Saturday, May 31, 2008

Abstract Garden

And so she comes to dream herself the tree,
The wind possessing her, weaving her young veins,
Holding her to the sky and its quick blue,
Drowning the fever of her hands in sunlight.
She has no memory, nor fear, nor hope
Beyond the grass and shadows at her feet.-
Hart Crane, 1932

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blossy 508


Ok, I was going to go water the garden-then turned around and saw this. Doesn't that look comfy? LOL.

Hard to get the bed made when there is always a cat sleeping on it...

And this is the guy I refer to in the next post-he's fine, really!

Don't read superstitions before bedtime

TGIF! (Thank God it's Friday)
Right beforeI left home this morning I kicked the cat. Well, not exactly, more of a shove with the side of my foot. He was trying to make a mad escape out the door while I was calling goodbye to the Firebird and little Tree. The cat came here declawed-so he must be an indoor cat for his own safety.

After I gave him the shove I felt horrible and picked him up and had him purring in no time. Then I remembered it is bad luck to kick a cat, so I apologized to him. I should have knocked on wood.

I was halfway to the farm when I realized I had left my coffee. I had nothing else to drink in the car. I figured that was my bad luck-instant Karma. But, there was some good luck, because I realized in time to take the long way, which goes by a little market that sells coffee to go amoung other things. The coffee was awful, but at least I had a bevarage for the long hot morning.

Yesterday R and I finished hanging the gate , replaced a corner post, and finished the pasture division for the bucks. No combing, but I did help clean and grain the bucks.

Today I started off combing fat Clarke. He is so cute, with silky long white guard hair, but not much cashmere to speak of. I was mostly just prettying him up. He enjoyed it.

Then I saw AliGote had gobs hanging on him. He has a skin issue, so there was a ton of dandruff and places where it had matted. He had one big mat on the back of his neck, and he was so good I took off his collar and scissored through the mat in enough places to brush it out, and he was much relieved. I also gave him some Reiki, poor old guy.

One of the pushy wethers came over and Aligote walked off, leaving me empty handed. Boss put me on hooves. :(

I did Emerson's hooves; not too bad. Boss touched up at the end giving me a few suggestions since there were a few places I was unsure how to proceed.

Then we went to Jenny Nash, where Boss wanted me, apparently, since R was weedwhacking the fenceline, to wrap an apple tree with wire so the buck's wouldn't destroy it by stripping the bark. Sound easy?

Ha! That old tree was buried in the puckerbrush, with many old limbs laying everywhich way, and an enormous deadfall hung up right in the middle. Not only that, but the trunk was actually several, and leaning, and we had only brought a scrap of fence. What an awful job!

I dragged Boss over and she did help a bit and offer some suggestions, and I had more wire on the property from installing the gate this week. Boss told me to have R help me . Once I had enough wire and a helping hand, we were done in a flash.

After that, graining, cleaning, etc, I gave Zuess a quick slick to get the last bit of cashmere off him, and spent some time on Hjalmar, who STILL has a bunch of cashmere. So funny how they shed out at different rates.

Work for me at the farm is winding down-some busywork projects that need to be addressed, including more fencing at Prescott for the buck's winter quarters. That may not be finished by summer vacation; if not, it will be something to do in the autumn.

Now I have had a nice fattening lunch I think I will go feed the mosquitoes and water the garden. I hope we get rain tomorrow-it is VERY dry!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I am as superstitious as the next person. I knock on wood when making absolute statements, throw spilt salt over my left shoulder, and only pick up a penny if it is head's up. Tails up I flip it over and wish luck on the next finder. Trust me, you don't want to pick up a penny tail's up! True, innocent bystanders are often puzzled to see you reach down , thinking you are picking up the penny, to see you flip it over and leave it. :D But avoiding the bad luck is worth the slight embarassment-and you have to bend down to see what it is , anyhow, well, usually.

I was bored and googling (what wicked webs we weave) and decided I needed some good luck my way, and thought I would research it. I found a site,

that was both interesting and amusing. My most laughable one was a French saying, "It is bad luck to carry a cat across a stream." I envisioned the origion of this superstition as a Frenchman carrying his poor pussy across a stream, ,and knowing cat's fear and detestment of water, saw the cat digging deep furrows in the fellows arm, finished by perching on his scalp with twenty or so claws dug in deep, and the poor fellow dunking his sweet in the water to relieve his agony...well, I was raised on Sylvester and roadrunner-I chuckled quite a bit over that one...

Here's a few more and check the site for more when you are was enlightening. ;)

Good Luck: Fingers Crossed - By making the sign of the Christian faith with our fingers, evil spirits would be prevented from destroying our chances of good fortune.
So if you lie, cross your fingers and it is ok.

Good Luck: Knock on Wood - It was believed that good spirits lived in trees, and that by knocking on anything made from wood, we could call upon these spirits for protection against misfortune.
Good Luck: Saying God Bless You When Somebody Sneezes. When the great plague swept Europe., sufferers began sneezing violently which was a sign of death. The Pope therefore passed a law requiring people to bless the sneezer. At the same time, it was expected that anybody sneezing would cover their mouth with a cloth or their hand. This was obviously to stop the spreading of the disease, but many believed that it was to keep the soul intact. Sneezing 'into the air' would allow the soul to escape and death would be imminent. Up until this time, the opposite was true. Those who sneezed were congratulated, as it was believed that a violent sneeze would expel evil from their bodies.
Good Luck: A robin flying into the house
Good Luck: Sneezing 3 times before breakfast
Good Luck: Meeting 3 sheep
Good Luck: Looking at the new moon over your right shoulder
But not through glass
Good Luck: A 4-leaf clover
a five leafed is bad luck
Good Luck: Spilling wine while proposing a toast

breaking a glass during same is bad luck
Good Luck: Putting a dress on inside out
Good Luck: 9 peas in a pea pod
Good Luck: Hearing crickets singing
Good Luck: Picking up a pin Dropping a glove
Good Luck: A horseshoe Peacock feathers

peacock feathers are nlucky inside a house
Good Luck: Cutting your hair during a storm
Good Luck: Sleeping facing south
Good Luck: White heather
Good Luck: Picking up a pencil in the street
Good Luck: Breaking clear and uncolored glass

except during a toast
Good Luck: Walking in the rain
Good Luck: Sleeping on un-ironed sheets
Good Luck: Avoiding cracks in the sidewalk
Good Luck: An itch on the top of your head
Good Luck: Scissors hanging an a hook
Good Luck: A ladybug on you
Good Luck: Carrying an acorn on your person will ensure good luck & longevity!
Good Luck: To find a four-leaf clover means immense good luck, so keep it safe, if you lose it
Good Luck: To pick up a piece of coal that has fallen in your path.
Good Luck : To have one's garments caught up by a bush or briar when out walking is a promise of good luck, involving monetary gain.
Good Luck: New enterprises will be fortunate if begun at the time of the new moon.
Good Luck: If by chance you meet the same person twice when you are out on business. It is even luckier if you encounter him once when you are setting out and again when you are returning.
Good Luck: Dolphins swimming nearby a ship
Good Luck: A naked woman on board a boat is said to calm the seas.

wish I had known that that fourth of July!
Good Luck: Golfers can have a successful day on the course if they start their round with odd numbered clubs and don't use balls with numbers higher than 4
Good Luck: To set out for golfing on a rainy day
See a penny, pick it up; all day long you will have good luck.

