have much of a comb.
Perhaps it will grow with time.

Sweet Peach. She's the lone survivor of the Lonesome Dove girls, 
three identical Buff Orpingtons who arrived at the ranch six years ago. 
I had to paint their toenails different colors in order to tell them apart.
She forgave me...eventually.

Hoity toity Lady Mary. Since the finale of Downton Abbey two weeks ago, 
I've gone back to the beginning and am binge watching every season
because I'm not ready to say goodbye to the characters.
My Lady Mary's comb flops to the right.

Lady Edith's comb flops to the left.
I don't think this is a reflection of their politics,
but one never knows.

Eleven is a bit of a mystery. Her tail feathers refuse to grow out.

Johnny swears he has nothing to do with it, but I'm not sure I can believe him.
In any event, he was quite fed up with the whole poultry photo shoot at this point
and was determined to disrupt it. I will share those photographs with you tomorrow.


  1. Nice portraits. they all look like royalty to me.

  2. Ten and Eleven are Ameraucanas. The Araucana was crossed with standard layers to get the blue shell gene. That breed is known to be "rumpless" and have ear tufts. In the genetic blender, some things show up and some things don't. I have had many Ameraucanas and not one looked like the other. Just beautiful.

  3. Johnny looks like he's about to urp up his breakfast. All the chicken photographing got to him -- he didn't think it was fair when HE'S so beautiful.

  4. Wonderful photos of the girls. Hope they provided you with colored Easter eggs this year.

  5. Excellent pics. Made the savage creatures look stately :)Johnny keeps a sharp eye out whenever he is in proximity to those fierce girls.He knows what they are like.

  6. I love how translucent Sweet Peach comb-like parts are. Did you get on the ground for these?

  7. Ameraucanas have pea combs so it won't grow out like the others. I have hundreds (thousands?) of photos of my chickens. It helps to use a faster shutter speed just as you would for sports. I didn't get in on the Downton Abbey frenzy when it was on TV so I have now started it on Amazon Prime. It has quickly resulted in binge watching and I'm not well into the second season. I love it.

  8. Good job and the chick pics! Beautiful girls. Harley and I are die hard Downton fans. We plan to start at the beginning and soak in the details we may have missed the first time around.

    Check eBay for World Market Downton mugs. They have quotes from your favorite characters and are great for a spot of tea while you watch the show again!

  9. I love chickens - thank you for sharing yours.


  10. Having my own chickens and eventually committing their personas to the canvas, I know of what you speak on photographing them. Your photos are awesome though! Great depth of field in some, showing only the it!

  11. Love those hens. Great pics, Carson.

  12. JCC looks very disgruntled. i don't think i've ever seen a cat so close to a chicken look like that.

  13. Just noticed....did we miss seeing your decorated easter eggs? How did they turn out?

    1. They didn't. I practiced on one, decided they looked much better in their native state, and now they're sitting in a bowl looking much prettier sans Sharpie. The concept was sound, but my free-hand drawing on a curved surface left much to be desired.

    2. An American in Tokyo3/28/16, 6:57 PM

      I was wondering what happened, too! ;)

  14. The Buff easily is my favorite breed. Mine were cuddle bugs. Johnny cracks me up, he does look fed up!

  15. Mrs. Hughes' portrait is my favourite. Love that you are also going back to the first seasons of Downton. It is easier to gobble up the backgrounds and their clothes the second time around. What an amazing set they worked with!! It was because of your recommendation that we got hooked on Downton here. (Although ... I believe I have told you before that we also got hooked on 'Breaking Bad' through your recommendation ... even though in the beginning I thought it was a show about horses and someone learning you didn't have to 'break' them!!) Happy Easter Weekend to you Carson!

  16. Great shots of your girls. Johnny looks very disgusted that you would bother photographing the hens! :) I am currently binge watching Downton too. Already up to season 3. Enjoying all the little side looks and comments between characters that I didn't get to fully enjoy the first time around.

  17. JCC's expression.... so much to say

  18. Great photos of the girls... They need their own wall of fame somewhere. How about your bathroom? Chick's bathroom...
    Glad the eggs were left au-natural

  19. An American in Tokyo3/28/16, 7:00 PM

    Lovely shots!!
    I can never get a good picture of my pet finch either. Birds are quick!

    JCC wanted to be the center of attention! "Hey Mom, look at me!" ha ha!

  20. Love the girl's pics. JCC knows that if they'll eat a mouse, they'll eat a cat...

  21. I have three identical orange hylines here that i call the Start Trek Generation, since hubby gave them all Star Trek names. Usually their plumage varies enough to tell them apart, but these three have remained identical all their lives. Luckily my younger two are both very different so at least I can tell them apart from the Trekkers, and my last black Australorp, Nanny Ogg, is very distinctive indeed!

  22. #11 is a breed that is a variation or cross on the Araucana. She is what is called "Rumpless". Yes, it's a thing. :) #10 looks like she's from the same group of chicks, but has tail feathers.

  23. Linkage--