There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

perfect miracles

ONE OF MY FUNNIEST friends, Kathy Reed, loves her chickens. She loves them so much that she carts them around and says one rooster is famous. It's in his contract that I have to mention his name, although Jack Sparrow missed the photo session for no good reason. I for one, believe her when Kathy says Jack had a cut on his foot and had to send an understudy. Although Kathy and I have seen each other several times in the past few years, we first talked about photographing her chickens for my Easter blog 3 years ago. This year it finally happened.

READY ROOSTER  | Crusty was definitely ready for his closeup since Jack Sparrow didn't show. #shotoniphone6
IT'S AS IF the planets (and eggs) finally aligned. There is definitely a cosmic connection between Kathy and I. We were instant friends when we first met. And although we may not see each other as often as we would like, we have a rapport that's probably a lot like the communal nature of chickens. We exchange witty bon mots with each other in a pecky no-holds-barred staccato, as if we understand how chickens speak. And we have rituals, like eating fresh strawberries and whipped cream at The Original Pancake House along with our breakfast — something chickens would probably eat if they were human.

BEDAZZLED EGGS | Plain dyed and painted eggs take on a whole new look at Easter with spatters of gold paint and gold leaf.
COME TO THINK of it, none of this is so far-fetched. Chickens lay these "perfect miracles" as Kathy likes to call them. Kathy can talk for days about watching the miracle of life happen when she sees a chick peck through an egg, popping out and prancing around like it's the most natural thing in the world. Well, it is probably the most natural thing in the world, and is synonymous with spring's heady symbolism. That's why we see so many eggs in so many forms at Easter. It's a celebration of life.

SERAMA SISTERS | This breed of chicken is the smallest in the world. Short Stack and Jackalin are quite uninterested in the camera. #shotoniphone6
BIRTH, REBIRTH AND LIFE are what springtime is about. And it's amazing how mother nature teaches us the lessons of Easter (Oester) every Vernal Equinox. When you revel in nature as much as Kathy does, and I would like to, it's a constant reminder that the cycle of life in any scenario is transformatively poetic.

EGGSPERT | Peter Cottontail wrote the book on embellishing eggs.
PETER COTTONTAIL may not be the egg's maker, but he delivers them at Easter quite proudly (if not dapperly), after embellishing them with dye and paint and gold-leaf, transforming into bright pastel jewels, perfect for embellishing this magical tree, composed of nests and branches.

EGG ON TOP | The proverbial Golden Egg sits atop the tree.
WE ALL KNOW the reason we celebrate spring. It's a spiritual experience for some, a sexy and heady transformation of nature for others, or simply a reason to show off your Sunday best for anyone. Whatever it is to you, these perfect miracles called eggs make us smile like a good friend who helped you through a particularly harsh season that always comes around again, warmly smiling, when you get yourself back together in spring. If you had only listened the first time.

SERAMA SIBLING | Blackalin is Jackalin's sister, although they (obviously) came from different eggs. #shotoniphone6
GLAMOUR EGGS | Embellished eggs are sitting pretty in a brass container.
SERAMA SECRETS | Short Stack and Jackalin are always establishing a new pecking order.

collecting, photography and styling by Darryl Moland
chicken talent and laughs courtesy of Kathy Reed