Sunday, August 31, 2008


Thou aged unreluctant earth who dost

with quivering continual thighs invite
the thrilling rain the slender paramour
to toy with thy extraordinary lust,
(the sinuous rain which rising from thy bed
steals to his wife the sky and hour by hour
wholly renews her pale flesh with delight)
-immortally whence are the high gods fled?

Speak elm eloquent pandar with thy nod
significant to the ecstatic earth
in token of his coming whom her soul
burns to embrace-and didst thou know the god
from but the imprint of whose cloven feet
the shrieking dryad sought her leafy goal,
at the mere echo of whose shining mirth
the furious hearts of mountains ceased to beat?

Wind beautifully who wanderest
over smooth pages of forgotten joy
proving the peaceful theorems of the flowers-
didst e'er depart upon more exquisite quest?
and did thy fortunate fingers sometime dwell
(within a greener shadow of secret bowers)
among the curves of that delicious boy
whose serious grace one goddess loved too well?

Chryselephantine Zeus Olympian
sceptred colossus of the Pheidian soul
whose eagle frights creation, in whose palm
Nike presents the crown sweetest to man,
whose lilied robe the sun's white hands emboss,
betwixt whose absolute feet anoint with calm
of intent stars circling the acerb pole
poises,smiling,the diadumenos

in whose young chiseled eyes the people saw
their once again victorious Pantarkes
(whose grace the prince of artists made him bold
to imitate between the feet of awe),
thunderer whose omnipotent brow showers
its curls of unendured eternal gold
over the infinite breast in bright degrees,
whose pillow is the graces and the hours,

father of gods and men whose subtle throne
twain sphinxes bear each with a writhing youth
caught to her brazen breasts,whose foot-stool tells
how fought the looser of the warlike zone
of her that brought forth tall Hippolytus,
lord on whose pedestal the deep expels
(over Selene's car closing uncouth)
of Helios the sweet wheels tremulous-

are there no kings in Argos,that the song
is silent,of the steep unspeaking tower
within whose brightening strictness Danae
saw the night severed and the glowing throng
descend,felt on her flesh the amorous strain
of gradual hands and yielding to that fee
her eager body's unimmortal flower
knew in the darkness a more burning rain?

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring
assembles beauty from forgetfulness
with the wild trump of April:witchery
of sound and odour drives the wingless thing
man forth in the bright air,for now the red
leaps in the maple's cheek,and suddenly
by shining hordes in sweet unserious dress
ascends the golden crocus from the dead.

On dappled dawn forth rides the pungent sun
with hooded day preening upon his hand
followed by gay untimid final flowers
(which dressed in various tremulous armor stun
the eyes of ragged earth who sees them pass)
while hunted from his kingdom winter cowers,
seeing green armies steadily expand
hearing the spear-song of the marching grass.

A silver sudden parody of snow
tickles the air to golden tears,and hark!
the flicker's laughing yet,while on the hills
the pines deepen to whispers primeval and throw
backward their foreheads to the barbarous bright
sky,and suddenly from the valley thrills
the unimaginable upward lark
and drowns the earth and passes into light

(slowly in life's serene perpetual round
a pale world gathers comfort to her soul,
hope richly scattered by the abundant sun
invades the new mosaic of the ground-
let but the incurious curtaining dusk be drawn
surpassing nets are sedulously spun
to snare the brutal dew,-the authentic scroll
of fairie hands and vanishing with the dawn).

Spring,that omits no mention of desire
in every curved and curling thing,yet holds
continuous intercourse-through skies and trees
the lilac's smoke the poppy's pompous fire
the pansy's purple patience and the grave
frailty of daises-by what rare unease
revealed of teasingly transparent folds
-with man's poor soul superlatively brave.

Surely from robes of particoloured peace
with mouth flower-faint and undiscovered eyes
and dim slow perfect body amorous
(whiter than lilies which are born and cease
for being whiter than this world)exhales
the hovering high perfume curious
of that one month for whom the whole years dies,
risen at length from palpitating veils.

O still miraculous May!O shining girl
of time untarnished!O small intimate
gently primeval hands,frivolous feet
divine!O singular and breathless pearl!
O indefinable frail ultimate pose!
O visible beatitude sweet sweet
intolerable!silence immaculate
of god's evasive audible great rose!

Lover,lead forth thy love unto that bed
prepared by whitest hands of waiting years,
curtained with wordless worship absolute,
unto the certain altar at whose head
stands that clear candle whose expecting breath
exults upon the tongue of flame half-mute,
(haste ere some thrush with silver several tears
complete the perfumed paraphrase of death).

Now is the time when all occasional things
close into silence,only one tree,one
svelte translation of eternity
unto the pale meaning of heaven clings,
(whose million leaves in winsome indolence
simmer upon thinking twilight momently)
as down the oblivious west's numerous dun
magnificence conquers magnificence.

In heaven's intolerable athanor
inimitably tortured the base day
utters at length her soft intrinsic hour,
and from those tenuous fires which more and more
sink and are lost the divine alchemist,
the magus of creation,lifts a flower-
whence is the world's insufferable clay
clothed with incognizable amethyst.