If you eat a live toad first thing in the morning nothing worse will happen to you all day.
Ha! Should hope not!
A white rooster is considered very lucky, and should not be killed as it protects the farm on which it lives

I guess I am stuck with my roosters.
If you count the number of fish you caught, you will catch no more that day.

This is true!
Subcategory: Crow
One's bad, Two's luck, Three's health, Four's wealth, Five's sickness, Six is death. If a bird poops on your car, it is good luck.

If bird droppings land on your head it is good luck.

Subcategory: Ant
Believed to be the final earthly incarnation of fairies
Believed to be the souls of children who had died unbaptised
Believed to be the transmuted souls of the Druids who refused to accept Christianity
Break a leg, Knock 'em dead, and see you on the green!

Helen Thomas on Scott McClellan

Helen Thomas, "Queen of the White House press Corps", had a few words about Scott McClellan, former White House press secretary under GW Bush, and author of the current bestseller ripping the Bush administration.

In Helen's recent book, "Watchdogs of Democracy," she says,"McClellan was unflappable in defending the indefensible at times. I am, however, criticial of the media for taking too long to challenge the administration on the war, to ask the tough questions, to stop accepting at face value the administration's stand on war justification, human rights, and international cooperation, including violations of the Geneva Convention."

"On May 25, 2005:

Helen: The other day--in fact this week, you [McClellan]said that we, the United States, [are] in Afghanistan and Iraq by invitation. Would you like to correct that incredible distortion of American history--
Scott: No. We are--that's where we are currently--
Helen: In view of your credibility [which] is already mired? How can you say that?
Scott: Helen, I think everyone is this room knows that you're taking that comment out of context. There are two democratically -elected governments in Iraq and--
Helen: Were we invited into Iraq?
Scott: There are democratically elected governments now in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments, and we are there today--
Helen: You mean, if they asked us out, that we would haveleft?
Scott: No, Helen, I'm talking about today. We are there at their invitation. They are sovereign governments--
Helen: I'm talking about today, too.
Scott:--and we are doing all we can to train and equip their security forces so that they can provide for their own security as they move forward on a free and democratic future.
Helen: Did we invade those countries?
Scott: Go ahead, Steve [with your question, referring to Steve Holland, Reuters White House Correspondent]

Those were the days when I longed for ABC-TV's great Sam Donaldson to back up my questions as he always did, and I did the same for him and other daring reporters.

Then I realized that the old pros, reporters whom I had known in the past, many around during WWII and later the Vietnam War, reporters who had some historical perspective on government deception and folly, were not around anymore. "

Helen Thomas, Watchdogs Of Democracy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Crap I lost two pounds

First I want to edit in a congrats to Scott McClellan, former Whitehouse press secretary, who has released a book detailing the Bush administration's decision to design facts around supporting a war with Iraq.

The White House is already scrambling damage control, no surprise. Surely this book is guaranteed to bring a few more heads around to the truth- the catch is how many? Enough?

I had a follow up appointment with the Doc today for another manipulation.

His nurse weighed me and took my vitals, and I whispered to her to make sure she wrote 130 down for weight and she chuckled.

The first thing Doc said when he walked in and looked at my chart, "What, you've lost weight?"

I had no clue-"What did I weigh?"
"128," he replied.

"Well, I took a big dump before I left for the appointment," I responded.

He's not buying it.

"Are you TRYING to lose weight?" he asked several times in succession.

I protested vehemently. "Hey, I eat good food-chicken alfredo for lunch-I like beer. I say this dead serious. "I like GOOD beer. Not lite beer even. "

I ask him what he weighs. 149. Damn, there goes that theory. We go around a bit about the weight issue-I tell him to tell me to go on a diet and I will gain 20 pounds. LOL.
(Ooh Golden eagle did a fly by as I type this-cool)

I tell him I blogged about it and the comment I received..
"What was that?"he asked.

"You can't be too rich or too thin and you're halfway there ."

This was greeted with a blank stare. Wish I had the cam. The baby bird did not like THAT worm. hehehe.

One thing I did find out sort of in my favor is that I am shorter than I thought-5'7-3/4" not 8 or 9 as I had supposed. (sure I am not a guy? hehehe*snickers) That makes the lower weight spread a little easier.

Finally we moved onto the alignment. This time I was prepared. When faced with the choice between a VERY loose pair of jeans that demanded a belt, or the tight Italian ones, I put on the tight ones. I had my manure free shoes tucked under the chair with my keys and sunglasses. I was no fun today. :P

A few different techniques today, and a good crack to the lower thoracic vertebrae and one to the cervical, some manipulation of the right shoulder that I broke years ago...
One thing I definitely recall as the most painful was, when lying on my stomach, he bent each leg to make my heel touch my buttock. The right quad was screaming! Then I started to get a cramp in a back muscle...I am sure I will be paying for that stretch for two days!

Boss is back from Sweden and P has had two days off. I helped R catch babies and grain the does and the bucklings today-yesterday I combed Sheba and Bonnie. Bonnie was a bit better about letting a human so close to her little bucky boy.

I combed Chris yesterday-the last little bit of cashmere that was hanging on his back legs which you can see as he is rump-to in the lower pic. Yes, my male readers will cross their legs to hear that I had to take scissors to the last few mats dangling very near "his boys"-

"No more dingleberries" I said as I snipped. heheh

Today R and I each dug a fence post for a gate to divide the buck pasture. I didn't tell the doc how I spent that part of my morning. :D

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sunrise on the Hills

I stood upon the hills, when heaven's wide arch
Was glorious with the sun's returning march,
And woods were brightened, and soft gales
Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales.
The clouds were far beneath me; bathed in light,
They gathered mid-way round the wooded height,
And, in their fading glory, shone
Like hosts in battle overthrown.
As many a pinnacle, with shifting glance.
Through the gray mist thrust up its shattered lance,
And rocking on the cliff was left
The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft.
The veil of cloud was lifted, and below
Glowed the rich valley, and the river's flow
Was darkened by the forest's shade,
Or glistened in the white cascade;
Where upward, in the mellow blush of day,
The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral way.

I heard the distant waters dash,
I saw the current whirl and flash,
And richly, by the blue lake's silver beach,
The woods were bending with a silent reach.
Then o'er the vale, with gentle swell,
The music of the village bell
Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills;A
nd the wild horn, whose voice the woodland fills,
Was ringing to the merry shout,
That faint and far the glen sent out,
Where, answering to the sudden shot, thin smoke,
Through thick-leaved branches, from the dingle broke.

