Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Flood of Yes Tree

So, we had some heavy rain, high winds, more heavy rain, an an ice glaze on the windshield at 7:30 am with the thermometer reading 38F. Talk about extreme weather!

We didn't lose power, but I had an early morning call from Boss that the road was blocked just above her (again) and I wouldn't make it through that way. I figured I could take a roundabout I used last year when the road was washed out, but when I rounded the corner to start the dirt road stretch, this end was blocked as well with a deep washout !

That meant the VERY long way around. Suprisingly, I was only three minutes late. I guess the tarred road the long ways drives faster. :D (said with a maine accent)

Another suprise, when I got to the other end of the farm road intersection, the major road north of there was blocked as well!!!! Yeah, we had a lot of rain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April rain

April Rain Tree

The Enkindled Spring

The Enkindled Spring

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes, Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration

Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring?
My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.

David Herbert Lawrence

rainy day

I expected to have today off from the farm, with torrential rains forecast. Yesterday I combed one of the wild doelings-a 15 minutes clean up, and then moved on to the new goat, Emerson, a white fluff bomb; a huge wether.

Boss said she had done his neck and shoulders the day before so I started on his haunches, as she said to put that fiber separate. After evaluating it, she said to put it all together but save the britches separate. LOL. So I started combing in earnest.

Within minutes I had clouds of white fluffy cashmere in great gobs all over the place-me, my coat, the goat, and the fence as he was leaning against it on the off side. I quickly shed the fleece hoodie I was wearing down to cotton flannel ,and rolled up my sleeves so I didn't take half the goat home with me.

I spent over an hour on him and he looked like a different goat afterwards. Then Boss went to let the bucks out at Prescott while R and I went down to Jenny Nash to fix the shingles on one of the little houses. That went quickly, and we stopped to check out the upper section of fence. We have to put a couple fence posts in there, as the temporary ones snapped at ground level from the snow this winter.

Once back to Prescott, we found Boss down by the highway with two bucks near the road-armed with her broom and pan. Those two and the rest of the bucks recognized my car pull in and came running back to the barn when we arrived.

At the end of the morning, I left it with Boss that I would call her in the am regarding work, as rain was forecast. When I heard about the heavy rains, I figured I would be having the day off and contemplated crating the roosters and hauling them up to the livestock auction. Waking to torrential rain, staying in bed late sounded like a better plan.

However, when I called Boss to check in , she gave me the offer of hooves for the morning. Hooves are not fun, but I knew it would be a chance to get some tips and good experience at the hands of an expert, so I agreed.

I did four sets of hooves and did I leave there looking and smelling quite a mess!

I prefer to do the front feet by facing toward the rear of the goat, half kneeling, with the goat ankle resting above my kneecap. It's the way I was taught to pick out horse's feet, except standing in that case.

That position leaves my shoulder free against the goat to help steady them or hold them against the wall. Because of the rain, most of the goats were wet, so I quickly became covered in wet stinky goat. The free side the Great Pyrannees thought would make a great place to dry his face, when he wasn't trying to use my hair as a towel.

The goat hooves were tough as nails after the long dry spell we have been having, and I realized on the way home that I had earned a good sized blister on the ring fnger of my right hand from the clippers.

And the smell of a good old dirty hoof...goat or horse, those smell pretty much the same...

The deluge of rain continued all day-I can't tell you how much rain we have received but I bet at least 5 inches by now. The fields leapt to life today; driving to the store this afternoon my eyes ached from the emerald green where just days ago was plain dry brown.

The maples are in full bloom with a blush of red, so delicate.

Aprils showers bring May flowers. :)

Monday, April 28, 2008

hidden suprise

Hidden Suprise Tree

morning dew

Morning Dew Tree

Sunday, April 27, 2008

spring chore week

The rabbit hutch cleaning was the easiest job of the week. That led into raking the back yard and cleaning out the sandbox. I must have a lot of trees out back, because I dragged many huge tarp fulls down under the powerline.

The tree crews came through last summer and cut all the young oaks and maples to the ground, as they did when the line went in ten years ago. The thing is, after after 7 years the tops are brushing the lines again.

