Yesterday I saw them in real flight for the first time. They flew up in unison. There was no getting a running start or any of that chicken stuff. One second they were on the ground, the next airborne! For me it was spectacular. The reason for this sudden flight? They were spooked by a butterfly.
Before I got these fowl, my thinking was they would wander about the yard eating insects, making little guinea noises and generally just be cute and useful. I could nod proudly when people said things like, "those guineas sure are pretty" and "I bet they eat a lot of bugs." So far the first one is true and probably the second although I cannot yet verify that.
The trouble is they spend very little time in the yard. They like the woods. Yesterday afternoon I got worried about them. It wasn't really time to bring them inside but it was getting kind of late and I wondered if they were okay. I found them fairly easily but they were a fair distance from the house. The ground back there is rough due to several old uprooted trees. We've had some bad and unusual weather here in the last few years.
I start heading the guineas back to the house. Soon I realized I should have put on shoes because the guineas decided they wanted to go under every vine and brier along the way. Here I should interject that I wear shoes only when it is absolutely necessary. If I get a brier in my foot I just pull it out and limp on; scrap my foot on a stob or sharp rock, no biggie, it's the price for going around without shoes. So my progress was slow compared to theirs as I had to pick my way carefully as I could. The guineas would stop anytime I got too far behind them and tarry but I knew that would not last for long. So I tried to keep up. They stopped just on the other side of an uprooted tree. Rather than go around it, I stepped high up on the mound. The dirt felt kind of soft and as soon as I put my weight on it, whoosh! I sank to my knee as I fell backward, flat on my back.
A lightning fast thought crossed my mind of what might be hiding down there in the hole so I jerked my foot out immediately. When I did a pile of dirt came with it, spraying me all the way to my belly. Oddly enough I was not hurt at all, not even bruised, there were lots of leaves under me and the ground was soft. It just looked really bad with my head downhill from my body and half of me covered with dirt. I got up and dusted myself off. In the most determined voice I could muster I told them, "okay little guineas, we are going home now and no more tricks!
Which we did.
Today though they learned a new trick:
It was only about 4:00 PM when this was taken and the sun doesn't set until around 7:30 PM but they seemed to have settled in. I was planning on leaving them there for the night but they were just foolin'. So about seven I rounded them up and they went into their cage. I didn't bring them inside though. They're spending the night outside and seem very pleased with that.
Sorry about the quality of the picture. They are not as big as they appear. I'm obviously no photographer.