Lady at whose imperishable smile
the amazed doves flicker upon sunny wings
as if in terror of eternity,
(or seeming that they would mistrust a while
the moving of beauteous dead mouths throughout
that very proud transparent company
of quivering ghosts-of-love which scarcely sings
drifting in slow diaphanous faint rout),

queen in the inconceivable embrace
of whose tremendous hair that blossom stands
whereof is most desire,yet less than those
twain perfect roses whose ambrosial grace,
goddess,thy crippled thunder-forging groom
or the loud lord of skipping maenads knows,
..-having Discordia's apple in thy hands,
which the scared shepherd gave thee for his doom-

O thou within the chancel of whose charms
the tall boy god of everlasting war
received the shuddering sacrament of sleep,
betwixt whose cool incorrigible arms
impaled upon delicious mystery,
with gaunt limbs reeking of the whispered deep,
deliberate groping ocean fondled o'er
the warm long flower of unchastity,

imperial Cytherea,from frail foam
sprung with irrevocable nakedness
to strike the young world into smoking song-
as the first star perfects the sensual dome
of darkness,and the sweet strong final bird
transcends the sight,O thou to whom belong
the hearts of lovers!-I beseech thee bless
thy suppliant singer and his wandering word.

ee cummings

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ignorance is bliss

Or apparently that is what the Bush Administration feels about the general public.
According to the following article, a small meatpacking company wants to tests each beef critter that comes through their slaughterhouse for Mad Cow Disease. Or rather, each carcass.

The USDA is blocking that. ONly 1% of slaughtered cattle are currently tested for the disease. The Bush Adminstration claims that is because it is so rare-the disease, not the steak.

The rationale is that if one company test all their beef, the larger slaughterhouses will feel compelled to do the shucks.

Records show that no humans have died of the disease in the US, but I have spoken with several people who claim to have known people that have died with all the symptoms of mad mad cow disease in the US-no Golden Eagles in Maine-no Climate change-sound familiar?

Here's the article:

Court: US can block meat packer from testing its cattle for mad cow disease
By MATT APUZZOAssociated Press Writer
(AP) 01:42:47 PM (ET), Friday, August 29, 2008 (WASHINGTON)
The Bush administration can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said Friday.
The dispute pits the Agriculture Department, which tests about 1 percent of cows for the potentially deadly disease, against a Kansas meat packer that wants to test all its animals.
Larger meat packers opposed such testing. If Creekstone Farms Premium Beef began advertising that its cows have all been tested, other companies fear they too will have to conduct the expensive tests.
The Bush administration says the low level of testing reflects the rareness of the disease. Mad cow disease has been linked to more than 150 human deaths worldwide, mostly in Great Britain. Only three cases have been reported in the U.S., all involving cows, not humans.
A federal judge ruled last year that Creekstone must be allowed to conduct the test because the Agriculture Department can only regulate disease "treatment." Since there is no cure for mad cow disease and the test is performed on dead animals, the judge ruled, the test is not a treatment.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned that ruling, saying diagnosis can be considered part of treatment.
"And we owe USDA a considerable degree of deference in its interpretation of the term," Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote.
The case was sent back to the district court, where Creekstone can make other arguments.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Democratic National Convention

Usually sitting around the TV with your kids is not a matter of National pride, but that was not the case this week.
We had a great thrill watching first New Mexico yield to Illinois, and then Illinois yield to New York. New York went through all their introductions and finished with Senator Hilary Clinton reequesting the convention to nominate Barak Obama for the Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

My eyes welled up along with many other viewers when a tearful African American woman was interviewed immediately afterward, and when asked why she was crying, she said that she was crying for her father. Her father grew up with segregation-white water fountains, colored only bathrooms...and she wished that her father, suffering advanced Alzheimer's, could be aware enough to celebrate the fact that finally skin color didn't matter-it was the best candidate that received the nomination.

Last night we watched Barak Obama give his acceptance speech, while his beautiful family and vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, along with 34 million television viewers and 84,000 Democrats in attendence cheered him on.

I thought that Mr. Obama spoke very elegantly, and his motto for change is a strong one. I was a bit disappointed that his focus seemed to be on what McCain will or won't do for the country, not specifics of what he himself would do, or rather how he would achieve his goals.

Obama did commit to spending 180 billion dollars over the next 8 years on developing alternative energy, including wind and alternative fuels. That was a bit of a relief for this Green, as he initally stated reducing our dependence on foreign oil would be achieved by focusing on Natural Gas, clean coal, and nuclear power. He also stated that we weren't going to be able to drill our way free...a bit clarification on his supporting offshore drilling.

All the other good things were there as well-better treatment for veterans; better education for our children; affordable health care; reducing taxes for 95% of the taxpayers (middle class); ending the Iraq war. He did some posturing in regards to chasing Osama Bin Laden down in his Afghan cave and some grumbling about Russia.

I look forward to seeing the debates between Barak Obama and John McCain in the near future. There's been an awful lot of mud slinging so far-it will be interesting to see what they say to each other's face.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Water snake

Willow and I saw a water snake in the dam pool when we were fishing this afternoon. I was looking it up and found these funny stories. Thought we all might need a chuckle....:)
And, I might add, I am glad swimming season is over !

Saturday, April 9, 2005
No reason for Mainers to have the heebie-jeebies over snakes
Copyright © 2005 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.
E-mail this story to a friend Snake encountersGot any good snake stories to share? Let's have them!