I saw the most sense in filling it in farm-style, with loads of animal bedding and yard and garden rakings, and household compost that doesn't go to the chickens-who usually scratch it out of the compost heap anyhow.

Last year I had a nice little pumpkin patch down there, and hope to repeat it with maybe a bed of tomatoes.

Today I started cleaning the wether yard. Those two guys just stand there all day long and poop, I swear. I hauled six wheelbarrows and I am not nearly finished, but the long- awaited for rain started spattering, making an easy enough excuse to wrap that job up another day.

The garden paths have started drying out, and the peas are up. I haven't planted lettuce etc yet, because I have a rooster problem. Three young roosters are roaming the yard and garden, and I need to find them a new home, since I cant (or won't ) kill them and pluck them and gut them. Yuck.

I think I will put an ad out, "Free roosters, nice lawn ornaments. Annoy your neighbors or invite them over for a chicken barbecue. Bring net and fast legs or come after dark."

Yesterdays Afterglow Tree

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara


Thursday, April 24, 2008

greenhouse gas graph (source)

So glad that someone over at NOAA finally put all that scientific data I have been oogling for months, years, even, into a handy little chart!

ONe will note that the only thing on the decline are those nasty little CFC's, governed by the Montreal protocol as ozone depleting chemicals, and I have to say, they have not declined nearly enough...we are at 1988 levels still, but at least not increasing at the same rate as CO2 and NO.

Leaves one to wonder where those latter levels would be if we had joined Kyoto years ago. Thanks for nothing, George.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I watched an interesting episode of Frontline last night regarding US policies on climate change, from 1988 through 2007.

When Bush jr. was up against Green Gore, he made the statement that he was in favor of mandatory emission caps. Following his appointment of the head of the EPA, and her stand in Paris that the US was in favor, policies began to change, from the office of the VP, Cheney.

First and foremost, a paid-for government analysis of local effects of climate change was squashed. Taken out of every government index, and removed from the net. No one wanted every american to realize just how personally they would be affected.

The push was to consume more oil, at any cost. The premise was that the economy could not afford climate change caps on CO2 emissions.

But where does the US stand today? Yes, in 8 years the cost of oil has tripled and is continuing to climb over 120 a barrel. (that's always figured in US dollars) While US society has been encouraged to pursue more horsepower, and less mpg than 20 years ago, our contribution to CO2 in the atmosphere has continued to grow.

The consumer is left with not much alternative...updating and upgrading anything that consumes oil is pricey and alternative fuels are not readily available. If climate change had been properly addressed 8 years ago as promised, many more alternatives would be available to the average consumer.

Instead, we watch our budgets shrink as the cost of gas and heating fuel eats away more and more of those extras...those extras that paid for a lot of service position jobs.

One sector first and hard hit is the pet industry. I spoke with a neighbor that can't afford to spay her cat because of the high cost of heating fuel. The shelters here are overrun with pets turned over because their owners can no longer afford them.

Folks aren't really complaining enough about the oil situation. After all, we need the fuel for the cars and some need it to heat their homes..but the end of the month the extras start to shrink when the money just isn't there. Folks that had good credit charge it at the end of the month, but with the price of fuel still rising, that leaves them even shorter the next month, headed towards disaster.

Some folks might say that the higher costs will be good for the environment, as folks will use less. I don't think this is a good solution, as the minimum needed for work, travel and heating would still be more than the atmosphere can take. The solution lies with alternative energy (not bio fuel, please, it cost more energy to produce than is gained, and folks need that food!). Yes, I am talking about those ugly windmills, those dams, those solar panels. Underground homes, which use thermal mass and are protected from high winds, need to be promoted more heavily.

At any rate, I don't see much gain with any of the US presidential candidates in the climate change arena. Obama might be the most pliable to alternative strategies, so I guess I will be rooting for him.

laundry day and russian poets

Yes, near 80F and laundry day...well, it could be put off no longer (trust me, I tried)
After a trip to the local for pizza and cokes, I put the young firebird and the little tree to work folding laundry with me to the strains of FM transistor radio. We had much fun, laughing over little Tree's "skorts" that became headgear to gales of laughter.
Yeah, I still have to put it all away... :D

Here are the Russian poets as promised:


Beneath the willow wound round with ivy

we take cover from the worst

of the storm, with a greatcoat round

our shoulders and my hands around your waist.

