26 June

Chain Mail Chicken – Larry Lays-Two-Eggs Visits the Cottage with Ethan Meleg

We have another travelogue story from one of the Chain Mail Chicken cousins. This time our chicken in the field is Larry Lays-Two-Eggs and he visited photographer Ethan Meleg for a great time at the cottage! Ethan gives us his report on Mr. Lays-Two-Eggs:

After a long stretch of working hard for a poultry wage and just scratching out a living, Larry was starting to feel rather fowl. Instead of cracking up, he decided to fly the coop and go on an eggstravagant adventure like no other. So he decided to make a trip to Ontario, which everyone knows is the best province in Canada. A couple of weeks chilling out at a cottage was exactly what this rooster needed!

The cottage was located on a picturesque lake in Muskoka, so Larry got to fly in on a float plane. The other passengers urged him to ride on top of the plane and taunted him by saying, “What are you chicken?” So he climbed on top of the plane and it was sunny side up for the entire flight. Who says that chickens can’t fly?

©Ethan Melag

©Ethan Meleg

At the cottage there were so many things to do each day. Larry went for hikes through the woods, paddled a canoe around the lake and went swimming at the beach. The weather was hot and sunny, so he had to coat himself in sunscreen to avoid getting roasted. There’s nothing worse than burnt chicken.

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

Ethan Meleg

Ethan Meleg

In the evenings, Larry would sit on the shoreline and watch the beautiful sunsets. It was the perfect way to relax after an adventure filled day. He was, after all, no spring chicken.

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

One night, there was a party with lots of hens around and Larry was feeling cocky. He ended up drinking too much wine and was running around like a chicken with his head cut off. When he woke up early the next morning, he had bird brain, but it was still fun to have something to crow about with all of his friends for the rest of the day.

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

On Larry last day at the cottage, they had a big farewell picnic for him. Someone brought a bucket of delicious food called KFC. Larry wasn’t exactly sure what it was… maybe Kentucky Fried Cauliflower?  It was so tasty, Larry ate was too much and thought he was going to kick the bucket!

It was a fun trip to the cottage and Larry was stewing about leaving, but it was over easy and he was excited about the next leg of his adventure….

©Ethan Meleg

©Ethan Meleg

11 June

Chain Mail Chicken – Stu Pott visits Ontario in Spring with Lynn Smith

We just received this report from Stu Pott about his visit to Ontario hosted by Lynn Smith:

I  arrived at the home of Lynn Smith on May 17. It was great visiting the Smith’s home. They all are very friendly. They have an apple tree right beside their deck. It was in full blossom. I could not resist the smell of the apple blossom tree. I noticed there were not many bees in the blossom.  I asked Lynn about this and she said “there has been fewer and fewer bees each year”.  I did read about this when I was at the University of Ales  where I had to present a paper on the decline of bees.

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

I found out Lynn is a nature photographer. We discussed animal and bird behaviour. I had a few things to tell her about birds!  Lynn showed me a video of feeding a humming bird from her hand. I saw the hummingbirds on her deck and they were very close to us. Boy, can those suckers fly!

On  Saturday we travelled to St. Jacobs Farmers Market. It was great  seeing all the vendors. I  especially liked the fresh vegetables because I am a vegetarian but I do sneak the odd grasshopper here and there (they taste like chicken, you know ;-))

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith 

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

I did take time to smell the flowers at the farmer’s market (mostly because the pollen gives me a nice ‘high’).

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

On Sunday we drove up to Kincardine. This great town is on Lake Huron. They have volley ball nets up for people to play. I tried to play but got a little tied up during the game.

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

 It was restful sitting on the beach taking time out of a busy schedule to see the sun set. There were a lot of boats in the harbour. I had my eye on one but Lynn said we could not take it out for a spin.

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

Ah, what a great visit, I can’t wait to see where I end up next, I hope they are as nice as Lynn and her family!