On the first warm days this month, garter snakes emerge from winter dens, and without a doubt, this harmless, interesting creature will send plenty of folks into the screaming heebie-jeebies should one of these colorful reptiles happen to slither across their feet. People without a deep-rooted snake phobia may find this screeching amusing, but for those who suffer from this irrational fear, it is no laughing matter.
In July 2001, I was hiking with a Winslow woman in the Camden Hills, and her fear of snakes was so intense that she could not say the word "snake." She referred to them as the "s-word."
Naturally, as you can predict, we were hiking uphill, when I spotted a rather large garter snake, lying in the dead center of the trail ahead -- really visible on the bare earth. It was about 24 inches long and had apparently swallowed a rodent or similar sized critter because it looked ever so fat.
She was looking at her feet and did not notice the snake, so I stopped, casually turned around and blocked her view of the trail ahead. In a huge maple back down the trail, a black-throated green warbler had just made its zoo-zee-zoo-zoo-zee call, a perfect diversion. For the better part of a minute, she kept her eyes on the top of tree, which was about eye level with us.
When a snake moves along the ground, as anyone with good ears knows, they make a soft sound. I could hear this one sliding off the trail and through leaves into the brush. We then resumed our hike. I suspect if she had seen it, she would have run the three miles back to my vehicle.
As snakes go worldwide, a garter snake is small, but this species is actually the second largest snake in Maine and can grow to 44 inches long, according to The Amphibians and Reptiles of Maine (Bulletin 838, July 1992), a publication from the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Maine in Orono. In this state, though, a garter averages 18 to 26 inches.
Maine and Alaska are the only two states in the Union that have no poisonous snakes, which lead people to think that our snakes do not bite. They do bite, and a quick anecdote says it best.

When I was 10 years old and my cousin, Bud Norton, was 12, his mother asked him to remove a garter snake from a window well by the cellar so it would not get into the house. With me tagging along, Bud walked up to the window well and saw the snake, rather large for Maine. It was coiled in the corner against the cement, so he reached down to grab it.

I said, "It'll bite you."

"You (expletive) fool, Maine snakes don't bite," Bud said. He stuck his hand into the window well and let out a howl. The snake had bitten him between the index finger and thumb in that soft flesh and held on. He was screeching like a banshee, shaking frantically to get the snake off his hand, and of course, I was laughing like a hyena. It took scant seconds to make the snake release its grip, but to Bud, the process seemed much, much longer. He now lives in Wayne, and I recently asked him if he remembered the incident. He did. How could anyone forget all that humiliation in front of a younger cousin?

Garter snakes have tiny, sharp, raspy teeth that fold back toward the throat -- just like a pickerel or pike. When the prey tries to escape from the mouth, the teeth make it difficult to get out. That explains why Bud was having his problems getting loose.

The snake had fallen back into the window well, but the next time, Bud resorted to using a garden rake to fish the surly critter out and carry it into the woods.

Small snakes don't inflict much pain with a bite, but infection often occurs later, albeit an easy infection to control.

Northern water snakes do cause pain with the bite, and Dennis McNeish, a fisheries biologists with DIF&W, once told me that this species has bitten him more than once. He grew up in Pennsylvania, where they are apparently more abundant than here.

In 2002, I had two encounters with northern water snakes, which have emphatically shown that if the snake is close enough, I quickly resort to the old saying that discretion is the better part of valor.

The first one occurred on the Sheepscot, while I was fishing in sandals and shorts. I had hopped along rocks out into the river, when a big, male (stout, blunt tail rather than tapered) water snake came swimming downstream, and the cranky little guy chased me up a bank.

The second one caused me to show cowardly behavior in front of Jolie Clement, my intrepid companion. One night in July, we were wading in the shallows of Long Pond in Belgrade Lakes village, fishing for smallmouth bass.

Just as twilight had turned to dark, I was standing there, minding my own business and waiting for the bass to begin their antics.

Suddenly, a large water snake that had apparently swum up to me underwater burst from beneath the surface and started slithering up my right arm. Apparently, it thought I was a stump and was trying to get on top of my head, but I was not interested in its intention. I knocked it off my arm, dashed for a nearby dock that belonged to Jerry Partridge and flew aboard.

A few seconds later, Jolie climbed onto the dock and asked indignantly: "How come you left me in the water with a snake?"

My heart was still thumping, and for a second, I had forgotten all my politically correct language.
"When a water snake is trying to climb onto your head in the dark, lady, it's every man for himself!"

Ken Allen, of Belgrade Lakes, is a writer, editor and photographer. To reach him, send e-mail to
Snake encountersGot any good snake stories to share? Let's have them!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Say goodbye to the polar bear

August 17th 9 polars bears were spotted in the Chukta sea in open ocean. Several were heading north to the ice edge-400 miles away on that day. Polar bears have been known to swim 100 miles, but the ordeal leaves them exhausted and prone to drowning.

This is the second lowest level of Arctic Ice since satellite history-and it is still plunging, with a good chance of topping last year's record low.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Trojans, Back door bots, and all that good stuff

I have spent most of the day tinkering with the main comp after I had issues and discovered somewhere I picked up a nasty little trojan package. One folder showed it to be yesterday afternoon that I was struck. I recall clicking on several links from two different trusted sites-not on blogger-web sites I visit regulary. but one is a forum, so most likely the culprit.

Just in case, if you are running windows, you can check to see what is running on your comp. "Control-ALT-Delete" pressed simultaneously will bring up your running processes. If you see one of the following:
svchoct.exe ( not host)

Just shoot yourself now, it's easier.

*EDIT* I thought I would say what I did since these are so new and there is not a lot of info out there. Please, I am NOT an expert!!! But if you get in a jam, as I did, this is what I did.

