Postcard from Puna, Hawaii: Feral Chicken Eggs are as Radiant as the Sun

You may recall that I live off the grid in East Hawaii. That means only solar power (with an occasional generator top-up of the batteries in dire emergencies) and catchment water (gathering rain from the roof).

I shower outside unless it’s too cold or raining sideways. What qualifies as too cold in Hawaii? We’re not at elevation, but during the “winter” it can easily drop into the fifties at night. Those mornings I ask myself, do I really want to be fully exposed to the elements right now?

We’ve had a few chilly mornings lately, but I haven’t yet taken my first indoor shower of the season. Of course, once you surrender to your first, it’s easier to wimp out and shower indoors after that. You’ve gotten rid of the dried up soap sliver, embraced the weird backup shampoo that resides there, etc.

I was waffling on a 58° day last week and almost showered inside. I’m so glad I sucked it up.

Feral chicken egg resting on rocky ground under our house between a green garden house and some storage tubs

The Hubs and I had provoked all kinds of kerfuffle the previous day by surprising a feral rooster and a hen or two that have been roaming our property lately. (The rooster is gorgeous, but a noisy pain in the ass.)

I joked, I think she dropped an egg. But I was only half joking and we strolled around the house just to be sure.

That chilly morning when I went to shower, I found the egg, tucked right under that edge of the house. (We do shower with an actual shower head; the hose just lives next to the spigot.)

The Hubs crawled under to be sure there were no more surprises, or rather, future rotting smell surprises.

But it was just the one, perfect little egg.

We used the egg when we made frittata muffins Sunday.

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s had chickens (live and laying, that is, not in nuggets), but behold the difference in yolks between the feral chicken egg on the left and the store-bought one on the right. This store-bought one is even free range, organic, blah-blah-blah.

Remember how I said there was just one perfect egg.

Well, so we thought.

The rainy season is upon us, so this weekend—after we made frittata muffins—we cleaned our filthy solar panels.

(SIDE NOTE: Why clean off the crud when it’s sunny and dry if you can wait until you’re desperate for power and get rained on in the process? For the Cliftonstrengths folks, that’s #HighAdaptability.)

By we cleaned I mean, The Hubs was on the roof cleaning the panels. I rinsed the red-black rags he tossed down, then tried—with mixed success—to throw them back up without flinging gnarly water through an open window or all over both of us. There is definitely a learning curve!

At some point, my husband climbed down to retrieve something from our carport mini shed and returned with… three more eggs.

We’re guessing the hen squeezed under the shed door, though I suppose it’s possible she climbed/flew and squeezed through a gap above the door. (Our late Ninja Kitty used both access points to hunt rats.) Either way, maybe having an egg on deck is like having to pee, and the squeezing was too much. 😂

A word to all the crazy feral pigs screaming like an episode of Lost and tearing up our yard: bring it down a notch, or—vegetarians or not—we might have to round out our next yummy brunch with some bacon.