I've got it wrong. That isn't ivy

entwined in the bushes round

the wood, but hops. You intoxicate me!

Let's spread the greatcoat on the ground

Boris Pasternak

What shall I do with this body they gave me

What shall I do with this body they gave me,

so much my own, so intimate with me?

For being alive, for the joy of calm breath,

tell me, who should I bless?

I am the flower, and the gardener as well,

and am not solitary, in earth’s cell.

My living warmth, exhaled, you can see,

on the clear glass of eternity.

A pattern set down,

until now, unknown.

Breath evaporates without trace,

but form no one can deface.

Osip Mandelstam

Much like me, Tsvetaeva

Much Like Me

Much like me, you make your way forward,
Walking with downturned eyes.
Well, I too kept mine lowered.
Passer-by, stop here, please.

Read, when you've picked your nosegay
Of henbane and poppy flowers,
That I was once called Marina,
And discover how old I was.

Don't think that there's any grave here,
Or that I'll come and throw you out ...
I myself was too much given
To laughing when one ought not.

The blood hurtled to my complexion,
My curls wound in flourishes ...
I was, passer-by, I existed!
Passer-by, stop here, please.

And take, pluck a stem of wildness,
The fruit that comes with its fall --
It's true that graveyard strawberries
Are the biggest and sweetest of all.

All I care is that you don't stand there,
Dolefully hanging your head.
Easily about me remember,
Easily about me forget.

How rays of pure light suffuse you!
A golden dust wraps you round ...
And don't let it confuse you,
My voice from under the ground.
Marina Tsvetaeva

wethering blog comment, comment

LOL mouse. I will add that myhelper from Sunday said that he slept poorly that night, having to keep waking up to check that his boys were still there. :D

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The big news is that I finally got my four little bucklings wethered! My initial helper backed out (no suprise-not a fun job) and another volunteered to help hold them. I could only manage to elastrate two, and had to give up on the other two.

I called Boss for help, and we arranged for me to bring them to the farm yesterday morning, although she had only R working yesterday. When we arrived, they were well behind on barn chores, as the main herd had taken the opportunity of a fine Monday to run off down the road!

Still, Boss stopped her work to admire my two little guys, and we proceeded. I begged Boss to run the tool, R took the behind position, and the young firebird and I each took a hind leg. The little Willow tree opted to hang out in the barn with the farm goats.

The flock of geese gave us some consternation when they came across the road onto the lawn where we were working. Twice I asked Boss, "are they going to come over here?!?!"

To which she answered both times, "I don't know."

The second time left me chuckling, as I was expecting her to predict goose behavior!!!Hehehe.

I told the firebird, "just don't look at them"

He was much relieved to take the far leg on the second buckling, so he would be furthest from any vicious goose attack!

We did get them done without a goose attack, but both were difficult even for Boss. I could felt a little less like an incompetent, at least. :)

I was also happy to get the bucklings there and back in the back of the wagon without incident. Having just replaced the back windshield on Saturday, I was praying a goathorn didn't bust it out again-or one of the side windows, which would have been much more difficult to install.

Luckily I had finally chased a rear window down at a junkyard, and picked it up without too much wait for $100. A friend helped with the installation, so I saved $300 on that! I was not looking forward to repeating the whole process if the bucks shattered it out again!

The snow is just about all gone; a few patches left in the woods and shady spots. We were barefoot on the lawn this weekend with snow still on the edges ...LOL. ("Stay out of the snow with barefeet!")

Lots of gardening still to do. We planted peas a week or so ago, but the garden paths were so flooded we turned them into a muddy mess so I haven't wanted to go back in and plant the lettuce and spinach. Maybe this afternoon will be dry enough.

Started on raking the back yard and cleaned the goose house yesterday. I need to finish stacking my firewood and clean the rabbit hutch. So I am off for another round of spring fun!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Early Spring


Early Spring

Harshness vanished. A sudden softness

has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.