Download Malwarebyte's anti malware. It's free. Google a download location. I had to use my older back up computer as the main one wouldn't stay online for it. I downloaded it to a flash (usb) drive. I could not install it on the older comp due to OS incompatibility, so I installed it plain to the troubled computer and ran it without updating it. If you don't have a backup computer, try a friend or your local library. It is not a big file-could use a CDRW disc . Not sure if it will fit on a floppy. Would be close.

Then through the task manager, I quit the remaining suspect programs that remained. I was then able to get online to download the update, and I ran Malware bytes again. I also had to download another program called LSP fix and unchecked one thing, mmchost.dll which I found on googling yahoo answers, via firefox, since explorer was still not connecting.

That seemed to get my explorer connection back.

Then I downloaded and updated Spybot(free) and ran that.

I am also a firm believer in the program CCleaner-but running it everytime I closed the internet didn't stop this...but still is a good free program.

The current situation is that I still have a couple things that have not been removed-unknowns-roxctm.exe, and noxtcyr.exe, and wlsoekd.exe. I am watching google on those items waiting to find a way to get rid of them-they are new and if you are here then you know there is not a lot of info out there on them!

I just quit the process tree on them through task manager every time I reboot and so far they don't come back while surfing the net. That does NOT get rid of them, though! I had one last night that kept coming back, but a new update to Malware bytes took that out.

Or start googling the names of what you don't know in your task manager and find one of the good helpers out there if you need help removing them. Good luck-they are all new this month.

That will mean downloading a program called Hijackthis and posting the results on a computer forum. I have had good luck with that in the past on the older computer. I might have to go that route with this one, but since none of the forums seem to be posting solutions for them yet, I am going to wait .

I should have just rebooted from scratch, except I have so many photos I need to get off before I dump the lot. Hopefully I can get them off. :(

Monday, August 25, 2008

Uma Quilled


Porcupine quills

Colonel Forbin Tree
I received a phone call this morning from a distraught friend I had not heard from in awhile. Her two German Shepards got into a little tangle with a porcupine last night. I went over and her two teen boys and I tried without success to work on Uma.

Porcupine quills are extrememly painful to remove, due to their barbed design. I know, I had one in a foot once, and it hurt very much coming out! Worse than a bee sting.

Once I had a dog that tried to bite a porcupine-that was a trip to the emergency vet.

Another time, when I first moved in here, I had five bullmastiffs and no electricity. I let them out one at a time to do their business before bed (oh, the days I could just let the dog out). I woke up in the morning to five noses with porcupine quills. That time, single handedly, I managed to remove the quills. The least was 3 and the worse was Louise who had about 20.

It takes superhuman patience and a very steady hand to calm the dog to creep in for a quill, and easy to miss, when you have to start all over again.

Well, we gave up pretty quickly with Uma-it was too painful to hear her crying and I was too chicken to get close enough to her face to pull them. D was trying without success. I gave them a ride to get their Mom's car and they made a vet appointment for this afternoon. Poor puppies.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind, and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed.

The future is yet in your power. "

Hugh White

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Paradise is here on Earth for those who turn around and embrace it.

Work on the Home Front

I have been letting things slide around here for too long, doing the bare minimum. Hasn't help that I have been laid up with Piriformis Syndrome, or as I like to refer to it as, "Pain in the Ass Syndrome"-it involves a muscle deep in the butt that spasms and pinches the sciatic nerve.

Well, enduring the most beautiful summer of my life hobbling back and forth to the pond has progressed to me gradually pushing myself into three day agonies, but persisiting nonetheless.

This week has been especially productive, and my trip to the lumber company yesterday yielded the materials for a long overdue job-bracing the downstairs beam.

As will happen when you do something amoung others, things become a group cohesive rather than an individual process. As is the case with certain stages of this house. When the ground floor was going up, I was in a long term relationship, and had a very experienced do it your selfer patriarch neighbor.

Together they convinced me that the downstairs should be supported by a hand hewn beam across the center. My initial plan was a half wall standing bar/overhead storage support, but the overhead beam sounded nice, including coming from the property and hand hewn. So they dropped it and hewed it and installed it with me in agreement but absentia.

Later the neighbor, before he passed, confided in me that he had not realized that we were to have a full second floor-he was thinking in terms of an open loft.

I improvised a bit with a maple center post which had many crazy vertical checks in it when I decided to replace it with a larger pine post.

The house has always had a lot of sway; in past years with small children and a bit of a lightweight myself, it was not an issue. But lately I have felt the house swaying if the kids get jumping around. The steps I put in myself, and they have been a huge culprit to the sway. Especially since the inside wall has not been installed-when the stringer would be nailed through the whole thing.

I picked up some milled rough cut four by four to brace off the beam and some other things to brace the outside stair stringer. I got quite a lot done today, even though I had to use a skil saw with dull blade and make two or three cuts to right angle the four by four-and they came out great, which I was thrilled, as I had nightmared many times over miscutting the whole thing!!!!

I also took the time to pre-drill the nail holes on the four by four, which really paid off. Dried hemlock is hard to nail, and splits easily. I just pre-drilled the nail holes a little smaller to act as guides, and it was a lot easier to sink the nails trying to hold up an angle brace with the other hand. Easier on my wrists, too-hand nailing is tough on the joints.

Ideally I would have drilled larger holes through both brace and beam, and pegged it, but I didn't have the pegs on hand nor did I desire trying to drill into the ceiling beam standing on a ladder with my cranky old drill.

