Into Something Better: maui backyard chickens – October 2017

Sleeping In The Forest by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,

She took me back so tenderly

Arranging her skirts

Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before

A stone on the riverbed,

Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,

But my thoughts.

And they floated light as moths

Among branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

Breathing around me.

The insects and the birds

Who do their work in darkness.

All night I rose and fell,

As if water, grappling with luminous doom.

By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times

Into something better.


“We as a group of artist mothers from all over the world are making it our priority to turn off the tv/video games so that we can give our children the sacred experience to connect with the fast disappearing natural world. We will freelens our adventures into the wild and share them through this monthly project.”


At our house, we like to go with the ebb and flow of life. After a very busy September with travel and almost daily outings, October called for lots of slowing down and time at home. So this month’s adventure simply leads us into our backyard, for our evening routine with the chickens.


Our six fluffy ladies always eagerly await us at the back stoop, ready for treats and a pet (but if we’re honest, mostly the treats). Kate likes to peek inside the nesting box to see how many eggs there are, collect them and take them to the kitchen, but not before admiring them a bit. As we busy ourselves cleaning and watering, Kate explores on her own, checking up on her toad friends, climbing on the wall, peeking across the fence, and digging for treats to share with the chickens. And as the chickens retreat to their roosting spots, we settle on the back stoop and take in the last light of the day.

Don’t forget to travel all the way around the circle to see more nature adventures – the link to the next artist is at the bottom of the post.


Now head to Massachusetts to visit Beth’s breathtaking adventure by the shore!

  • Barb, my goodness! You've taken something so ordinary and elevated it to the sublime. The details, the colors and tones, the perfection in your slices of focus. This took my breath away! xxoo Kate.

    • Wow Barb!! Your backyard seems like paradise to me. I love all those shots of the tippy toes and little fingers among all those chickens! is your last shot a self-portrait??? i am blown away.

      • barbtoyama said:

        Thanks Heather! It may not look very paradise-y but certainly is a paradise for chickens and little kids :) And yes, with that last one I was feeling annoyed by her needing me when I wanted to take pictures, so I decided to attempt a self portrait. Looking at it completely changed my perspective and melted my annoyance into appreciation for the moment.

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Kate! Taking photos of ordinary things makes me appreciate the beauty in these moments so much more.

  • Anna said:

    Love this set and the gorgeous color. That last image...oh my heart. So beautiful!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much for kind words Anna! Yeah that last one has my heart too, I'm so happy it turned out!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you Nikki!

  • Nadia said:

    Oh this last image is so beautiful ... my daughter was lookink at your pictures and she was saying "cococo" ... love the details and the tones ;)

    • barbtoyama said:

      Awww that is so sweet your daughter enjoyed the chickens :) Thank you for your kind words!

  • Beth Urban said:

    Barb, these are so beautiful! Little tippy toes, sea foam green egg, all of the details of your day, your self portrait especially! I wish i had taken an image like this before I was finished nursing.

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much Beth! Yes it reminded me to take some more nursing photos before we are done, I want to remember it and for her to have these photos too.

  • OH wow barb! these are incredible. you make it all so magical. your last shot made me gasp. you are so talented!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Celeste, this means a lot!

  • Jen Schiltz said:

    Barb! This is so amazing I love what you wrote and the pictures are just stunning. What a beautiful blog. I cannot wait for the next one!

    • barbtoyama said:

      Thank you so much Jen, makes me so happy you enjoyed it. I'm already thinking about what our adventure for the next post might be!