Little rivulets of water changed

their singing accents. Tendernesses,

hesitantly, reach toward the earth

from space, and country lanes are showing

these unexpected subtle risings

that find expression in the empty trees.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, April 18, 2008



Major Highlights
NOAA: 2nd Warmest March on Record for Globe Global Land Surface Temperature Warmest on Record
The average global temperature (land and ocean surface combined) for last month was the 2nd warmest on record for March, while the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was near average (ranking the 63rd warmest), according to an analysis by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.U.S. Temperature Highlights
In the contiguous United States, the average temperature for March was 42°F, which was 0.4°F below the 20th century mean, ranking it as the 63rd warmest March on record, based on preliminary data.
Only Rhode Island, New Mexico and Arizona were warmer than average, while near-average temperatures occurred in 39 other states. The monthly temperature for Alaska was the 17th warmest in the 1918-2008 record, with an average temperature 3.8°F above the 1971-2000 mean.
The broad area of near-average temperatures kept the nation's overall temperature-related residential energy demand for March near average, based on NOAA's Residential Energy Demand Temperature Index.U.S. Precipitation Highlights
Nine states from Oklahoma to Vermont were much wetter than average...more...

Nix's twins Tree


I worked four mornings at the farm this week; the primary cashmere comber at the moment.

I combed a lot of cashmere this week!

Old Gwydion, wether, gave off three sacks full. Cashmere, long staple, light, clouding all over the place! He was a sweetie to comb too, a little lame on the left hip, where I went slowly and softly. I spent an hour an a half on him, and he looked so excellent the next day!

The bucks I worked on this week were Leif and Hjalmar. Both jumpy litle buggers-need a lot of fake out persistence to get them to relax enough for certain places...(neck or butt, as a rule).

More wethers, too, fat Clarke (no kidding-he can trick the door to the grain room and stuff himself until caught and does it on a regular basis...) He was the first goat I met at the farm, so I like him and tried to convince him he likes combing, as well...I think I might have gained some ground, there, :D

Lincoln, aka "stinkin Lincoln", another wether that has a bad ass reputation. We seem to get along well enough, although he gave m a warning knock across both forearms with both large horns this morning.

Jazzy Jasper (my nic) with the long long long black guard hair that had gobs of cashmere tangled in it...needed a light touch clean up and looked so glamourous when I finished.

Kid alert: as predicted, many, many little Zeuss babies running amuck. Buffy, triplets; Nix, twins; Carmella, triplets; 5 does and two bucklings so far. Then, young R and I on doe wach for the last two close out mornings.

Yesterday we found Ursula looking imminent, but today still no babies. On close out check, we had to look for BOTH Ursula and Dancer. I found Urusla high up in the edge of the woods with two placenta covered kids-Zeuss twins! And yelled for R to bring the iodine (for dipping the navel). Too bad I forgot to add the hay and water-I volunteered to go down after that, and it was quite a trek down and back but we managed.

We searched but could not find Dancer. I went back out and found her by a stone wall, no babies, but soon most likely...

Next week off, so I hope to see lots of bouncing babies on my return. They are very funny to watch in the mornings as the mommas ease them out of the barn into the field. :)

Zuess, Lord of the Bucks 4/08 Tree

seven bucks

Seven bucks Tree

left front to back, right back to front:

Leif (broken horn), Lars, Sgt. Pepper, Will, Monarch (back, center), Gingerman, Shiraz, Prince Edward

Thursday, April 17, 2008

raptor encounter

Tree 4/08

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lilt me your lips,
Our lost breath intermingling.
Synchronize our silence
As lazy hours ease by.
Waft cocoa, hazelnut, cinnamon,
Scents around me.
Tremble with me
In paralyzing pauses.
I may no longer breathe
Without breathing you.

Judith Pordan

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ice out soon Tree

Golden visit

I was sitting down at the comp to download a few pics, and there in the foreground was an eagle, soaring, circling, riding the thermals and scouting. Well, through dirty double-paned glass and with the maple budding out in the foreground (the front branch is about 12 feet from my window) I thought it still made a nice sillouhette!