The stairs are a lot sturdier, at least. Now I feel like I might be up for tackling the foundation posts-a bit of concrete, some more posts and bracing...and maybe a front entry...yeah!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Early color


See, you didn't believe me when I said we had trees changing up here. :)

Margined Burying Beetle

(Nicrophorus marginatus)
The day started out groggy and long-yes, Tonia, those all nighters come with a pay-back! ;)
And with the site of this little fellow-no putting off a trip to the dump today!

Although quite charming with the series of little hearts, this fellow is a carrion beetle-yuck!

Should have taken it as an omen for things to come-one of the stops was a check at the Post Office, to find every bill due, of course, and a mysterious letter from an out of state company. The letter was a financial offer to buy something I own, and I spent the next two hours running errands fantasizing about all the ways I would spend the money. I must be ready for heaven, because the only thing I really wanted was more land and a new vehicle-I could even smell the new car smell...but new cars as well for several friends, and that horse Willow has been asking for...and so on.

I thought it couldn't get any better when we arrived at the last stop, the lumber company, and found out that it was customer appreciation day, and did we want an ice cold soda or hamburger or hot dog??? OMG!!! LOL That was the best tasting lunch EVER!! sitting under the deck on the front stoop of the lumber yard!

Of course, fortune has a nasty way of turning, and upon arriving home, a closer examination of the letter showed I am obviously suffering some form of dementia, as I added an extra zero to the final figure...hahahah and then another sign was losing the phone number three or four times to verify that in fact it was a terrible offer. Additionally, the clerk doing all this free research and returning out of state calls led me to believe I might have a case requiring a lawyer on a whole other aspect independent of the initial letter.

Oh boy, out of state lawyers. I might have to pass on that one, and just count myself out the long distance phone bill for today only. LOL. So riches back to rags in three hours-next time I find one of these in the morning I am squishing it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pileated Woodpecker


Let me tell you a bit about the Pileated woodpecker. They are enormous for a woodpecker-crow sized.

Here's what The Audobon Societ Field Guide to North American Birds has to say about them:

"Despite its size, this elegant woodpecker is adept at keeping out of sight. Obtaining a close view of one usually requires carefull stalking. Although primarily a forest bird, the "Logcock" has recently become adapted to civilization and has become relatively numerous even on the outskirts of large cities, where its presence is most easily detected by its loud, ringing call and by its large, characteristically rectangular excavations in trees."

To say that I was incredibly lucky to have been alerted to the presence of two pileated woodpeckers by their hammering and barking dropping; to stalk and then return up the ridge to the house for my woefully-inadequate-for-bird -shot cam, without a tripod, and still catch this pic is...amazing.

Once you see one of these, they are gone. Usually you hear them or see evidence of them, as the quote says. I sat on an old stump and took blurry pic after blurry pic-amazed that they didn't fly off.

Pileated Pair


Attack of the Giant Spiders


See what happens the next day after an allnighter? Giant Spiders!!!! LOL

All NIghter 808


Yeah, I made it to six thirty am! Nice to know I still have it in me! And solo....

Willow has been after me to set up the Rhodes. It's a Fender Rhodes Stage piano-I bought second hand tweny years ago from a friend's hubby who was a keyboard player in a band-and it bears the scars of many second-floor gigs.

The thing is unbelieveably heavy! By the time I reaaranged things enough downstairs to accomodate it, and opened it up to set up the legs...I fogot how tricky it is for me to pick it u p. I am always afraid I will warp the legs, but I did manage.

Then I proceeded to sort through my inherited and collected odd bit of prints and oil paintings, and was cleaning and hanging art when the roosters started to call at three thirty this am. The all night cleaning /reorganizing marathon led to hand rubbing Murphey's Oil soap into all the overhead rafters-rough cut 2X8'12's -and very high ceilings.

I spent the afternoon leaping from ladder to sink to table-and yes, to the top of the Rhodes-to get every last cobweb and dust bunnie.

Anything to avoid the tool corner. :-

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Red Is the Color of the Day

Red as the chilly fall breeze
that colored the swamp maples under the powerline
inland from us-under an Osprey Nest.

Red as the tongue and throat
of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
who tried to launch through his car window

Red as Peko's collar
as his fur bristled and voice challenged
in response to the flomping brown eyebrows

Red as a child's wagon
a child 's first tricyle
red as my tiny windsor chair

Red as the old quart of enamel
that was half dried but still put to use
painting the old windows.

Red as the heat of passion,
the spill of blood by accident
the flow of menses with the pitch of the moon

Red as the moment of anger
when secrets are revealed
the colors at the start of a new life.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

pickerel frog


Monday, August 18, 2008

Western Flying Adder 808

Cordulegaster dorsalis


Imagine my suprise when I looked this up in my field guide to Insects and Spiders a minute ago (so much more chic than saying, "dragonfly") and discovered that this is a Western Flying Adder. Hmmm. I live in the Northeastern corner of the US.

A quick check of the description shows the range to be Nevada and California to Alaska. Folks, that is on the other side of the continent!!!

Perhaps there is an Eastern version not listed in my book. Googling these types of things is usually more aggravating than productive; perhaps I might try to find an insect specialist listed in Maine.

This was taken over at the pond today. I had one shot at a pic-I saw this huge dragonfly (wingspan to 5-3/8") and grabbed the cam and headed to the last place I saw it. I had to wade into the weeds-one shot, and it was gone.

garter snake


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunny Sunday

What a beautiful day! The saplings and I walked Peko over to the pond late morning, and they started clamouring for a swim. Why not? We went home and changed and went back for a dip. They went in pretty slowly, splashing each other and shrieking, but the sun was hot, and by the time the first set of kayakers put in, I was ready for a dip myself.

