Meet Bernie and Hen Solo

The results are in for the Official MYD Name my Hens Contest™ and it was a close one folks! In the end, the hens decided on their favorite names. I had absolutely nothing to do with the decision making here and am but a slave to the whims of tiny dinosaurs.

Congratulations to Miscellinnie and Nury for the name of Bernie for my plucky Rhode Island Red and to Jack Burton for the name of Hen Solo for the adventurous Black Sex Link.

They took their sweet time in deciding too and when I placed the dry-erase board in the coop for their brainstorming sessions, they tended to poop all over it. But, then again, they tend to poop all over everything. However, after much deliberation, they finally have selected their favorites.

Ronald Reagan was the next runner up for the Rhode Island Red so kudos to the husband of Jenny from Bulldog Travels for that brilliant name!

Sasha was finally able to meet the hens face to face too. I wanted to make sure that my training methods still applied to new additions to the flock. They did in spades!

Bernie and Hen Solo 02_Sasha meets the girls face to face

We then did a nice photo session to help celebrate their new names. I’ve photographed a lot of subjects in my life and can safely say that chickens are one of the hardest things to shoot. The only thing harder was when I shot Buffalo Sabers games back in college. So much movement and with a shallow depth of field, damn near impossible to get the eyes in focus. So, out of the 150 photos I took, here are 14 that turned out decent. Enjoy!

And for those of you that are not sick and tired of looking at chicken videos, here’s the girls playing around in the adult section of the chicken run for a supervised play-date with the big mean girls.

I love watching them jump around with excitement like the little kids that they are. Especially in the beginning where Hen Solo tries to eat citrus leaves from the satsuma tree. Silly Solo, the scruffy looking nerf-herder.

Thanks again to all those that helped with your amazing submissions!

Dog Kisses Chicken. Chicken Kicks Dog in the Head.

I’ve been working on part two of the Mexico City trip and should have that up this weekend. But I just had to share this very short video with you guys as it’s had me laughing all day long. While lounging in the backyard by the chicken coop this morning, I was taking some photos of Sasha and Piper together. One of my favorite activities.

It looked like they were about to kiss one another so I quickly switched to video. The following is what actually occurred.

Poor Sasha, she’s such a good sport when it comes to Piper. Even when Piper tries to steal her bone.

Just a little Saturday afternoon mirth for you. Now to get back to work on the Mexico City post…

The Pure Joy of a Husky Seeing Snow for the First Time

Or, What I Did the Day that Bowie Died…

If you’re anything at all like I am, you need reminders of happiness and simple joy right now. The loss of David Bowie has had an unexpectedly profound effect on me so this is a gift to myself and hopefully, to you.


We don’t get much snow here in San Diego but in a stormy winter like this one, you can drive an hour from the beach and be in snowy mountains. An extreme juxtaposition indeed! Geez, I really hope you gardening folk like photos of dogs, because you’re about to get an overload of them!

My girl Sasha is a husky-lab mix who has never ever seen a single snowflake in her short life. An unthinkable scenario given her breed. The song of her ancestors sings to her of the cold blue biting blindness but she has no frame of reference. I imagine her soul was sick as a result.

Well, no longer! Because for Sasha, das wunderhund, Winter has come! She was so excited and amazed and confused she didn’t know how to handle herself. She’d dart in one direction, freeze, spin and then flop around burying herself into the snow.

Here she is in a gleeful sprint. Just look at that face!

Sasha's First Run in the Snow.
Sasha’s First Run in the Snow.

And she wasn’t alone, she had her two friends with her, Noe and Edie. It was another dog party up on Mount Laguna, part of the Cleveland National Forest. Here’s a whole mess of photos from our delightful day…

Diamond Dogs 03_Three dog night
A Three Dog Night (Well, day).

It was good for all of us to see snow again. Being from Buffalo, I have a love/hate relationship with it. That is to say, I adore hating the snow. I’ve been served three lifetimes worth of it and am quite content not seeing it anymore.

At least that’s what I thought before last Sunday. But after seeing the dogs romp and play, building a monster snowball and being foolishly challenged by my girlfriend into a snowball fight; I’ve come around. Sorta.

Actually, I’m not sure Nury challenged me outright. Perhaps with her eyes she said, “Have at you sir!”

Either way, challenge excepted!


Oh, there was also a moment where old aunt Edie thought that Sasha’s face was edible (Thanks for the image Nara).

edie-eats-sashas-face

I find it slightly poetic that while one of my heroes was slipping away into the East coast evening, my adorable girl Sasha was having one of the most mind blowing and amazing experiences ever. As one door closes, another opens. It’s been over a week and I still find myself trapped in the grip of melancholy. I spent two hours last night looking at images and video of all my lost glam rockers (Mark Bolan, David Bowie, etc.). If The Universe takes away Brian Eno, I’m not gonna play with it anymore. Looking at the photos above really helps me to shake that feeling. I hope it also gives you a smile and some much needed perspective.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

-David Bowie 1947-2016