In a previous blog life, I have stated that Maine is the most most beautiful place from May to October, and here we are rounding on the middle of April and the height of mudseason...well, today was an eagle day! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

There ain’t no reason things are this way.
Its how they always been and they intend to stay.
I can't explain why we live this way, we do it everyday.
Preachers on the podium speakin’ of saints,
Prophets on the sidewalk beggin’ for change,
Old ladies laughing from the fire escape, cursing my name.
I got a basket full of lemons and they all taste the same,
A window and a pigeon with a broken wing,
You can spend your whole life workin’ for something
Just to have it taken away.
People walk around pushing back their debts,
Wearing pay checks like necklaces and bracelets,
Talking ‘bout nothing, not thinking ‘bout death,
Every little heartbeat, every little breath.
People walk a tight rope on a razors edge
Carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons.
It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen
Or a thought or a word or a sentence.

There Ain't no reason things are this way.
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I don’t know why I say the things I say, but I say them anyway.

But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free,*I do believe* Love will come set me free,
*I know it will*
Love will come set me free, yes.
Prison walls still standing tall,
Some things never change at all.
Keep on buildin’ prisons, gonna fill them all,
Keep on buildin’ bombs, gonna drop them all.
Working your fingers bear to the bone,
Breaking your back, make you sell your soul.
Like a lung that’s filled with coal, suffocatin’ slow.
The wind blows wild and I may move,
The politicians lie and I am not fooled.
You don't need no reason or a three piece suit to argue the truth.
The air on my skin and the world under my toes,
Slavery stitched into the fabric of my clothes,
Chaos and commotion wherever I go, love I try to follow.

Love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set me free, yes.

There ain't no reason things are this way
It’s how they always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way, we do it everyday.

Brett Dennan

Friday, April 11, 2008

Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk- Chinese proverb

Thursday, April 10, 2008

instant Karma, or why one should never chuckle at another's muddy misfortunes

Mired Tree

Last night at dusk I noticed the girl goats acting alarmed and staring intently towards the front yard. I kept checking and could find nothing, but kept my eye on the girls just the same.

Then I saw a fox! A full grown adult on the hunt, inside the electric lower part of the doe fence. I have a rooster and a couple of hens in the lower house, and the door was still open. I quickly stepped outside-no, not with a gun or camera, but with a loud, "what are you doing down there?" and several loud claps, and the fox vanished quickly.

This morning after the usual computer rituals, and having a small chuckle at Mouse's sharing of a muddy adventure, I did the regular goat chores, and spent some extra time combing the does. I was getting ready to move over to the bucklings, when I realized it was after 10, the sun was getting high, and I had not yet turned the car.

My turnaround has been a challenge for the last few weeks with the freezing and thawing, and I have nearly gotten stuck several times with cave ins from melting ice below. Things did seem a bit soft, but I decided not to wait, and the results are the photo you see above, after I had dug about 45 minutes around the wheel and making a ditch to drain it all away.

There was lots of bird song to keep me company, to my delight the Phoebes returned this am, and stared in at me through the window while I whistled welcome in Phoebe. LOL>

I was so intent on digging the wheel out I was too late to grab a shot of migrating canadian geese- at least 20 headed due North about 11 am.

Then I thought to take a picture of my misadventure. Things don't look too bad from this pic, but if you look closely you can see that the whole nose of the car is resting on the upper part-"Hung-up".

Any friends that could come to aid were sensibly working, so that left it up to me to get it out. A helper might have been able to push it clear at this point...

I tore the back of the car apart to get at the jack, and found a bit of wood without a nail to rest it on. Oh, how fun, what a cheesy piece of crap! My experience with jacks comes mainly from watching my mechanic run a wheeled pump hydraulic--this little rascal required being positioned perfectly into a little slot, and then you hand to wind and flip the little cheesy bar, the result of which that every-other time around, I had to drag my hand through the muck to return it to crank position.

Somewhere in here I took off six layers of clothes and reduced myself to a pair of cutoff jeans and a white tank top, because the sun was beating down something fierce.

