I drive to work on one of the older and busier freeways in Orange County. It has sloping ivy-covered sides with thick shrubbery higher up, near the top. There, at the roadside one day, was a rooster searching for tidbits, seemingly oblivious to speeding cars only feet away. I envisioned an early death for this bird. A few days later, I saw a hen up near the bushes. From then on I paid scant attention to my driving and full attention to the green slope, watching for those chickens. I saw them often, separately and together, over the next two years.
The rooster is a glossy copper color with crisp, dark green tail feathers. She is creamy beige, fluffy and soft. Truly a handsome couple! I began to hope for a brood of chicks.
Several months ago workers arrived to rip out the aged, luxuriant shrubbery in which my chickens often took refuge. Daily, more bushes were chopped down. No sign of my brave and beautiful couple. But one fine day the men moved on, leaving a third of the thicket intact. Hope revived, and for a month I anxiously looked for my chickens as I whizzed by. And then--triumph! There they were, looking healthy, calm, and wonderfully domestic.