If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget,
If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the woods and hills! No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

view from my room


U.S. Consumer confidence is at an all time low, fueled by high gasoline prices and lower employment opportunities.

This affects across the board. We had a private showing of Prince Caspian yesterday at Maine's capital movie theatre. That's right a private showing. We were the only three in the theatre, and I let out a whoop when we stepped into the empty theatre,and waved to the projectionist in apology.

Prince Caspian was great! I took advantage of having a private showing to explain some of the more complicated bits to the Firebird and little tree. Although I read the Chronicles of Narnia many years ago, much came back as the movie progressed, and I found myself shouting "Reep-a Cheep!" when one of my more favorite characters made his initial appearance.

The special effects were spot on, and the only complaint we had was the occasional black blip that flicked through the right of the screen. As children, we used to account for them as spots on the film, but the pattern suggested more of a tracing of illegal copying than tape degradation.

Twice the maitre D made the rounds to make sure no one was taping or sneaking, and the cleaning guy ended up in the back row at the end-much to my suprise, as we had been a bit louder than protocol dictated. I was much relieved to see it was an employee rather than a patron!

Still, the major shopping center was rather vacant as we left town, and I had to wonder if the price of gasoline wasn't starting to really hit everyone here in Maine.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Phoenix has landed! The latest Mars mission has safely landed in the Martian arctic. The job is to stay put and take and analyze soil and, hopefully, ice samples.

Finally put some time in the garden today. We planted more peas, carrots, gladiolas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, zuccini, yellow crookneck..lots of flowers.

After a nice long lunchbreak I went out to keep working, and found myself on the lawn chair soaking up some good sun before putting the push on to plant more in the garden.

The mosquitoes are out in full force. Generally we have a bout of black flies (biting gnats) that strike before the mosquitoes. I have never seen mozzies like this so soon in the season.

The bugs were so bad, when I let the little goats out to mow the lawn, Obi Wan couldn't bear it and ran back to shelter. The others would race to different places trying to drop the cloud of mosquitoes. Some opted to lie down and eat to protect their bellies.

I decided it was a good night to switch over to graining in the morning, as once we had the goats back in the pen for graining, they all hid in the shelters, covered with mosquitoes, and refused to come out.

I was going to spray them with bug spray, but I prefer to do that out in the open, and they wouldn't come out. Plus one of the little guys is scared of me now because the spray frightened him last week.

One of my neighbors called last night asking if I had a white cat, and then if I wanted one? She had one hanging around and she figured someone dumped it along the road. I discovered that she and I both have adopted abandoned cats and we are at our limits!

This morning I saw a big old grey tom in the front yard, which ran like lightning when the little tree went out to greet it. Then on the way home from dinner tonight, I saw a black and white tom running down and then across the woods in the stretch where it is only that makes at least three cats by my calculations.

I guess folks think dumping cats down some country lane in the summer is an idyllic existence, but the ones that survive into winter turn to frostbitten skin and bones that raid trashcans in desperation...a sad fate for any pet.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Willie and Monarch


I have to add this pic I took yesterday of Willie and Monarch. They are so handsome!

I look rather handsome too in my boyish I was thinking later I wonder what R, who was cleaning while I was walking, would have thought seeing me slip on some little sundress or other for the pic! hehehe.

I know Chris and Leif would have loved it-they are the two black bucks making a beeline for me in the lower pic. I spent several shots having them chase me from the camera to the prearranged spot while the camera was on timer. The first three they are rubbing all over me getting scratches, and in this last one, I managed to circle around before they reached me.

Silly boys.

I finally had my muffler and tire fixed this morning. My trusty mechanic chased me down, returning my calls, and had me fixed up and on the road in a few hours.

I tapped on a friend for a lift and we hit the enormous garden center in the meantime.

Yeah, I should be starting my own tomato and pepper seedlings, but this year I just bought seedlings of several tomatoes, peppers, brocc and going to try brussel sprouts, as they did well for a friend last year.

They will have to wait until tomorrow to go in-I discovered a moose has taken down several sections of electric fence in the night, and left fresh tracks, which will take most of the rest of the afternoon to repair. So once again, the garden waits on the livestock.

But, hey, at least it's a long weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008



Chevy May 08



Yeah! Long weekend! Happy Memorial Day!

Took some pictures of the herd in the field this am before heading out to walk bucks and wash their feet.

Monarch was much improved. Leif and Lars have come up lame . I suspect sticks, as I removed one from Lar's front clews.

Walking the Bucks


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday feels like Friday. I wish!

I changed my first flat tire yesterday morning. Lucky for me I had the opportunity a few weeks ago when I was mired to familiarize myself with the jack and how to get it out of the car.

Unlucky me, I didn't know how to get the spoke hubcaps off the tire to get at the lugs.

I popped the center cover, and tried to prise the cover off, but it was obviously not going to come off. So I called a friend and ask him if he knew how to get them off. LOL.

He offerred to come by since he was on the road in a nearby town, but I said I would look for further instructions with the vehicle.

ONe the jack and spare(donut) cover, it said, "if car has spoke wheels refer to special instructions," with no indication as to where to find those instructions.

I finally looked in the manual in the glovebox, and it directed me to find a special key to unluck the hubs, which was in the glovebox. NOT in the glovebox!

I decided to search the boot, and did find the key, as well as my portable air compressor, which I thought I had thrown away, because I thought it was broken. I decided to try the compessor, and had to jack the tire up because it was so flat.

The compressor DOES still work, but air was pouring out, so I figured I had no choice but to put the donut on.

I took the key and tried to fit it in the hub, and it kept being uncooperative. Finally I had it lined up and engaged and cranked on it with a lot of torque, and when it let go, I sprung my wrist.

This was more than I could bear, and I threw myself on the dirt on my back, clutching my wrist and burst out sobbing with a verbal query to God as to feeling pretty sorry for myself.

A sudden light spatter of raindrops, a few hit me, and a breath of compassion, and suddenly I am filled with the fact that I can do it, and I do, I change the tire and put the donut on, and manage to only be an hour late at the farm.


It's been hide hair, and eyeballs at the farm the last two days, and oh, yes, Monarch came up terribly lame, so we did not walk the boys yesterday, and I irrigated his foot with hoof and heel solution.

First thing this am, I tackled one of the wethers, whose hooves were incredibly overgrown, and one had torn and separated from the hoof wall. What a mess, the poor gigantor (he's the biggest goat on the farm)shivered and kept putting all his weight on me, causing me to drop the foot, and him crash to his knee on the barn floor.

I was puffing and panting and cursing myself for taking on the job, green fresh goat manure from his feet....hooves are a gross job, no doubt about it.

Didn't help that I came out of the doctor's appointment lame as hell...Once those muscles that have been contracted are stretched out, they get sore afterward. I would have thought by today I would have been feeling grand, but an erratic sleep and active dream state weren't conducive to healing, apparently.

The good news is that Monarch was much improved on the sore foot today-the hooves looked fine, I think he took a stab in between the clews. I washed him thoroughly again and brushed Hjalmar, who is still releasing cashmere .