Brr! I jumped up on the boogie board pretty quick! Wasn't so cold with just my legs dangling in the water. Then I found out I could do the butterfly and keep my balance on the board-watch out Mr. Phelps! LOL. I butterflied my way right out of that cold water!

Willow wanted to go fishing later, and she didn't even get a bite! We even tried off the point, when a boater with a dog that had been out all weekend was putting in. I didn't want to risk a dog fight with his dog loose and Peko on a leash, so we went down the path for a few casts til he left.

I spoke with a mother-daughter canoer team that put in when we were swimming earlier, and she had said the fishing wasn't great for her today-she landed three in five hours, so I guess I won't feel badly that Willow was skunked.

There were 6 vehicles parked on the road at the pond today. When I went in for my swim as the kayakers were heading out, they were the only ones I could see on the water, and they were soon out of sight. That is one of the cool things about the pond, how it meanders around points and islands, so there is plenty of room for privacy.

The whole week is supposed to be terrific weather; the only rain forecast is for tomorrow night. I am so happy we will have another good week of weather before school starts in the beginning of September!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Happy Full Moon

Another Full Moon is upon us. I have enjoyed watching it slide past my window behind the computer every evening this week, paired with a bright planet that I spent some minutes trying to find online with no success.

Thursday and Friday one bizarre event happened after another.

Yesterday morning I was collaring and graining my goats, and noticed that Sir Nicolas, who I tie last, had his head stretched up against the wall-his usual place, but the unusual fixed position of nose to sky caused me to wonder if he had bracken poisoning. Goats are supposedly not susceptible to bracken poisoning, but the symtoms include staring up into space.

I kept collaring goats, and when I got to Nic a few minutes later, I immediately saw the problem. The poor guy had caught his beard on a nail head and could move. The hair was snaggled around and around the nail. Quicly I called the Willow to stay with the goat, and sprinted off to the house for scissors in knee high rubber boots-through the kitchen to the scissors and back through without taking off the boots-sprinting back through the yard and a voice in my head saying "never run with scissors" ack!

No, I didn't trip and stab myself; I ran right up to Nic and with one quick snip he was free, staggering slightly and having a quick drink of his own pee...(boy goats do that a lot). I checked him for dehydration and he was fine-ate his grain, but walked, didn't run, down to his hay afterwards...

He stood right there snaggled while I tied seven other goats, and never made a sound.

Poor chap, good thing I check them twice a day. Actually I don't do a head count at night, but I think I might start now.
Later in the afternoon, our fishing trip was delayed by pond visitors-no boat;I saw a large man with an unruly child and a dog, and I had a bad feeling. After sulking a few minutes, I decided to go ahead and dig the worms with Willow, and by then they had left, so fishing was back on.
Imagine my suprise and disgust when I realized they had FLEA BATHED the dog on the shore...the whole area reeked of insectide, with just a handful of soap mixed with dog hair on the saturated ground. I know from past experience the odor of flea shampoo and the fact that the label states quite clearly NOT to introduce it into any waterway as it is toxic to fish and pondlife.
It didn't stop the fish from biting, though. The Firebird caught two small sunfish and lost a huge one to a snapped line after the bobber disappeared and the drag on his line started screeching. The Willow had some great casts on her own. I wore shorts this time, so I didn't mind wading into the weeds after three or four miscasts.
She landed a pumpkinseed and another good sized-bass-a bit smaller than the day before. Hooked in the jaw again, and this one I couldn't get out so I cut the line close to the jaw and let him go. I hate to leave a hook in, but the site of the jaw bleeding had her nearly in tears, and I just could not seem to get the hook free.
Today Willow helped me give Peko a bath-in our tub with a five gallon bucket of warm water and Pantene shampoo. He was such a crazy happy dog afterwards-racing around the house like mad. Now he is all shiny and smells good.
We passed on fishing tonight and made a pizza run as the sky was darkening. We passed right under a wicked storm cell on the way home-me praying to get home before it hit. I had never seen such an odd sky-it had cracks running through it, and rolls, and things that looked like small funnel clouds...sorry no pic; although I had the cam I was booking it to get home.
The Firebird turned on PBS to catch emergency broadcasts..and three seconds later, there it was. Yes, we had passed right under it, but it was headed away from us. Thank goodness.
I grew up in thunderstorm country, but seeing two foot diameter oaks snapped like matchsticks last summer has left me with the desire to be home when the next one hits.

oil, politics

House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that she might be willing to inlcude offshore oil drilling in energy legislation. The Dems are going to try and tie it to other energy strategies that Republicans have shot down.

Offshore drilling is not going to bring prices down. Offshore drilling will just make the oil companies richer. Gasoline consumption in the US is down from last year, yet gas inventories are smaller. That points to less refining aimed at creating less supply.

The only positive benefit, unless you own stock in an oil company? Less greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere. Nothing short of these skyrocketing prices could drive down demand. I just wish that the oil companies were not profiting so much from JQ public.

An interesting note here in Maine. The first registered all electric vehicle owner has had his registration plates revoked. The car, which costs $12,000, has three wheels, and the owner registered it as a motorcycle. It took the state three months to realize their mistake, and the state says that since it has three wheels and a steering column, instead of handlebars, it is illegal to drive as it would be easy to over-turn it, causing a rollover.

I guess a motorcycle with two wheels and handlebars is safer than a three wheeled car with steering wheel and an enclosure. Yeah.

