As many of you know, chicken keeping is not for the faint of heart. While it is not necessarily hard, it does invite the perplexing and uncontrollable world of nature into one’s every day life. Teri found our reliable Rhode Island Red, Jolene, earlier this week in a corner of the coop–dead of some mysterious cause. We couldn’t tell if she had died of “natural” causes or had fallen victim to a daytime predator or the bullying of the flock. This is our first sudden loss of a chicken in nearly two years of having them, but it will surely not be our last. We took it with varying degrees of sadness, frustration and “Damn!” Alas, this is the way of things and we buried her in the raspberry patch, with words of appreciation–she was a good and mellow hen.