My own gang of goats need feet trimmed and the garden needs more work...there is the afternoon list. ;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

loon in pond 5/08


Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour of the parietal lobe.

I am praying for you, Teddy!

Monday, May 19, 2008



Too thin

I have pain in the ass syndrome. At least that is what I like to call it. "Piriformis syndrome" is the medical term for it.

The piriformis is a muscle in the gluteal, or arse. The piriformis runs diagonally from the lowerlumbar to the hip. Mine has been in permanent seizure for over a month, and I finally decided to hassle setting up a doctor's appointment.

The same thing happened a year or two ago, and two manipulations from the doc and I was right as rain.

After three phone calls and two days the nurse finally called me back and said, "He can see you at 11:15 Monday." She is a large, grumpy woman, and her tone brooks no finangling the day or time.

I paused, took a breath, and (tried to) said brightly, "Ok, see you at 11:15"

This created a bit of a problem, since I am already obligated to make sure the bucks are doing ok in Boss' absense, esp since there has been trouble and I had the weekend off.

I called P and we agreed I would just go straight to the bucks with R this am so I could finish early. Things were much improved-Will's nose had drained and was scabbing over, Grey's eye was clearing, and Leif was up and about. The new buck, Chris, tried to rub and then horn R when R wouldn't give him his scratches. Chris finally came up to me and delighted in rubbing his itching face all over my legs while I dug my fingers deep into his mane and back giving him his scratches.

The day finished early, I headed off to my appointment. I was driving down the road and saw an oncoming car pass over what I thought was a dead bird on the road, which began flopping and fluttering, obviously still alive but injured.

I stopped the car and backed up and reached out the door with both hands and scooped the poor creature up and placed it on my work clothes in the passenger seat. I cupped my hand over it to keep it from crashing around in the car.

I learned that trick after picking up a dazed robin once with the dog in the car, and a couple of miles down the road, the robin came to and started bashing around the car with the dog flipping out and me trying to find a safe place to pull over. I opened the door and the bird flew out, and I always wondered what it thought to find itself a few miles from home? Hehe.

Anyhow, this bird today, which appeared to be a catbird, stayed under my hand while I gave it Reiki and drove with the other hand. I have a vibration in the car, and the poor bird was jiggling away under my hand. It's eyes were half closed, and it's head tipped back against my hand. I thought it had died by the time I pulled into the docs.

I parked the car and moved my hand to check the bird, and it flew to the floor of the passenger side and climbed the rug and clung just under the dashboard. Not want to frighten it further, I left it there while I went in for my appointment.

I expected to have someone come in and ask who had a bird flying around in the car, but no one did.

Finally, it was my turn to see the doc.

My doc is an interesting person. He is not a large man, about my height and very slightly built. He is probably in his forties. He cuts his hair very short to allow for the fact he doesn't have much, and looks like a newly hatched baby bird in appearance, with short fine hair sticking up and a bird-like appearance. He is a bright wit and we have knocked heads on several occasions in good humour. I find myself slightly attracted to him.

I had left my work boots encased in a plastic shopping bag in the waiting room, because,although I remembered a change of clothes, I had forgotton shoes, and mine were encased in buck poop. I was half way through putting a clean pair of socks on when he entered, and he got right to business, expecting me to put the sock on and describe my pain at the same time. LOL.

Then the process began:

First I stand and then he pokes and prods me, then I stand back-to and he pokes some more (checking spinal alignment, I presume). He plucks my dangling car keys out of my back pocket and swings them around and tosses them into the chair on my magazine, and they stay.

"Nice throw," I say

"Thanks," he returns.

The poking and prodding progresses to getting on the table, where he starts pushing and pulling and twisting my legs around, which is really hitting the spot. He is good.

After a few minutes of this, I have entered into a state of Nirvana. LOL. Then he is undoing my belt. The belt is enormous-might be a 38" belt that I have had to poke holes into to fit. I am wearing it because I chose to wear my largest pair of light jeans, knowing what a manipulation entails. He pulls the belt through the loops in one big yank and tosses that aside.

"it's getting in the way," he says.

The he opens my jeans up a little so he can reach the hips and keeps pulling and twisting.

"Flip over"

I roll onto my stomach and he tears a hole in the paper, exposing those handy openings you put your face over, so you don't suffocate while being worked on.

My sunglasses are perched on top of my head. He plucks those and they join the keys on the chair.

Then he twists me around some more, and has me lay on my side. Oh boy, the highlight. I can never remember exactly what he does, but it involves being twisted into a pretzel while he tells me things like, "push your thigh up and out towards the wall" while he is applying opposing pressure to three parts of my body at once.

He gets very short if I don't do exactly what he tells me.

"NO! Towards the wall!"

Finally our full body embrace ends and I stand to leave.

"You are too skinny," he says.

I protest.

He (once again) goes back through my chart (we have been through this before) and gloatinglypoints out that several years ago, before the end of my last relationship, I was 150. No matter I have been 130 for several years before and after.

"Well, he was a good cook!" I offer in my own defense.

Doc rolls his eyes at me.

I think back on it, and I bet I outweigh the little guy. Maybe he just likes chubby women.

Still, I have a lingering pall that the sexy doc who has just practically ravished me on his table is telling me I am too thin. I try to brandish a bicep at him as he leaves and I follow.

"WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES?!?!" he enquires as I walk away.

I explain my buck feces encrusted boots are waiting in a sack in the waiting room, and he walks away nodding and shaking his head.

I schedule another appointment and pad out to collect my boots and check on the bird. The bird is still in the same place, so my decsion was to return to where I found it and then check it to see if it can fly. I drive several miles back to where I found the bird, and find a likely place to pull over safely while I check the bird out.

The bird has now crawled up behind the dashboard, and the onlything visible is the tip of it's tail feathers. I wonder for a minute if I am going to have to have someone tear the car apart to get it out, and decided to just reach up and grab what I can.

A tug, three tail feathers, and a cheep, and the bird is free flying around in the car. I opened the side door and popped the back, and the bird flew out the car and over a field towards some trees, a bit wobbly perhaps, but on the wing andheaded home.

The three tail feathers lie on the passenger side floor.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

hometalk Farmtalk


Another hard week at the farm. Thursday the fellow showed up with the tractor to clean uner the barn. Lucky us, we get to hand dig what he can't get. Fortuneately, it's not like the cow swers you see...not much worse than turning a manure pile.

Boss left for a trip to Sweden! I am in charge of the bucks during the weekday mornings, and there is already trouble. Willy looks like he was stung by a wasp on his nose, Zuess is limping, Hippolyta's grey is getting eye meds for a scratch, and now P tells me something is wrong with Leif.

The last pregnant doe delivered triplets yesterday. Boss was going to postpone her trip i ncase there was trouble, but went anyhow. Everything went fine, although P called in a bit of a panic yesterday. Placenta covered triplets can be quite a sight. LOL.

