Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rare Breeds.

Dark Indian Game

Yesterday I had a nice surprise. Someone had left a book between the screen and back door of my house, titled Rare Breeds – Endangered Farm Animals in Photographs. No clues, no note.


I have been ever so slowly noticing my developing love for barnyard animals over the past, say, five years. I not-quite-secretly dream about living on a farm one day, or even having a couple chickens, right here in my suburban backyard. I wouldn't even say I'm particularly an "animal lover", and espeically not a "bird lover", but chickens and their diversities of color and pattern just make me crazy, and swoon with this strange need to have some.


I say not-quite-secret, because I have admitted this love to a handful of people. My brother has even gotten me the book Keep Chickens, and an old boyfriend once surprised me with Barnyard in Your Backyard, that describes the basics of caring for cattle, chickens, pigs, goats and sheep. But when this book showed up, I was truly baffled. The only people I could think that might come across it and think of me were either instantly ruled out (Katy and Steve), or live out of state, thus eliminating the option to hand deliver it.

Gloucestershire Old Spots

It's like a coffee table book, with large images and short descriptions, and all of the pictures and animals are great. Some even have what appears to be the owners standing proudly with them, letting you know that most are surprisingly are huge. I just love looking at them! The feet on the chickens, the hair over the eyes, the way the pigs look like they are smiling... So very great, and yet a complete mystery.

Aren't they wonderful? I'd love to show them all but so many were spreads and they wouldn't scan well.

Belted Galloway

What's really great is, as it turns out, I think the giver thought I would like this book, but probably had no idea I would love it. I can almost guarantee she has no clue that I daydream about putting a chicken coop in my backyard, an idea that would almost assuredly mortify her. But she did think I might use it as inspiration to paint or draw from, which I am sure I will. These pigs, chickens and cows are practically begging for it!

So thank you to Carolyn, my sweet friend, fill-in Mom, and a thoughtful artist herself.

Rare Breeds is introduced by Roger A. Caras, written by Lawrence Alderson, and photographed by Robert Dowling.

1 comment:

  1. Hil, I so did not know you'd like some chickens! (Christmas?)
    But I did have a feeling you would love this book, as I do. When I first saw it, I couldn't not buy it; it really spoke to me. I am so glad I passed it on to exactly the right person!

    Love, Care