Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hidden camera

I now have the answer.

And its on film.

And everyone knows that pictures don't lie.

Actually, these pictures, the ones that answer the question, were taken by a hidden camera.

A camera nailed up on a tree.

With the lens facing the chicken tractor.

Everyone and everything that came and went to and from the farm for the past two weeks had their picture taken.

And there, on three frames was the culprit.

The one who has been sneaking into the chicken yard and snatching chickens.

Just this evening I drove out the driveway with my ladder in the back of the pick up.

I stopped by a tree near the hen yard.

Leaned the ladder up against the tree.

And climbed.

Up to where our wildlife camera is perched.

I took out the key on the lock, balanced myself on the top of the ladder while I inserted the key and then jiggled it back and forth.

Of course the lock didn't give the first time.

And I had to pull the key out and reinsert it again.

And jiggle it again (cheap padlock).

And finally the lock snapped open and I unscrewed the face of the waterproof camera, stuck a screwdriver into the slot that held the photo disk and after a moments struggle, popped the disc out.

Inserted another disc.

Climbed down the ladder.

Put the ladder back in the truck.

And drove home.

Finally I got the disc upstairs to the computer and opened up IPhoto to find that there were 284 pictures on the disc.

284 pictures of chickens crossing the road. Dogs (mine) walking out the driveway. Dogs walking back in the driveway.

People coming to work in the morning.

People going home from work in the afternoon.

Wenonah going to work. Wenonah coming home.

Me, checking the mail, driving the tractor, the truck, the delivery van.

UPS trucks coming and going.

Delivery trucks.

Shareholders collecting eggs.

A group of unidentified strangers, outfitted in hiking gear, walking in the driveway (lost hikers?)

The same group leaving.

Cars coming in, cars going out.

And finally there it is.

(no its not that woman with the rooster under her arm. That's one of the people I hired to scrub the house, to clean the windows the day before Wenonah's birthday. Yes, I told her that if she caught a rooster she could have it. I didn't ask what she wanted it for).

No, the culprit had three pictures taken of her. One running in the driveway, with her head turned toward the chicken yard (4:28 pm). The second picture of her running back out the driveway (4:31 pm) and the third and final picture was at 4:32 pm.

This one has a little red fox caught right in the act.

With a large black chicken in her mouth.

The chicken looks, from the picture, to be almost as large as the fox. How does such a little bitty creature catch such a large chicken?

And how does she carry that large chicken, feathers and all, in her mouth?

And how, for that matter, did she catch it, armed with nothing but her pointy teeth and fleet feet? No gun, no net, no bow and arrow.

How come the fox was the one leaving with the chicken and not the other way around. A good sized rooster is almost as large as that scrawny little fox. How come the fox was capable of capturing the chicken and not being captured by a gang of roosters? (maybe if I hadn't allowed that rooster to be taken home by one of the cleaners, maybe that rooster would have been the one to organize all the other roosters into an effective defense of the chicken yard).

Anyway, since I don't have the answer to any of the questions I will close by saying that since then, since the fox started eating our chickens, we have electrified the fence around the chicken yard (sort of like in Jurassic Park). So far the electric, anti- scrawny fox fence, is working.

No more missing chickens.

(and while I was gone gaining weight in Italy, much to the postmistress's and my kind neighbor's distress, 30 pounds of bees arrived in the mail. Possibly I will tell that story in blog form and post it later this week).

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