Cricket the goat woke me up at an unearthly hour, and I decided I was moving the girls RIGHT THEN! I tossed the boys hay in the woods and led the does with a can of grain, still in my pj's, into the other pen. They ran all around, then the boys came back, and there was some butting and Cricket still wouldn't shut up!!! Maaa-maaa-MAAAAA-aaaaAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

Finally I went in and grubbed out the big house down to the bottom, and moved two little houses, and finished another shelter. That gave them plenty to think about and the night feeding went fairly well considering we were juggling a large group at once.

Cricket hadn't been in that pen in a year, and still went to her old spot for grain. One of the boys gets fed there now, so there was a bit of shuffling as we straightened everyone out.

I did ZIP in the garden all weekend! The goats took up too much time, but they should be set for a while now, and no more Cricket screaming under my bedroom window!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"The greatest tenderness a woman can show to a man, is to help him to do his duty."

he can sprint, but can he run?

Big Brown is just one more jewel away from the Triple Crown, after winning today's Maryland Preakness.

I forgot to watch, or rather, don't care to watch standard coverage, as they never show adequate shots of the horses, preferring to focus on the pretty people and commentary.

Here's how to judge a good racehorse: You want an intelligent eye and a well formed neck. you want a deep broad chest. That's where the wind and stamina come from. You want a nice full round end with even hocks and strong cannon bones for the distance guys. From that deep broad chest straight strong legs should spring-the wide chest gives them the spread. Good pasterns and no paddling. The Thin dainty porcelan ones might be good in a sprint, but the next jewel is about stamina.

The Preakness is under a mile-13/16 of a mile. The Belmont, June 7 in New York, is a mile and a half.

Big Brown's jockey is Kent Desormeaux, a cajun who started off racing in Maryland, moved to Cali, and returned to New York, so he was not only familiar with Pimlico but also will be familiar with the track at Belmont.

This is Desormeaux's second try at the Triple Crown, losing the Belmont in 1998 on
Real Quiet.

Kent Desormeaux has a wife and two sons, one of whom, age 9, has a rare genetic disorder called "Usher's syndrome" which leads to loss of hearing and blindness. His family was at Pimilico to cheer him on to victory today.

Thought is the blossom; language is the bud; action is the fruit behind it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Fine Day
After all the rain, the sun
Shines on hill and grassy mead;
Fly into the garden, child,
You are very glad indeed.

For the days have been so dull,
Oh, so special dark and drear,
That you told me, "Mr. Sun
Has forgotten we live here."

Dew upon the lily lawn,
Dew upon the garden beds;
Daintly from all the leaves
Pop the little primrose heads.

And the violets in the copse
With their parasols of green
Take a little peek at you;
They're the bluest you have seen.

On the lilac tree a bird
Singing first a little not,
Then a burst of happy song
Bubbles in his lifted throat.

O the sun, the comfy sun!
This the song that you must sing,
"Thank you for the birds, the flowers,
Thank you, sun, for everything."

Katherine Mansfield

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Canadian Geese 508 Tree

Taking the long way around to the farm paid off again this am. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite stretches of local road most times of the year. (In snowstorms and foul weather the snow drifts at the top and the backside is steep and curvy and prone to ice sheets.)

I had to turn around and go back to get this pic-the geese were quite cooperative, since they were so far away.
While downlaoding the pics, I had to reflect how lucky I am. Between the tornados in the midwest, monsoon in former Burma, and the massive earthquake in China, so many folks are spending the night with everything they have known compassion goes out to those folks in need.
Just to put it in perspective, one of the cities in China that was hard hit has a population like New York City, and 99% of those folks are camping out in the streets.


P was off at the farm again today, and I finished collaring the main barn while R grained. Then R, Boss and I herded the two little wethers, Pablo and Carmells' brown, into the stall with the three remaining 07 doelings. Well, we got Pablo in, but not the brown. He will tame up soon enough.

I then started combing. I finished off two ancient wethers who stared up at me with their teeth jutting out in goaty grins while I made them handsome.

Boss asked me to comb Bonnie, and while she was a pleasant comb while pregnant a few weeks ago, today she was glare eyed and jumpy, protective over her shy homely little single black buckling. I made a comment to Boss about his funky head, and had to restate it more gently when she replied sharply. Hehehe. Boss said he had been very large and Bonnie had a tough time. I didn't spend too much time on Bonnie today. :P

An exciting turn of events, Boss was purchasing another buck, and told me he was a mess and would need combing. As is usual at the farm, the folks didn't show on time, so R and I went ahead to the bucks , now at Jenny Nash.

R let them out for their walk while I cleaned. Boss showed up a bit later and said the folks had not arrived yet, and to go ahead and grain the boys, and gave me the names of two who needed their feet washed.

I had R hold up each foot for washing, since I tore my hand on a goat horn yesterday at my own place, and did NOT want to get the hoof wash on the cut, since it burns like FIRE on a wound. Works great on goat feet, though.

Next I singled Leif out for another comb, since he had streamers of cashmere hanging off his flanks. Usually that is a jumpy place for a goat to have brushed, but Leif and I are old hands now, and between the itchy shedding and the blackflies, he was more than willing to let me vigorously brush him.

Finally Boss arrived, followed by a pickup. The new buck, Chris, was tied in the back of the truck. Need a combing?!?!?!? He looked like one of those caribou or yaks or wild bison with the blankets of fiber hanging off them. It was unbelievable!!!!

R and I immediately took him over and chained him to the fence. I gave the new goat lots of scratches and small talk and a few corn treats and started trying to clean him up. It was sort of a nightmare! I think if it had been up to me I would have done some heavy scissor work, The cashmere had started to felt and was cemented into the tips of all the guard hair. I didn't want to just rip him, so I was tediously teasing individual guard hairs out trying to loosen the gobs of cashmere.

Boss started working on the back of the same side as myself-I was up at the neck and shoulder. Boss put R to work on the other side. We took three big bags off him in an hour and haven't begun to clean him up.

His former owners stood and watched and at first said that they had been told not to brush him as it wrecks the fiber. Then they said that the goat wouldn't let them brush him-but they never tried to tie him to brush him!

I put the exclamation point there, because I had to learn the hard way that if you need to do something to a goat, you need to collar and tie them. Sometimes I can check a foot quickly, but they know they are not tied and will not stand. Even goats that don't mind combing will generally run if I give them a swipe or two with the brush if they are crowding me while I am working on a tied goat.

Certainly the handsome boy had not been neglected-he is quite chubby and was very easy to handle, it was just a matter of them only having the one goat and not a lot of experience. Also in the folks defense, bucks smell. Not many people would want to start digging their fingers into buck hair. The woman even made a point to tell me that the goat's nickname was "stinky".
He will be "handsome"by the time we get him cleaned up. :)

Update: regarding the Secretariat post a few back. Secretariat's Triple Crown jockey, Ron Turcotte was originally from Maine and learned his horse whispering skills working logging horses as a teen in Northern Maine.

Ron was thrown a few years after the Triple Crown win during a race, and became a paraplegic.