Once the front end was jacked free of the ground, I scouted for a suitable rock, which I tried to slip under the tire. Tight squeeze, I got an old ax and used the back to drive the stone under the tire-the resulting mud spatters from high velocity tools impacting wet goo I will leave to your own imagination.

Several times the muck pulled my rubber boots right off my feet...

Rock in place, I scrounged smaller rocks and packed around the front, and then a load of sand and gravel I swiped off down by the road...

Lowered the jack, took away the blocks, and managed to get out of it and turned around. When I did leave the drive later, the bottom part by the culvert collapsed, leaving me no choice but to park the car on the road and hike the groceries in....with a nice cold ale and a half hour on the computer as a reward..but now back to outside chores, and may your days be sunny and dry...LOL

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I had yesterday off from the farm. Following a trip to the post office to check on an expected package, I stopped on the back road to a private stash of hemlock branches the road trimming crews missed when they chipped.

With good reason-the spot had recently been over-enthusiastically ditched out, leaving a fifteen foot sheer embankment on the far side. Luckily yesterday the ground was still lightly frozen from the night before, so with a quick scout I was easily able to find a few toeholds to scale to the upper plateau where the brush was left.

The day before I had caused a minor landslide further down from thawing. I found myself thinking I would have been ticked if it was my land and the road crew had left it that way- open to erosion.

I had also made the trip armed with freshly cleaned binoculars and different settings for focus on the digital, and stopped in the middle of dead wood swamp for a few minutes. I am sure Mouse will scoff at me here, tales of his dedicated and hours long vigils for shots can't fail to inspire one ( to stay under the warm covers until well past daybreak, if at all possible, lol).

No sign of the hawks from the previous day, although I heard the nearby call of a red-winged blackbird, alarmed at my presence, (no, I don't speak blackbird , yet...)I twice thought that I heard the hawk call from the day before-up ahead in the tall trees, where likely a nest is being located.
The call ID would enable me to narrow down whether the birds were broad-winged hawks or red-shouldered hawks..the latter which favor swampy settings...still not sure, but since I travel through there several times I week, I will try and keep my eyes open! And now the binocs will be a permanent fixture in my daily grab bag.

I always thought that the swamp would make an ideal sky viewing location at night in the summer--creepy and noisy and clear viewing! Maybe this summer....

Today I worked at the farm, and arrived to find Boss had penned Linnea and Bonnie for combing. Uh-oh. Linnea is really the most evil one to comb, being clever and crafty when she tries to bite or horn you, and lightning-quick, unlike fat Daisy and Lois from last week...

Bonnie gave me a tough time last year, but I had excused her attitude for fear and have tried to speak nicely and offer treats and scratches if I could get close enough, since then.

I debated a moment and decided to start with Bonnie. She was a delight to comb! She had me laughing out loud at one point when I was brushing the back of her neck. She tilted her head way back so she was staring at the ceiling, and I took it to mean in bliss...LOL. Even in the normal jumpy places she was fine...

Then I moved to LInnea. I put her right up on a doubled-short chain, so she had only about 8" of chain to the fence. Usually goats like to be combed on the neck-not Linnea. Anywhere on the neck or shoulder is fair reach for a bite or horning. I was squatted down, knees flexed, at arm's length brushing her with the slicker, when "Wham!" somehow she got her head around and knocked me full bore with her horns against my left kneecap.

I was in agony! I threw myself back into the corner clutching my leg spewing foul language!!!

When I recovered, I grabbed the near horn and jammed her other against the pen and brushed her fast and furious with the slicker-no more Miss nice guy...LOL!

My knee still aches....*swears again in head!*

Finally finished with the *** lol, we all helped Boss gather and load pine branches from a large downed pine in the front pasture. R and I took the job of snapping branches off the huge pine, while Boss and P loaded. Then we doled them out at the main barn and went on to Prescott with more branches, where I helped R clean, collar, and grain, and then combed Leif.

Managed not to get a horn in the eye, but..the knee aches...*wink*

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

more hawk pix

Monday, April 7, 2008


Broad-winged hawk

Buteo platypterus



What a beautiful day here today- 50 degrees F and sunny-we are revelling!