Next, politics. I don't care for the spin I am hearing here in the US about the recent situation with Russia and Georgia. One has to pay very close attention and dig very deep to find out that Georgia started the whole thing, and that Russia moved in to stop them. The news here is trying to make it sound like the Russians are totally at fault.

Then Poland and the US have agreed to let the US use Poland as a missile base, with Bush and Rice posturing threats at the Russians, to hell with cold war-pretty soon we are going to be in deep trouble. Scary stuff.

Upcoming elections: while some of us are still deciding who to back in the next presidential election (not me-I'm voting with the Dems) , which nominee Americans want to be our next president might not really matter. Remember all the trouble during the last couple of elections, with folks not being able to vote, and votes not being properly counted due to machine error? That is all supposed to be fixed by touch screen voting machines-none of which have been yet certified to be error and hacker free. Yet 30% of voting Americans will be using those voting machine in November.

The worst part-they offer no paper back up, so there is no way to prove if they are working correctly, or not.

My ballot will be handcounted-once nice thing about living in a small town. At least I hope it will-if I walk into the auditorium on Nov 4 and see electronic machines, I am NOT going to be happy!

Thursday, August 14, 2008




We agreed that the highlight of our day ( I'll spare the bad parts) was fishing at the pond this afternoon.

Some of the garden weeds were annihilated in the search for plenty of worms, and we headed over. First cast the Willow caught a small largemouthbass, about 6 inches. The Firebird had plenty of bites but didn't land a fish. His cast is really getting there. Except when he shifted over to the right hand side trying to get near the weedshoreline, and got hung up in a tree. Yup, our mystery man missed one. I managed to get the line to snap beyond the bobber, at least. I had only brought three spare hook set ups and one extra bobber. I had forgotten the swivels, though, so I had to knot his line directly to the hook leader.

The Firebird gave up shortly and asked permission to wander to the dam, which I granted. Imagine my suprise when he returned in exuberant spirits exclaiming the he had clung to a tree and put a foot in the water rushing over the top of the dam. :- AcK! TG he did not go over, although the water is not that deep yet, that could be life threatening at certain times of the year, as it is a long fall to rocks, sure concussion and probably drowning. Well, he has been informed not to do THAT again!

So he took up tree climbing, while I tried not to watch. I love to climb trees, but I was afraid I would start flipping out if I could see what he was up to.

I took over his pole and landed a small 5 inch sunfish-or sunseed as the Willow calls them, a combination of Sunfish and Pumpkinseed. Cute, huh?

Well, the Willow and I kept on, she likes to fish as much as her Mom. :D

I made most of her casts for her-she is coming along, but it can be a tricky fishing spot what with the trees, and weeds close by on either side. I had my hands full a few years ago between baiting both their lines (something I still have to do), casting, unhooking fish, and rescuing casts from weeds and trees and retying line...that is why I don't have my own pole. Usually I have to announce that I am smoking a cigarette and if they need anything they will have to bait their own hook or wait five minutes. LOL. Then of course one will land a fish as soon as I get the smoke rolled. hehehe.

I gave Willow a good cast and told her to watch it, as they were hitting as soon as the line hit the water, and then I saw her bobber go down. Like, out of site down. We had been working on how to set a hook today, and she nailed this one. I kept waiting for the bobber to reappear, realizing that she had something big on there, and the line started to head to the weeds on the right. UH OH. She was standing on that side, no time to give her direction, so I snagged the line in my hand and started hauling it to the left, hand over hand while she kept reeling. My line was in the water on that side, and sure enough, when the fish couldn't break right, it broke left for the weeds on that side.

The Firebird was watching the whole thing from his perch in the tree-me running back and forth on the shore, hand-hauling line, Willow reeling like mad, and then he shouted, "I see it, it's HUGE!"

Then my line was snagged too, but I had the fish in close enough the Willow could bring him in the rest of the way without it making the weeds, trailing lines and weeds. He must have turned to run as soon as he hit the hook, because the teeny tiny hook I had on her pole was sunk in his jaw. hard up in the side. What with the worm slid up on the hook and the tiny shank, and the jaw flexing as I tried to get the hook free, I thought I was going to have to leave the hook in. The fish was very good, quite still as I cursed myself trying to hurry to get him back in the water as quickly as possible. Finally the hook was freed and I slipped him back into the water and he swam slowly off.

He was probably just under a foot long.

Peko was having a fit! Everytime we caught a fish, he barked like mad. Although he loves balls, he wan't too concerned about the bobbers flying into the water, but a FISH!?!? It was funny.

After the bass swam away, I called it an afternoon, saying, "Well, we aren't going to top THAT!" and both lines were hopelessly tangled-nothing I wanted to fix sitting on a damp log.

Thunderstorms rolled in shortly afterwards, and another torrential downpour at one point.

I guess the rain isn't keeping the fish from biting. ;)

Sorry no pix-I left the cam home due to threat of rain. I had my hands full, anyhow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Indian Pipe


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

One of them

I had a one of them moments. You might know the feeling, when you think you are one of us and it turns out you are one of them.

The best example that comes to mind was many years ago between my sisters and I. One sister was visiting from out of state, and staying with her twin, about a 45 minute drive from me. They decided to come up one night during her stay to play a joke on me-which was in retaliation for a joke I had played on the near one which involved leaving Easter eggs scattered in her yard.

They put rocks on my mailbox and ran around outside of the light barking like foxes.

I was so hurt that they had driven 45 minutes to my house during the short time she was here and couldn't have just come up to the door and hung out for awhile.

