Mystery in the Chicken Coop Conclusion… or is it?



I will tell you the conclusion to the mystery, but, first, this commercial interruption…

Although I usually write my blogs at night to post the next morning, sometimes that plays havoc with dates… like when you get Wordless Wednesdays on Thursday… this post will come out on Valentine’s Day even though I’m writing it on the 13th.  Understand???  This is why I’m forced to interrupt your “murder” mystery with a commercial.  On February 14th, I will be speaking at WESTI Ag Days in Worland!  Trent Loos, author of Loos Tales, is the main speaker at 10 am, followed by me for a short presentation about… BLOGGING at 11 am!  WESTI Ag Days is open to the public, so if you’re around, drop in!  The thing I’m hoping to do???  If the setting is favorable, I’ll try to do a Facebook Live of the event.  Now, I’m not sure how good their wi-fi is, but I’ll try to set up near a microphone and you can hear and watch!  Follow me on Facebook at Red Dirt In My Soul, and you can listen to me for a bit, and perhaps join in, since this is a panel situation, with questions from the audience.  You could ask me a question LIVE!!!  OOOOooooooh!  I’m keeping my fingers crossed this will work!!!

This presentation will be followed immediately by VACATION!!!!!  Yup.  I know.  Details on that to follow!  Sometime.

Back to your regularly scheduled mystery.

To recap… the time lapse video that was shot in the chicken coop to catch the perpetrator was lost due to operator error and technical difficulties.  You’ll have to rely on hearsay from me…

Spot, the rooster, took his place on the wooden bar… Master of his Tiny Domain.  He regularly crowed, letting anyone within earshot know it was HIS place, and HIS girls, and HIS eggs.  The grey tiger cat wandered in, and leaped onto the bars, as well. Placing herself in the sunlight and ignoring Spot’s cockadoodles… she began to groom herself, wetting paws with tongue and scrubbing at her ears and face.  A hen flew to a nest box and settled herself.

The scene was set.  The players on their marks.  The only thing lacking was suspenseful music.

The time lapse video ran quickly.  Soon the hen was out, and my attention was captured by another hen entering a different nest box.  Wait?  What was that?  I reversed the video.  The cat moved quickly into the nest box and lay there… looking on the video like one of my Barred Rock hens.  A few minutes passed, the cat moving in the nest box, but I wasn’t able to tell exactly what was going on.  She exited, took up her place on the wooden rail and set to cleaning herself once again.

The second hen left her nest box.  The cat entered the vacated nest box.  Doggone her!!!

Spot stood in his place.  Cockledoodlydo-ing… but not chasing the engorged cat away. The cat exited and set to work cleaning herself some more.  She waited until two more hens had entered, laid their eggs, and left before entering each nest box.  My GoPro was set too high and too far away to see, but when I checked, there was NO broken eggshells or egg slime in the nest boxes.  Somehow, that cat ate those eggs WHOLE.  She’d sit there enjoying her day, digesting fresh eggs, and wait for each hen to leave.

Mystery solved.

It was Miss Kitty.  In the chicken coop.  With her big mouth!

The next question to answer will be… What will Carol do???

1)  Get rid of the cat… though she is veryveryvery good with grandkids.  She just can’t go anywhere that has chickens…

2)  Keep the chickens locked in the coop.  No more free range.  No turning compost/eating bugs/eating kitchen scraps benefits. No chance for cats to enter!

3)  Get rid of chickens because all they are doing is producing cat food.  😉

4)  After vacation, giving the GoPro one more shot (and losing 3 or 4 eggs) just to get it all on FILM!  Or video.  Or whatever.  And share it with you!

Well, that decision will have to wait a week, but I’ll be thinking on it.  Give me your vote!  Do you enjoy my chickens?  I have a new cat already, but that’s another story… What should I do?

Thanks for hanging in here for the conclusion of the Mystery in the Chicken Coop!





Saga of the Video of the Mystery in the Chicken Coop!

Did you ever play Clue?  The game where you had to choose Miss Scarlett or Colonel Mustard in the Library or the Conservatory (as a kid I never knew what a conservatory was… but it’s a greenhouse attached to a building along one wall… just in case you never knew either!  But I did like pronouncing it with a British accent!).  Oh, and you had to figure out what the weapon was as well.

Well, I’d like to take a lead pipe to my GoPro camera.

Everything went great… I placed the GoPro high in the coop, there was not a dark corner that some secretive thief could hide in!! I plugged in my DeWalt USB battery (yes, that’s a Real Thing) (caution:  affiliate link) so the GoPro could run all day.  I pitched out some food for the chickens, opened their tiny access door and left them alone for the day… innocent (?) victims to the conniving critter that was eating/stealing their eggs.