The raptors love a good day, too. On the way home from the farm, I stopped on the way through "dead wood swamp" to roll a cigarette and snap a couple pictures of the alders, when I heard a hawk call.

There was a pair doing acrobatics, and another one closeby. I hit the zoom on the digi and started snapping pics, but they were quite a distance away. I did get a couple of the single one and one of the pair after it had perched.

Not 100% positive, but I ID them as Broad winged hawks.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


We had one of "our" robins return to the yard yesterday! I heard it's call while engineering the driveway river with the young firebird, and turned to call back. I do a fair robin. ;)

The robin was high in one of the sugar maples across the lawn (still under over a foot of ice), and much to my suprise it took wing in our direction, and perched in one of the tall white pines nearly overhead. Yay, spring!

The slowly melting snowpack gradually reveals all kinds of stuff that was hidden beneath layers of storms. (trash the dog tore into-she thinks it is her turf once it leaves the house, even going on 11 years of age, some things you can never teach

Anywhere the ground is showing, it is underwater, or six inches of muck on top of water. So of course I had to post this other poem by RW Service!

Mud is Beauty in the making,
Mud is melody awaking;
Laughter, leafy whisperings,
Butterflies with rainbow wings;
Baby babble, lover's sighs,
Bobolink in lucent skies;
Ardours of heroic blood
All stem back to Matrix Mud.

Mud is mankind in the moulding
,Heaven's mystery unfolding;
Miracles of mighty men,
Raphael's brush and Shakespear's pen;
Sculpture, music, all we owe
Mozart, Michael Angelo;
Wonder, worship, dreaming spire,
Issue out of primal mire.

In the raw, red womb of Time
Man evolved from cosmic slime;
And our thaumaturgic day
Had its source in ooze and clay . . .
But I have not power to see
Such stupendous alchemy:
And in star-bright lily bud
Lo! I worship Mother Mud.

Robert William Service

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Why Do Birds Sing?

Why Do Birds Sing?

Let poets piece prismatic words,
Give me the jewelled joy of birds!

What ecstasy moves them to sing?
Is it the lyric glee of Spring,
The dewy rapture of the rose?
Is it the worship born in those
Who are of Nature's self a part,
The adoration of the heart?

Is it the mating mood in them
That makes each crystal note a gem?
Oh mocking bird and nightingale,
Oh mavis, lark and robin - hail!
Tell me what perfect passion glows
In your inspired arpeggios?

A thrush is thrilling as I write
Its obligato of delight;
And in its fervour, as in mine,
I fathom tenderness divine,
And pity those of earthy ear
Who cannot hear . . . who cannot hear.

Let poets pattern pretty words:
For lovely largesse - bless you, Birds!