Right Whales:

While Maine lobstermen (and women) are investing thousands of dollars upgrading their gear for the coming season to help protect endangered Right Whales summering in the Bay of Fundy, the office of the Vice President and Finance are giving the shipping companies the blind eye.

Despite Government funded Scientific studies that determined ships need to slow down in Whale travel lanes, ,the shipping lobby has caught the ear of the administration, and the rule changes are being delayed while the data is being re-examined.

Lobstermen are changing over their ropes to sinking rope to help prevent whale entanglement. While I have never worked on a lobster boat, I have had the pleasure of observing the lobster catching process from another boat.

The lobster boat captain pulls up to his specially marked floating bouy that marks his trapline. The sternman hooks the bouy and line onto a winch, which pulls the first trap up from the bottom. The sterman hooks the trap, cleans it out of seaweed, starfish, crabs, and measures any lobsters for minimum size.

Then the winch keeps going and pulls the next trap in line. Because traps are laid out strung together. Formerly the rope between traps would float off the bottom, creating hazards for whales, especially if the trap gets lost in a storm.

Whales become entangled in the line and starve to death.

The new rules for lobster gear includes sinking line to replace standard line that floated.

Ships are deadly to whales from ship to whale impact. I was once on the ferry to Moneghan Island and saw a right whale surface not 10 yards from the ferry, which was chugging right along. Big ships travel faster and can easily kill a whale , so the new rules were to slow them down in whale areas. Although the economic cost to the shipping industry was less than 1%, the White House has determined that is too high a cost to protect endangered species.

The lobsterfolk are paying up to 8% to upgrade their gear.

Monday, May 12, 2008

May in Maine

Duck in Blueberry barrens 5/08 8:25am Tree

On the way to the farm this am, I saw what I thought was a hen mallard in this vernal pool in the blueberry barrens. The blueberry bushes are the reddish in the grass. I stopped and reversed the car, with roaring exhaust, (I tore the tailpipe off on the well cover at Prescott last week and have yet to replace the muffler,) and still managed to get the shot, although I really need a better zoom if I want to persue wildlife!

I was going to crop the shot, but the rest of the landscape is just to freaking beautiful to dump-May in Maine in my neck of the woods...beautiful, no?

farmtalk, hometalk


P took the day off the farm , so when I arrived I went to work helping R catch baby goats and team them up with mothers, and grained the rest of the main herd. Then we pulled the task of relocating two of the newly wethered bucklings off the hill and bringing them into the main herd.

R took Pablo and I took Carmella's brown. I had him on long rope lead, and the few times I got him moving forward, he would bolt to the end of the rope and then pivot around to the right, so I was once again in the position of being ahead of him and trying not to drag him.

R wasn't messing around and had Pablo in the lead, both front legs locked forward leaving drag marks as they went down the hill. I should have had it easier in the rear postion, but the little guys were certain they were headed towards doom and refused to lead.

We dragged them over the foot bridge and across the road.

Once onto the front lawn, I tried looping the lead around his butt and pulling and both ends at the same time with no better luck. R shoved Pablo through the gate, and we each took one of Carmella's brown's horns and dragged him in the rest of the way, with me cajoling, "Don't you want to see your Mommy?", and Boss observing from the house sunporch.

Once through the gate, trailing little pathetic bleats, I watched as Carmella's brown singled his mom out of 50 goats, and went directly to her where she was lyng down, and touched noses. She stood up and he turned and trotted off. I felt very emotional. LOL.

These boys had been up on the hill for nearly a year after weaning late last spring.

Later I was describing the scene to Boss, and she interjected, "did she butt him? They often do...."

I replied, "Maybe that is why she stood and he trotted off..."

Ah well....

The next task was securing the goose house door , while Boss held the two more vicious ganders at bay with her broom and pan.

Then I built a new gate-the one that busted in the Pollux incident-guess I finally cooled down after a couple and had the gate built and installed in an hour or so, with shiplap scrap and some screws, recycling the old hardware.


At the home front, the russet potatoes went in, the little lettuce, spinach, cosmos, and cleome seedlings were watered, and a few red pototoe sets went in as well.

I prepped another bed for probably tomatoes next week.

Missing the dog. Stayed up late viewing all the humane societies in the state last night. I think a mixed breed rescue sounds like a good plan. Seeing their pictures, makes me want to take ten!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Burial

Louise's Body, wrapped in two bed sheets that were my mother's, lay waiting in a plastic tobaggan for burial this morning.

We buried her sister by ourselves last fall, but sanity made a brief appearance and prompted me to call a person I could always count on in a pinch, the father of my oldest, "the boy who lived in the Tree".

He was in the midst if Mother's Day obligations, and told me he would be here in a hour and a half or so.

We did our morning chores and picked a site in the pet cemetary.

Typically I use a bottomless supply of dried roses to sprinkle in the grave and the sheet-wrapped body, but the last interrment in November of Saint's Cherokee had cleaned me out.

So we went on a flower gathering mission with a couple of wicker Easter baskets. Every Dandelion, every white and blue violet, springs of just opening bleeding heart, led to handfuls of spearmint and peppermint and beebalm, fern fronds, horsetail, pine fronds, fir tips, the tender red maples leaves just growing...

We started on the grave, clipping roots and gathering handfuls of duff after first raking a spot clear.

Suddenly "The Boy who lived in the Tree" showed up. I had been unable to contact him, and he had passed his father enroute...Sweet Louise had been his dog...

He placed his lovely Mother's Day bouquet to the side in the woods and started helping dig the grave. By the time his father showed up, we had hit a major obstacle-and enourmous rock in the center of the grave just below root line.

We lengthened the grave at the other end, and I started backfilling above therock. All of us dug and dug-Louise was a big dog, even though I tucked her in last night, before rigor set in.

The little Willow took the job of rock grubbing, giving us time to pause every few minutes when she leapt unannounced after a rock for the top of the grave.

ONce the grave was dug, we dropped sprigs of pine and fir and mint for an underlayment, and The three adults lowered her body in place. Then we sprinkled the gathered flowers and herbs over the top of her sheet-wrapped body.

I desperately wanted a smoke at this point, which would have included a walk to the house. I choked up briefly trying to say a few words, and decided I would go through without the smoke, and we filled her grave in.

We had not found enough rock in digging, but I had several choice piles of rose and smoky quartz that I had gathered last year for some masonry project. They all went to fill out the grave, and the little Willow finished with silk flowers from her craft supply, and the little Firebird finished in with the clamshells I found earlier in the week.

Rest in Peace, Louise.

Sweet Louise

Louise 3/07 file photo Tree

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Rest in Peace Sweet Louise

Louise 12/07 file photo Tree

Rest in Peace Louise!
May 12, 1997-May 10, 2008.
Breed: Bullmastiff
Color: Red Fawn Brindle, Black Mask, White star on chest.
Nicknames: squeezy Wheezy

Lovingly remembered for :
Flying squeezy kisses=unsuspecting guest pets and goos and gaas and "Slurp" finds a Louise tongue in mouth. Classic.
Greeting me at the door with any shoe that is handy as a "present".
Waiting quietly under the kitchen table for breakfast leftovers.
Dancing. She loved to dance.

