So I was at my friend’s house sewing away, and she said, “We’re going to look at chickens.” Now, where I live is pretty urban and chickens are things you buy at the grocery store in a plastic bag. But this was going to be different.
I don’t think I have gone on a spontaneous mystery trip in about a million years, but a search for real live chickens was all right with me. We drove along and picked up more intrepid chicken viewers and arrived at a wonderful, out-of-the-way gate which was faithfully guarded by a big dog.
At this point I should mention that the person who we were visiting didn’t know that there would be five strangers descending upon her uninvited, but she greeted us with smiles and calm. It was quite a while before we saw any chickens because, to my great surprise, we had stumbled upon a rare thing, an urban farm retirement paradise complete with resident artist.
The kind lady at the gate, Sue Horn, is a mosaic artist and we got to see some of her wonderful work.
Walk through the farm with me and I’ll show you all we saw…
We tripped down the lovely mosaic bricks and into her patio where Sue is working on her opus. She is transforming a gray cinderblock wall into a delightful free-form garden of mosaic flowers. She says it won’t be done for a long while, but the beginnings are wonderful.
Sue is using shells, beads, tiles, glass and even dishes to create her interesting flowers. We all stood in awe of what she has created so far and it was really fun to look closely at all the little details.
Work can be done in the afternoons when the sun passes over and the wall is shaded. The grouting will come later, but for now Sue has a wonderful playground on this wall.
Whimsical works like this green truck peek out all around the farm.
All of the supplies for Sue’s work are in a wonderfully cool and well-organized studio at the back of the house.
Being a color-hungry freak, I absolutely loved this wall with all of my favorite colors on it.
These tiles were made of glass and just begged to be played with.
By this point we were all pressuring Sue to teach us how to play with the mosaics. She smiled and took it all in stride!
When the crew could wrench me away from the studio, we finally made it towards the garage and the barn. The farm is called the Flying Pig Ranch, which I think is a reference to Sue and her husband Bill’s delight that they get to retire and live on this lovely farm.
They have this amazing green truck. I loved the shiny green paint!
There was a goat and a tortoise running around. I got to feed the tortoise an apple. I felt just like Fanny Farmer. (No jokes from you Brits, please!)
After the garage we made our way past the Guinea fowl. There were about a dozen loud, strange birds, but Sue said that they were of a nervous disposition. Out of respect for their nerves (and a lack of nerves on my part) I did not go over to photograph them.
We finally made it to the chicken coop and saw the chickens. My favorite was this little rooster. His feathers looked lust like the fur of a teddy bear I once had. I only took 200 photos of him to try to get one of him standing still. This was the best I got!
The good news is that we have talked Sue into teaching us how to do mosaics! Stay tuned for more adventures…