 

 

 

 

31 May

Chain Mail Chicken – Cluckin’ Chuck goes to the Farmer’s Market in Edmonton with Ian McKenzie

If you have been following the adventures of Chain Mail Chicken you’ll know that Chain Mail’s cousins stepped up to the plate after his kidnapping to travel the world in his place. Our first report from the field is from Cluckin’ Chuck who visited the Edmonton’s Farmer’s Market with photographer Ian McKenzie. Cluckin’ Chucks tells us about his adventures below:

A visit to Edmonton’s City Market by Cluckin’ Chuck
While in Edmonton, I had a chance to check out the downtown City Market. I wasn’t too sure about going until I saw the market’s logo. I knew it was the place to be.
©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

It was a cloudy, blustery day, but there were loads of people everywhere. You would think most of them had never seen a rubber chicken at a market. Every time I checked out one of the stalls, people would stop what they were doing to watch.
I pretty was impressed with the various vegetable vendors, Doef’s Greenhouses, Edgar Farms and plenty of B.C. fruit.
©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

None of these stalls were selling any of my relatives. If fact, as near as I could tell, there was no chicken for sale in the entire market; a big plus in my books. However, I did come across a stall with cartons of future nieces and nephews from the organic side of the family.
©Ian McKenzie - My future relatives fresh to your plate!

©Ian McKenzie – My future relatives fresh to your plate!

As well. there were loads of craft vendors selling everything from jewelry to clothing. Nothing I tried on fit very well. I did check out a number of colourful wallets at one stall, but in the end, couldn’t find just the right one for my personality.
©Ian McKenzie - Among the crafts

©Ian McKenzie – Among the crafts

I met a lot of people. Apart from those gawking at me, there were friendly folk who said hello. Christine from Shooting Star Ranch seemed to know all about the family and wanted a photo with me.
©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

There were musicians performing around the market, and I stopped for a bit and listened to Kyler Schogen playing the blues.
©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

It was a satisfying, but tiring morning. I was glad to find a nice little coffee shop to rest and enjoy an Americano and Danish.
©Ian McKenzie

©Ian McKenzie

If you’re in Edmonton on a Saturday, I recommend you leave yourself some time to visit the City Market.
6 May

Chain Mail Chicken Adventures: Gertie Goosepimple makes it to the Arctic Circle!

We are happy to report today that Gertie Goosepimple of the Chain Mail Chicken clan has achieved her dream of being the first rubber chicken to venture to the Arctic Circle! Thanks to Dave Brosha for accompanying Gertie on her journey and for making her arctic portraits so memorable.

©Dave Brosha

©Dave Brosha – Gertie sun tanning on an Arctic Circle beach

©Dave Brosha

©Dave Brosha – All the locals loved Gertie – she seemed surprised! 

3 May

Meet the Cluckers! Chain Mail’s Cousins Take Up His Journey

Yesterday we reported the sad news that Chain Mail Chicken appeared to have been kidnapped right out of Mike Fitton’s luggage. Today we received news from Cuban immigration that Chain Mail was not taken by some poultry-plucker but had, in fact, defected! Can you believe it? Apparently Spring’s refusal to visit Alberta this year really upset Chain Mail. (Chain Mail may even have claimed refugee status… some hints of abuse… being frozen in the ice at Abraham Lake or some such nonsense…we denied everything, of course.)

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson – he’s not frozen; he’s just resting!

But all is not fowl news! In tracking down Chain Mail’s family to tell them the sad news that Chain Mail had flown the coop, we were amazed to hear that Chain Mail’s cousins wanted to carry on Chain Mail’s photo adventures around the world! We found the Cluckers in Brooderheim, Alberta. This is a family portrait of the Cluckers below. Aren’t they cute?

Meet the Cluckers

Meet the Cluckers!

So, we are super excited to confirm that Chain Mail’s dream of traveling around the world and sharing photo adventures with new photo friends will continue. You can read about how it all got started here, but in a nutshell, everyone who responded to our first call-out to be a photo-host for Chain Mail will receive one of the cousins (more about each of them below). The photographer will have two weeks to show the cousin around, take the cousin to the scenic spots and iconic stops of their home, and then the photographer will mail the chicken on to the next photo-friend. As the photographers send them in, we’ll post photos of the happy Cluckers’ experiences on the oopoomoo blog so everyone can share in their journeys! And this time the avian adventurers will be traveling with a journal so that their thoughts can be recorded and shared with us all. Oh, the stories they will tell!

A chicken and his journal

A chicken and his journal

Before we send the cousins on their way to their first photo-hosts, we should tell you a bit more about them. Meet the Cluckers!

Grandma Gertie Goosepimple

Gertie Goosepimple

Grandma Gertie Goosepimple always acts surprised when invited over for dinner. — ©Catherine Byram

Gertie actually left Brooderheim long ago to live in the cold wilds of northern Canada. But she had never ventured as far north as the Arctic Circle before, so when photographer (and oopoomoo eBook author!) Dave Brosha volunteered to escort her there, she flew at the chance. We’ll have more on Gertie’s adventures shortly, but we thought it appropriate to start with the matriarch of the Brooderheim Cluckers. Gertie’s a big-boned girl (they grow ’em big up there). Her favourite activity is lawn bowling.