We grieve our loss. Rest in Peace Sweet Louise.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Uud and Uureka

This is one of my favorite does on the farm, old Uud, and her '07 doeling, "uureka". UUd was scheduled for slaughter last fall, but after having won best fleece in her division at Rhinebeck last fall, I dropped numerous hints to boss to save her.

Uud is showing her age, and I have had several moments when I questioned whether I was correct in standing her defense last fall, as goat herds can be brutal to the weak and old.

I think this photo taken today erases all doubt in my mind.

After I shot this pic I fished my banana out of the car and peeled a third of the peel off and handed it through the gate to UUd-one of her favorite treats. I needed the rest of the peel to keep my dirty fingers off the banana on the ride home. ;)

Happy Mother's day to all you mothers out there. :)

To A Poor Old Woman

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her

They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand


a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air

William Carlos Williams

The Grackle in His Black Silk Suit

It was the song, its consistent repeat
that drew me outside to discover the source—

a fancy flourish in a tux, a tiptoeing tenor,
a tease with dips and bows, a high wire act.

His apparent audience: the small lady in a front seat,
glimpsing the show while smoothing brown pleats

and me who stared silently, wiping hands on an apron
before sitting on porch steps to watch the show.

Mid-routine, the lady flew up an aisle, wing beats
brushing feather dust in my face as she raced by

as if to tell me that I could have him:
all he did was sing and dance, nothing more.

His intended gone, the tone changed to squawks
scolding me as if it was my fault she left.

Margaret Ellis Hill

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Bluets Houstonia caerulea


A long week so far at the farm! I started out combing a lot of cashmere off some of the wethers. Those old guys are so cute!

Then tragedy struck yesterday. ONe of the old guys was found down in the field in the morning in a bad way, and he was euthanized late yesterday morning.

M called me this morning for a ride, an I was happy to pick him up, as I assumed he would be on the gravedigging detail. Alas, I was put in charge of the "two boys", and since the compost heap is getting rather full, M led me well up the road into the woods by an old foundation, and pointed out several graves.

Dismayed, as I am quite aware what it is like digging animal graves in the woods, M picked a likely spot and we started root chopping. R showed up in a little bit, and we had hardly made any progress. It took the three of us at least an hour to dig the hole.

We put the rocks separate from the dirt for the top of the grave.

P showed up after a little bit and smoked cigarettes and watched us. She and I put the body, slung in a sheet, in the hole, and had to gt one of the boys to help us tug it into position, as one of the hinds legs had stiffened out. The goat, King, still had a large rack of horn. Once the weather warms time becomes of the essence in animal burials, so we had to allow room for his horns as we put his sheet-wrapped body in the hole.

The boys started to fill it right in, and I took a small hemlock branch and placed it over the sheet where the face would be and started backfilling the grave with the boys. Halfway through I thought maybe we should have got Boss but it was too late.

When we finished R offered me a smoke, and I had to have him stick it in my mouth and light it for me. I had been the major rock grubber and my hands were encased in sticky clay. I made the standard joke of having him smoke it for me as well.

When we arrived back to the barn, Boss and Mr. Boss were loading the two Great Pyranees in the back of a four-door SAAB(!!!!!!) to go to the vet, and Boss was heartbroken we had not come to get her for the burial. I still feel awful about it, and let P and R and M know next time to make sure to get Boss when we are readyfor interrment!

Then we agreed that today was the day to move the bucks back to the Nash farm. Yeah!! They actually have grass and large pastures there, although the black flies were unbearable!

I helped load thefirst four bucks and went ahead in my car to hook up the fence charger. Then I was left in position of goat watching until all the herd had been moved over. Tough job!!!

I sat outside the fence at the top where they were grazing and smoked cigs and drank cold coffee. I listened to the blue jays calling and watched a nicely colored land snail slurping it's way over a metal post lying in the grass.

Nature didn't stop when I came home. I decided to take a walk streamside now the floodwaters have gone done. This time of year, the marsh grass is just a few inches high, and the alders have yet to leaf out. The marsh is intersected with channels, some too wide fo me to safely broad jump without a wet foot( ask me how I know this). Today I had to find a few flood-washed logs to make questionable cat walks over some of the channels, determined to reach the lower corner, which I have yet to achieve.

At one place along the stream, a large maple was tipped across the current and still continued to grow, sending upward branches from its now-horizontal trunk. This has created an excellent place for the collection of flotsam and jettson, and I could not pass up the treat of balancing my way over the rushing streams; a fistful of maple buds in each hand for balance as I crossed the fastest part.

Once there, I saw the ancient bottom of a disintergrated skiff jammed upright in some deadfall. I tested one of the logs to see if it was going to sink beneath me and found it lodged firm. I crossed out over the current to tug at the rotted plywood skiff bottom, to find it brittle in my hands, and wedged tighter than I could manage without a swim. My knees got wet while I sat on the log with my feet tucked up behind me.

On the way back, I picked up a handful of freshwater clams shells I found in one of the channels, and paused to admire a wild male mallard swimming upstream.

I picked my way back through the marsh juggling the stack of delicate pearly clamshells in one hand.

As I moved away from the water, the air became hot and stuffy. The clouds are looming large and dark and I am hoping it is too early in the season for a thunderstorm!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Me and my big mouth

Juvenile Golden? Classic eagle pose! Tree

Last night I was doing some research into eagles in Maine,and was suprised to find, or rather, not find, "my" goldens' area not noted on the Fish and Wildlife map. At the end of the web page was a phone number to call to report sitings of endangered species, (which includes Golden Eagles)

This all came about following yesterday's siting, and discovering that local educators had been saying the birds were Turkey Vultures, or Buzzards. There are Turkey Vultures in this area, also a rarity. I have seen them a few times, as whenever I see a large brown bird I look for the red head, and if I find one, I think, "yuk". Carrion eaters. LOL.

Today I called the number provided on the web site, and was re-directed to the Eagle Specialist, who happened to be in his office. (this is a major suprise if you have ever tried to reach anyone in gov't...ha)

I had a nice long chat with him, which began with me detailing locations and my length of encounters overtime, as I was trying to assert this is a local nesting pair and not travellers south. I learned over the phone how to distinguish the difference in flight between balds(horizontal wing profile when soaring), turkey vultures(upright V wing pattern causes a wobble in the soar) and goldens in-between the two.

I described what I had previously thought to be a hawk I now think to be an immature Golden, and those suspicions were nearly confirmed by my learning that they have a very prominent white tail band. In fact, the eagle feathers in Indian headresses, brown and white, were from juvenile goldens.

The specialist supposed the juveniles could have been ones released from Canada and en route south, but the one(s) I sighted were within the range that leads me to believe they could be last year's fledge-meaning a successful nest. I learned they would still be in juvenile feather .

