They eat petunias. I would have never guessed. I've seen evidence of their nibblings on this and that, and they've not been so destructive in the past. But wow, look what happened while I was away on Christmas Bird Counts over the weekend.
These deep maroon petunias weren't quite at their peak, but they were quite lovely, starting to fill the pot (yes, winter is petunia season in Tucson). I doused them with fertilizer today and I have confidence that they'll view this as a hearty pruning, meant to strengthen their roots and as a reason to come back even more robust and beautiful. Then maybe I'll learn to give them a good pruning like this in the future.
I wonder what the eggs in the next days will taste like.
In other garden news, we had nearly an inch of rain in two systems that passed through on the 14th-15th and again on the night of December 18th. But by today things are already starting to wilt, and now the garden needs watering at least every other day until we get more rain. I planted some onion starts here and there amongst the burgeoning greens, given to me by my friend Beth. No sign of the sweet pea sprouts.
[Belated addendum; the hard freeze in late January killed the petunias before they could recover from the chickens' onslaught.]