Cluckin Chuck

Cluckin Chuck

Cluckin Chuck

Chuck is probably the most talkative and friendly out of this broody-bunch! When we drove into the yard, Chuck ambled over to greet us right away! He loves poetry: his favourite activity is crooning about his love of corn at 3 am (much to the annoyance of his barnyard buddies).

Stu Pott

Stu Pott

Stu Pott

Probably the biggest intellectual, Stu has previously ventured out into the big world before. He returned to Brooderheim with a degree from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of ALES (Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences) — wow! We couldn’t understand his thesis — something on the origins of pecking order as a hierarchical behavioural strategy — but we were impressed with his ability to play the kazoo in the local band, The Domestics!

Larry Lays-Two-Eggs

Larry Lays-Two-Eggs

Larry Lays-Two-Eggs

Out of all the Cluckers, Larry is the most shy and sensitive. He’s a bit of a homebody. In fact, he’s borderline agoraphobic, so taking up this journey is a big step for him! His favourite activity is babysitting eggs in the hen house.

Peter Pecker

Peter Pecker

Peter Pecker

Peter is quite industrious, even athletic (for a chicken). He got his nickname because of how good he is at scratching through the dirt for juicy bugs.

There you have it! Watch the blog for the Cluckers’ adventures with their photo friends, and a big thanks to the cousins and their photo-hosts for carrying on Chain Mail’s legacy! Stay tuned!

By the way, we are using rubber chickens from the game Flickin’ Chicken to power this adventure!

2 May

Chain Mail Chicken is Kidnapped in Cuba!

News Flash!

We’ve just received news that our beloved Chain Mail Chicken is missing in action in Cuba! Mike Fitton, the photographer tasked with escorting Chain Mail  on his latest adventure, reported in with the sad news that Chain Mail appeared to have been stolen from his luggage upon arrival. We’ve put out an alert and are waiting to see if a kidnapper will be contacting us to demand a ransom…but in the meantime, we’ll remember Chain Mail with a few images Mike made of Chain Mail’s journey to warmer climes. Apparently Chain Mail is not the best traveler.

©Mike Fitton - Chain Mail Chicken examines his passport

©Mike Fitton – Chain Mail Chicken examines his passport

 

©Mike Fitton - Chain Mail sick on the plane, apparently chickens are not used to flying!

©Mike Fitton – Chain Mail sick on the plane; apparently chickens are not used to flying!

 

16 February

Chain Mail Chicken in the Hands of Chris Manderson

Chain Mail Chicken’s first adventure in his journey around the world was with Chris Manderson a participant in last week’s Winter Photo Tour. Chris had Chain Mail with him for a few days. Below is their story as told by Chris:

Here are my chicken photos.  I wanted to send you a bit of a motivational narrative behind the photos, so you’re getting a few more than asked for, to support my train of thought. I was also going to vehemently deny the ‘mean’ and ‘cruel’ characterizations of my treatment of the chicken in your blog, but then decided I’d own that too. Chain Mail Chicken got me thinking about Canadian History in a strange way too… My first motivation was to consider the environment in which we were shooting – the Canadian Rockies in winter, and in particular Abraham Lake…that lead me to thinking ice…and in particular chickens in ice. So, with that in mind, I decided to encase the hapless Chain Mail Chicken (CMC) in a block of ice – thinking of it encased in ice and reflecting the morning light. As it turned out, encasing Chain Mail Chicken in ice was a bit more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, given that it wasn’t actually that cold. So, after two days of trying to get a clear block of ice, what I ended up with was another touchstone of Canadian history (and doomed explorers)…namely John Torrington and the Franklin Expedition
(Interestingly, I learned that some people call poor Mr. Torrington a Canadian Mummy…had I known that earlier, there would have been an entire tableau involving gauze and a rubber chicken…)
So, instead of CMC encased in a block of ice, I ended up with photos of the chicken emerging from the ice of the Lake; frost-covered and not reflecting the morning light in the least.
©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

Back on Highway 11, the obvious scenario emerged – why did the Chain Mail Chicken cross the road?

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

And in fact, did CMC make it across? Some think this is an existential question: http://www.toomanymornings.com/?p=1075. I just think it makes for an interesting picture, so I spent the rest of my time with CMC exploring that theme instead, with a few photos along the Icefields Parkway:
©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

And finally safe and warm in Darwin’s pocket!