I asked, "do they have a call?"

He answered, "yes, one. An alert call."

I asked, "what does it sound like?"

He said," a whistle, sort of like a red-tailed (hawk)."

Turning my mouth away from the telephone mouthpiece, I softly give the whistle.

"Yes, that's it!"

"That is the most powerful bit of evidence you could give to support your claim."

So, we wrapped up the call exchanging numbers and email addresses and my promise to email my photos.

A few hours later I was checking my inbox, and saw out the window behind the computer,(most probably) an eagle, large brown, and a flash of white, heading low, hard and fast to the south from over the house. I announced to the house what I had seen, and a few seconds later a small plane flew over in the same direction at a higher altitude.

Later I was doing some more research into the eagle surveys etc, and was sort of dismayed to discover that most of the the eagle surveys are done by air.

That guy probably RAN right over to the airport and hopped in his plane and flew down here after he got off the phone with me!!!

Hopefully good for the birds will come from this.

I am concerned because they seemed to be doing just fine when no one knew they were there.

Me and my big mouth :(

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

secretariat and the 1973 Belmont Stakes

Google Images

Secretariat, 1973, ridden by Ron Turcotte, broke the Belmont track record, and possibly the fastest 1 1/2 mile time ever recorded, at 2:24.

Secretariat won by 31 lengths. He started out in the lead flanked by Sham, and they set a blistering pace for six furlongs, when Sham fell back and finished last.

Two others battled it out for second and third. Ron, Secretariat's jockey, was checking his time at the furlong markers, as they passed them, knowing they stood to break a record following Secretariat's track breaking times at the Derby and Preakness.

They rounded the back stretch leading by seven lengths and gained twenty-four more lengths by the finish.

Derby tragedy

The Kentucky Derby is an American horse race, the first jewel in the famous "Triple Crown" of Thoroughbred Racing.

A mile and a quarter dirt track open to three year olds, geldings/colts carry 126 pounds, fillies 121.

Saturday, the second place finisher of this year's Derby, a filly name "Eight Belles", broke both front legs after the finish line and had to be euthanized on the track.

PETA is faulting the jockey's use of the whip.

Others are faulting horse breeders for breeding large stock on weak legs.

Others claim steroid abuse.

My understanding is that the filly broke her legs after the finish-I don't think the jockey was whipping her at that point. I would be more interested to know what the jockey's hands were doing at the time of the breaks-or what the footing was like, if she stumbled with too much momentum?

Poor breeding seems doubtful.
I hope horses that survive fractures are not used for breeding, but perhaps they might be.

Change of management and training techniques might be at fault-for example, if current practice dictates that a racehorse be stalled all day unless training on the flat, and their muscles do not properly develop as a result?

Steroids might be at fault, or so could anything that has changed about grain and hay rations-a different pesticide in livestock use, genetically modified crops, are two examples.

I had the pleasure of seeing the famous Triple Crown winner, Secretariat, win all three races on live TV. He was an enormous, powerful colt, and still holds the Derby record, one of only 3 under two minutes. His trademark was to come from behind-and each quarter mile he went faster and faster, until he would overpower the lead horse and literally dust them-one of the crown races he won by 30 lengths!!! Yeah, I was out of my seat cheering him on!

Horses broke legs back then too-I remember seeing the hopeful filly Ruffian being put down after falling at the start of a race.

Many tracks are changing over to a synthetic based track base and reporting a decrease in injury.

Hopefully the autopsy and video scrutiny will help find some answers as to what happened to "Eight Belles".

I missed the actual race coverage so perhaps I will venture over to You Tube. :)

I could wait a lifetime for a moment like this

Golden Eagles Tree

Flying with the Golden Eagles


Monday, May 5, 2008

Running Tom Tree

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dream Catch Me

Artist: Newton Faulkner
Song: Dream Catch Me

Lyrics :

Every timeI close my eyes
It's you
And I know now
Who I am
Yea yea yea
And I know now

There's a place I go
When I'm alone
Do anything I want
Be anyone I wanna be
But it is us I see
And I cannot believe I'm fallin
That's where I'm goin
Where are you goin
Hold it close won't let this go

Dream catch me, yea
Dream catch me when I fall
Or else I won't come back at all

You do so much
That you don't know
It's true
And I know now
Who I am
Yea yea yea
And I know now

There's a place I go
When I'm alone
Do anything I want
Be anyone I wanna be
But it is us I see
And I cannot believe I'm fallin
That's where I'm goin
Where are you goin
Hold it close won't let this go

Dream catch me, yea
Dream catch me when I fall
Or else I won't come back at all

See you as a mountain
A fountain of God
See you as as a descant soul
in the setting sun
You as the sound
As the _____________
I'm young

There's a place I go
When I'm alone
Do anything I want
Be anyone I wanna be
But it is us I see
And I cannot believe I'm fallin

There's a place I go
When I'm alone
Do anything I want
Be anyone I wanna be
But it is us I see
And I cannot believe I'm fallin
That's where I'm goin
Where are you goin
Hold it close won't let this go

Dream catch me, yea
Dream catch me when I fall
Or else I won't come back at all

Friday, May 2, 2008

Love and Cummings

E.E. Cummings

Love is a place... (58)

love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world

& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

up into the silence the green... (41)
up into the silence the green
silence with a white earth in it

you will(kiss me)go

out into the morning the young

morning with a warm world in it

(kiss me)you will go

on into the sunlight the fine

sunlight with a firm day in it

you will go(kiss me)

down into your memory and

a memory and memory

i)kiss me,(will go)

Happy May

Well, April sure did fly by, didn't it?

Happy May. :)

I have had a busy week! Jen of all trades this week at the farm-combing cashmere, hooves,
cleaning, fence repair.

This morning we capped the week off by picking burdocks out of the bucks! Boss let them out into an adjacent field while R and I were preparing the Nash pasture for relocating. Apparently this field the bucks were in today is full of burdocks!

R gathered them in to grain once we were done cleaning, and our jaws dropped as the bucks filed in...many, many burdocks!

Some of them are old hands at burdock picking and seem to sense the picker is trying to help. Gingerman, for example, tilted his great white face up at me while I teased a handful of burrs out of his beard.

Some of them hate to be picked at. Monarch cried like a baby and I ended up holding him with a horn jammed in the fence so boss could get the burrs out. I found it too difficult to hold one horn in a hand and pick with the other hand.

Hopefully we will finish the other fence early next week and move the bucks to greener pastures!

The water levels are finally going down after our deluge. Part of the road to work is still barricaded, so I have been taking the long way around .

I saw the golden eagle today, and then immediately afterwards a Kingfisher on the power lines. Both would have been great photo ops had I managed to find the camera in the pile of stuff in the car. My groceries took a beating as I started flinging bags to get to my backpack, only to find the camera wasn't there...I assumed I had left it at home, and then recalled after I couldn't find it at home that I had packed another bag-buried in the groceries, grain, hay, etc at the time of the sightings.

*puts "clean out the car" on the weekend to-do list* :P