A visit to the “bird farm”

If you think having a pair of doves nesting on your front porch is cool, imagine living with a herd of goats and alpacas, a flock of chickens, dozens of parrots and other exotic birds, and some lizards. These are the denizens of Simon Field’s “bird farm”, which I visited about a month ago, right after SciFoo. I loved it, and knew I’d want to revisit to share it with friends.

Today I headed back to the farm with Mark, Megan, Mirabelle, and Mayanna to explore everything all over again. First, we fed the friendly goats and alpacas. Several of the goats are San Clemente goats, an island breed of which there are only a couple hundred in the world.  The wild-eyed alpaca is named Frank – or “Crazy Frank”, as I like to call him. The other alpaca is rather doe-eyed and sweet looking, though. They were shorn at the beginning of the summer so that they could cope with the heat, leaving just enough hair on their heads to make them look like giant Q-tips.

Then it was time to check out the chicken dome. We looked for eggs and swung on the giant swing, which was big enough for both Mirabelle and Mayanna.

After a jaunt across the suspension bridge to the treehouse, we went back to the deck, which has a beautiful view across the reservoir and a bunch of “tutti-frutti” trees at the base. Mirabelle and Mayanna sampled a juicy nectarine and some elderberries for an afternoon snack.

Then it was fun times and acrobatics on air chairs:

Finally, we went inside to meet Corky, the African Grey Parrot who had been whistling and chattering away the whole time we’d been on the deck. Mark even caught the blue-tongued skink that had escaped from its cage while we were out.

When dinner time rolled around, we bade our goodbyes and thanks to Simon and headed over to Hobees, where Mayanna learned about blue and yellow sugar substitutes and Mirabelle learned that when silverware falls on the floor, it gets covered in poo. According to her, though, it’s cool, as long as you wipe it off.

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