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson

11 February

Tales of the Chain Mail Chicken – The Ice Chicken Tries to Escape!

I brought the Chain Mail Chicken with me on the Winter Photo Tour and one of the tour participants took our little friend for a few days and put Mr. Chicken in some unusual situations all in the name of photography! Needless to say, I felt bad for our featherless friend especially when I saw him frozen in a block of ice and having to sleep outside by himself. And I can’t even mention the road kill shots!

After the abuse… I mean ‘creative’ photo sessions with the tour participant, I tucked Mr. Chicken into bed for some well deserved down time. The photos below were ones I took when I noticed that Mr. Chicken was trying to escape the (mean) photographer. Chain Mail has been treated for frost bite and looks to better times in the future with more friendly shooters!

©Darwin Wiggett - Chain Mail dives into the ice of Abraham Lake

©Darwin Wiggett – Chain Mail dives into the ice of Abraham Lake

©Darwin Wiggett - Chain Mail is determined to get away from the mean photographer.

©Darwin Wiggett – Chain Mail is determined to get away from the mean photographer.

©Darwin Wiggett - Chain Mail dives into the snow to escape but his feet give him away!

©Darwin Wiggett – Chain Mail dives into the snow to escape but his feet give him away!

 

 

4 February

The oopoomoo Chain Mail Chicken – help us send the rubber chicken around the world!

Note: Chain Mail Chicken is now closed – we have our 20 participants!

We were so inspired with the photos of our rubber chicken that Parnell Legg  took that we thought we should send our little friend out to other photographers for their creative interpretation of ‘A Chicken’s Life’. So if you want to receive our little rubber friend by mail drop me a line (darwin@oopoomoo.com) with your name, email address and mailing address and you’ll get the Chain Mail Chicken to photograph in your own unique way!

Rules:

  • First come first served – limited to the first 20 applicants.
  • Don’t wreck or deface the chicken (he is our family after all so be nice!)
  • Keep it PG (nothing rude or offensive).
  • You are responsible for mailing the chicken to the next person on the list at your cost; you’ll be provided the mailing address of the next person on the list.
  • You can keep the chicken for one week to make your photos (after that it starts to get angry and demanding).
  • Please send us  images that are 585 pixels in the long dimension once your assignment is complete.
  • We reserve the right to publish (or not publish) the results here on the blog (with full credit) based on quality and or content.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the project at any time.

But before the Chain Mail Chicken goes off across the globe by mail he will accompany me to the upcoming Winter in the Canadian Rockies photo tour. Can our rubber friend survive the cold with no feathers? Will it survive the huge winds on Abraham Lake? Will it be offended when Madeleine serves chicken for dinner? Stay tuned and find out!

The Chain Mail Chicken ready for air mail!

The Chain Mail Chicken ready for air mail!

1 February

Parnell Legg Photographs the oopoomoo Chicken

Anyone who’s been to an oopoomoo event knows that the first person to sign up gets a prize. It’s our way of thanking people for believing in (and liking!) what we offer. Usually the prize is a book, a print, or some camera accessory, you know, something nice. But sometimes, if we know the winner well, we’ll get them a prize that may seem like bad medicine… it is, but it’s still medicine nonetheless. Case in point: our friend Parnell Legg keeps saying his is unhappy with his photography and wishes to grow as an artist. What better way to help him achieve this goal than awarding him with the oopoomoo Rubber Chicken and a request that he make three images for us to present here in the torture chamber — err, the blog? In case you don’t remember, we also tortured Parnell with the Manyberries Challenge. Isn’t is great to have friends?

Here is what Parnell said about the assignment:

Well, all I can say is it’s always interesting around you two. It disturbed me that the first photo I envisioned driving home started by inserting a flashlight into the little fellow but I went with it anyway.
I tried to follow a more thoughtful process and be more intentional in my choices both pre- and post capture and was delighted that I was able to find a wide variety of images that worked with such a simple subject. Attached, as requested, are three photos of  Le Rubber Chicken. Also I added one more photo (Impending Doom) because it painted more of a story than the rest and I just wanted to share.
By the way we should go for a beer so I can hand back the chicken…. Yes, it’s a ploy to go for beer.
©Parnell Legg - Atomic Chicken

©Parnell Legg – Atomic Chicken

©Parnell Legg - Home Sweet Home

©Parnell Legg – Home Sweet Home

©Parnell Legg - Just Passing the Time!

©Parnell Legg – Just Passing the Time!

©Parnell Legg - Impending Doom

©Parnell Legg – Impending Doom

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