I haven’t yet been able to get a photo of the hens posturing, facing off with their feathers fluffed out. When I enter the coop I’ve got my hands full of food bowls and assorted treats that need to be carefully administered amongst my vast flock, and then, I don’t want the camera always between myself and the hens, disrupting what ought to be a free-flowing relationship. There must be many parents struggling with the same problem. I didn’t, I didn’t have a camera except for the occasional disposable camera I bought, and Simon only took his out on occasion. (But I would have been one of those who, when asked what I would save in a fire, would have said the photo albums. Would anyone say that now?) In any case, when I do have the camera poised ready to take pictures of the hens, they sidle off or stand contentedly where they are, and it is only the minute I put the camera down that there is any action. I did however capture a particularly splendid cluck of Goldie’s – the video shows Maude and Mabel in the foreground but it is Goldie, under the trees, issuing a genuine three-part clucking sequence. Meanwhile, Maude and Mabel are also beginning to cluck, sometimes sounding a little unmelodious, but sometimes managing a quiet, adult-like conversation between themselves.