As darkness descended, I trudged through the squeaking snow to retrieve my camera.  No eggs waited for me.  I had averaged 4 eggs a day with the door shut… but with it open… nothing.  Not a broken shell… no slimy spots where a cracked egg leaked… my girls had left me nothing in their nest boxes.

Returning to the house, I quickly deduced that my camera battery was now dead.  I plugged it in and blogged about horses and frozen bubbles.  The next morning, I pulled out my ipad, linked it to my GoPro and played the video.

There was Spot… who spent the majority of the day in one place… his head bobbled back and forth, but my rooster was highly dedicated to the bar in front of the nest boxes.  What was he doing???

There were my hens… scratching and fluttering, and moving quickly here and there, going in and out the little door.

The two chicks stayed close to momma… They never ventured outside, but often nestled under momma’s breast.  She, in turn, followed the sunshine through the window as it crossed the coop throughout the day, basking in the warmth.

There was my cat.  She, too, perched in the sunshine… flicking her tail…


There it was.

I replayed the video.  And again.  And again.  Sure enough.

There was no doubt.

I hit the save button… and my iPad insisted it couldn’t save the video.  Wha??????  Well, pooey on that… this week I had just splurged and bought a brand spanking new iPad Pro.  By golly, I’d hook it up to the GoPro and I bet it’d load that condemning video!  Password?  I needed a password?  Crud.  I didn’t have it written down ANYWHERE.  I used every one I could think of.  Nope.  I downloaded apps, tried to pair them, it wouldn’t work.  I found serial numbers and youtube videos and help forums.  I tried them all. Push this button, crap, that didn’t work.  Start over.  Push that button.  Really??? I found a default password after an hour or so, but by then, I’d tried to reset the GoPro’s settings, but it still wouldn’t talk to the iPad Pro.  Hmmm, it says if another iPad that has linked to it before is close, it’d automatically link through it.  Cool.  Guess what?  The old iPad 2 now demanded a password, which I didn’t haveOMG.

I cried.  I cussed.  I did every infantile, juvenile, immature action possible in my repertoire. I pouted.  I looked pitiful.  I cussed some more Great Colorful Metaphors.  I did NOT throw either the GoPro or the iPad Pro, because, at these times, I certainly FEEL mad enough to toss them as far as possible, but I work hard for my money!!! and they’re expensive!!! and while I FEEL frustrated beyond measure, I have just the tiniest amount of maturity left to actually not ACT on such things!

I quit at midnight.

I started over today.  No luck.

I called Megan.  She was unavailable.  I asked for Brandon.  He came after supper… He pushed buttons and hit the exact same walls I did.  With each of his failures, I smirked.  I wasn’t enjoying his failures, believe me, I wanted him to have instant success!  I did feel somewhat mollified that IT WASN’T JUST ME.


Brandon ran out of time, and just suggested I follow the steps to update my GoPro… maybe that would help… so I went and PLUGGED IT INTO MY DESKTOP COMPUTER.  DUH.

I could have done that long ago.  I was too focused to see what I *should* have done… just used my desktop… downloaded the video… everything would have been hunky dory.  I hit the download button and boom.  Seven videos showed up.  Seven videos of me staring into the hated GoPro screen (which is freakishly SMALL AND UNREADABLE EXCEPT IN BRIGHT LIGHT ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE OVER… 40 YEARS OF AGE.  Yes. Forty. Sounds good.  It’s a lie, but it sounds good.)


The video of the Mystery of the Chicken Coop was gone.





I know who did it.

I have it on film.

For four hours now, I have been fighting with my GoPro to be able to share it with you.

This could be the first time I actually cuss on this blog.

I’m frustrated to no end, and if I had more of a temper and money was no object, this stupid GoPro camera would be pitched over the bank in the junk pile.

Hang in here with me and the Mystery in The Chicken Coop will conclude.


I’m not giving up, just taking a break!


It was a tad cool this morning, -7, so when I trudged out to the chicken coop to set up my GoPro, I also brought along a bottle of bubbles.

I seem to always have some on hand these days…

I wanted to try to freeze bubbles.  You see these things on the internet, you might as well try to do them.  (Well, some of them!)

It worked!  They weren’t the gorgeous crystal ones, but freeze they did.  Some popped with a fluttering of “ash-like” ice that drifted down.  Some landed on the snow as clear deflated balls and they actually rolled across the smooth snow.  I posted a video with it on Facebook (click on the Facebook link on the right to see it – membership not necessary)

For you, a pretty cool photo of a frozen bubble on the snow… and, yes, I’m looking over my GoPro video to see if there’s anything on it!

Frozen bubble



One of those days where plans go awry…

We were headed to Cody for scheduled car repairs, but a winter storm blew in, so we made it as far as Worland!  We made the loop of “fun” places to go… the BLM, the accountant, the bank, and the vet, before turning for home.

Sometimes life is just Life.  Nothing much gets done, but we’ll regroup for tomorrow!