Robert William Service

April sunset


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Common Crow
Corus brachyhynchos
Catch up, home, thoughts,
First the farm. I am back at the farm alternating schedules of two days, three days. This week is a three day work week.
I have combed a bunch of goats! Today was Nasrim, a very pleasant grey doe with nicewhite fluffy fiber and short guard hair.
Then on to the bucklings on the hill. Two were scheduled for wethering via elastrator. I grabbed and collared Nix's small star for combing, but found myself drawn into the wethering, this time as a needed helper. R took the back position, which left P and a needed I on a leg. Last time R could handle both hind legs, but I had to remind P twice to pin the leg to the ground and not just hold it in the air where they can get some yanking behind them.
Boss was running the tool, and with a hand on a leg and one on the sternum to calm the goat, and also help press the body against R who was standing behind, I was in perfect coach position for Boss.
Although I have only wethered one of my own, I am not too squeamish and have a fair memory enough to coach boss which way to position the tool, watch for the nipples, etc...
While it might seem audacious to be coaching boss, she is, as much as I hate to admit it, showing the symptoms and is aware of them, of Alzheimers, or memory loss in the aged.
After wethering Pablo and Carmella's brown, I combed Nix's small star. Then I helped R in spring cleaning chores and went on to the big bucks over at Prescott. Today I landed Nishak and Shiraz, the latter of whom is a reknown vicious little bastard. Boss took a fiber sample looking for a reason to cull him. I did voice comments on how nice his fiber is-his personality is really the bad case, as he hurt boss on Tues while she was doing his hooves.
I am not sure what happened, but she gave several exclamations (rare for boss) and then nearly threw the hoof clippers before scraping hay until we were finished graining, when she had R hold Shiraz to finish.
The other buck that gives Boss a hard time is Prince Edward ("he is NOT a sweetie"-old blog).
I landed him for combing on Tuesday and we manage fairly well. He has beautiful bright blue eyes and likes cheek scratches and organic crunchy peanut and blackberry jelly on whole wheat-or course we get along! hehehe.
Prince Edward was the only comb for me on Tues, as the day started off damp, so I had opted to do buckling hooves. I went through the whole of six of them, not an easy task, as they can be difficult to catch and I was on my own on the hill. I did four sets of hooves in an hour and a half. ONe was so bad I had to call Boss back, because one clew had a puncture and the other was a mess.
Boss was cleaning it up(she is the BEST on hooves-I call her the "Mac Ridley"-a reknown farrier in these parts-of goat's feet)and I was leaning over the goat observing (I love to watch a good hoof trim!) when I felt a cool mist-I thought it was misting-and Boss let out an exclamation!!!
Homer, the grey buckling, was standing nearby giving us a goatie bucky golden shower with his urine!!! Yes, I still think it is funny! hehehe
Moonie spent one whole day over the weekend jumping the fence-and finally I could stand now more and put him in with the bucklings. I thought they would kick his ass, but since little homeboy Derek, who grew up respecting Uncle Moonie, is lord of my bucklings, they all now bow to Mr. Moonshadow. Well, I plan to wether the lot of them soon.
Scrounging for hay-bought five bales for 4.25 each-ouch since I was paying 3 for organic!
Cleaned the chimney yesterday in high winds, but the stove was out cold and the stove had been smuttering for days it was so plugged.
That was quite a project-the lat time, in January, was a quick job. This time, I had re-arranged my bedroom in the interim, so I had to move the mattress and box spring to position the ladder for the hatch in the ceiling. I felt like comedy central trying to move the queesnsized mattress, sans handles, by myself, but managed to do it with out breaking anything.
Once on the roof, it was bloody gorgeous out-I was tempted to haul up a lawn chair and soak up a few strong spring rays, the hell with the wind...However, I bent to task and ran up and down twice yanking the chimney brush and enormous clouds of creosote despite the plastic shield I put around the bottom-can you say, "black snot"?
Then it was time to tap out the elbow. WTF?!?!? The thing fell apart. Good thing it was off the stove, and it was a decade old now...
That left the whole project in limbo while I ran off on errands, now including an elbow and reducer...think it ends there? Wrongo bongo...Then I had to bring it home and sheet metal screw the damn thing, don't get me wrong here, any regular reader will know that I am pretty independent (can you spell I did, at this point, wish for THE GUY. Yes, sheet metal screwing stovepipe is a man's job, goddammit...
Well, it was down to me, if I didn't get it all re-connected, it was going to be a chilly night, but somehow I half-assed it and yes, managed to get a fire going before nightfall. And, I think it is safe, so that is cool.
Politics: Al Gore has been a busy topic for me this week, with a CBS 60 minutes interview that showed me exactly WHY he did not run for president this time around. The last fiasco crushed him, and he found a cause in Climate Change to bring him out of the bottom of the pit.
Now Obama is claiming that he is willing to give Gore a high level cabinet post..(please don't presume that Al will go for another VP ).
I have seen that Obama will be our next president, and while his declaration of direct Al Gore involvement is encourging,Obama also indicated that Global warming should be addressed now, not in ten years. Still sound good? Well, the favored position of attack would be to trade carbon credits, and reduce consumption .
Since this leads to higher energy costs via carbon taxes, the spiel is to reduce and with possible intial tax recovery going to compensate poor folk that cannot afford the higher prices...while they are learning to reduce consumption...(obviously Barack has never been poor enough to know how to reduce consumption-which the poor already do....)
Guess that's all for now, folks...