This afternoon Abbey and I went out to visit Hicks Honey Farm. Just five miles outside of town and on a few acres we had an adventure better than the zoo.
We went to pick up beeswax tea light candles (I've gone completely off of paraffin candles - too many toxins, too much petroleum usage), but came home with so much more!
"Mr. Bee Man," as Abbey quickly named him, not only let her pet his sweet calico cat, but also held a big white goose for Abbey to pet its soft down feathers, dressed her in a beekeeper's hat (more like a dress on her) and showed her the bees coming back to the hive with their sacs full of pollen, and then took us to the hen yard so Abbey could pet a hen, too.
Abbey had already tried to catch several different roosters running around the property, but to no avail. Note to self: show Abbey the chicken catching scene from Rocky for encouragement.
So, Mr. Bee Man went into the hen house and gently grasped a hen that was currently laying. He brought her out and taught Abbey to pet her mottled black and white feathers gently and with her whole (little) hand.
And I didn't take any pictures. I just hope it's engraved on my brain.
On the upside, though, Mr. Bee Man was able to gather 10 eggs laid fresh today for us to buy for a paltry $2. I was so excited that I declared we'd have breakfast for dinner (a family favorite), whereupon he went into his home and collected another 12 to give us for free that had been laid a couple of days ago and he couldn't eat because - here's the kicker - he has high cholesterol.
Here I feel bound to note that cage-free and free-range hens lay eggs that are significantly better for you (lower in cholesterol and higher in omega-3s, I believe) than caged hens.
But, enough about me - I have a belly full of delicious eggs and a camera full of egg pictures (and blackberry pictures - picked up two pints at the Farmers' Market earlier this week), both of which need processing. So I'll leave you with this quote:
"It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the eggs."