Well, I guess that's what happens when you have sisters that are twins. Still, the feeling of being snubbed sometimes never leaves you.

*hugs to my good friends *

More Newton Faulkner

Ok, it's official, I am hooked on Newton Faulkner.
After my possible encounter of the Newton kind-hold the figs-I looked him up on You Tube. Now, you have to understand that I am on dialup, so most video is out of the question, as I can't stand to watch stuff in 2 second bursts. My short term memory just cannot string all those bits together.

However, I discovered that with the you tube format, there is a dialup solution. It does not work with most other formats, but with you tube it does. If I hover my cursor over the play button and click it during one of those two seconds bursts, it pauses the video. Then I walk away. For a very, very long time. Hahahah. If I have waited long enough, when I return and hit play, I get the whole thing in one go. I can even replay it. Once I change pages, I am back to square one. Hard to believe for those of you with high speed internet, I know. You lucky people!

At any rate, when I searched Newton Faulkner, a particular video caught my eye. "One man does Bohemian Rhapsody-Newton Faulkner Live". No way! My oldest actually gave me Night at the Opera by Queen (the original vinyl recording, which includes Bo-Rhap) for Mother's Day. Because he knew that was the first album I ever owned, in the year it came out, and I was hooked. I dissected the entire album-keyboards, guitar, vocals. One album led to another. A Queen fan? Yes, I was, RIP Freddie. :(

I saw Queen live three times. Brian May is my favorite guitarist ever-and Freddie was something to see and hear, as well. I had to see "one man does Bohemian Rhapsody," by Newton Faulkner. As a well qualified critic of any Queen covers, this is superb!!! I love it!!!

The saplings gathered in glee while I sang along with Newton-and I am not an accomplished singer, but there I was at all the "Gallileos, and mamas, and let me go's..." We watched together three times. Here's the link:

Then I noticed that there was another interesting one -Newton singing, "Sponge Bob Square Pants"-a beloved cartoon character of the kids. I have even laughed at Sponge Bob, but am not really into him. Well, Newton was hysterical! We had to replay it several times. Poor sponge impaled on the headstock... what a screech! Here's the link:

I may have to get a satellite dish if this keeps up. ;)


While cleaning the nether regions of the kitchen last week, the Willow spotted the cookie cutters. Of course we had to make a few sugar cookies, decorated by Willow. :)

Peko. Blossy, and Ruby

As you can see, the cats are starting to accept the new dog, Peko.

Arctic Ice melt update

I have been keeping tabs on the Arctic Ice melt this year. I have been relieved to see that in July things slowed down a bit, and although above recorded average, this year was still not as severe as last year.

The I came across this article:

Meltdown in the Arctic is speeding up
Scientists warn that the North Pole could be free of ice in just five years' time instead of 60
Robin McKie, science editor The Observer, Sunday August 10 2008 Article history

Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate last week, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2013.
Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic.
As a result, scientists say that the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year's record loss. More than a million square kilometres melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched, or even topped, this year.

And here is what Arctic sea ice news had to say:

(I am too preoccupied to save and upload the images-and this probably reads rough from notepad; for the real page click the above link.)

August 11, 2008
Sea ice decline accelerates, Amundsen's Northwest Passage opens

The pace of sea ice loss sharply quickened in the past ten days, triggered by a series of strong storms that broke up thin ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Amundsen's historic Northwest Passage is opening up; the wider and deeper route through Parry Channel is currently still clogged with ice.
Note: Analysis updates, unless otherwise noted, now show a single-day extent value for Figure 1, as opposed to the standard monthly average. While monthly average extent images are more accurate in understanding long-term changes, the daily images are helpful in monitoring sea ice conditions in near-real time.
Figure 1. Daily Arctic sea ice extent for August 10, 2008, was 6.54 million square kilometers (2.52 million square miles). The orange line shows the 1979 to 2000 average extent for that day. The black cross indicates the geographic North Pole. Sea Ice Index data. About the data. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution image
Overview of conditions
Arctic sea ice extent on August 10 was 6.54 million square kilometers (2.52 million square miles), a decline of 1 million square kilometers (390,000 square miles) since the beginning of the month. Extent is now within 780,000 square kilometers (300,000 square miles) of last year's value on the same date and is 1.50 million square kilometers (580,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average.
Figure 2. Daily sea ice extent; the blue line indicates 2008; the gray line indicates extent from 1979 to 2000; the dotted green line shows extent for 2007. Sea Ice Index data. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
High-resolution Image
Conditions in context
Ice extent has begun to decline sharply. The decline rate surged to -113,000 square kilometers per day on August 7 and as of August 10 was -103,000 square kilometers per day. This compares to the long-term average decline of -76,000 square kilometers per day for this time of year. Normally, the peak decline rate is in early July.
Many of the areas now seeing a rapid retreat saw an early melt onset (see July 2, 2008); this helped set the stage for rapid retreat (July 17 and April 7). However, the more fundamental issue is that these regions started the melt season covered with thin first-year ice, which is especially vulnerable to melting out completely. Thin ice is also vulnerable to breakup by winds; the last ten days have seen a windy, stormy pattern that has accelerated the ice loss.
Figure 3. Sea-level pressure for August 8, 2008, shows a weather pattern favoring ice melt. Areas of high pressure are shown in yellow and red; areas of low pressure are shown in blue and purple. —Credit: From National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy Climate Diagnostic Center
High-resolution image

Storms trigger increased melt
A series of storms north of Alaska and Siberia in late July and early August have helped break up the thin ice and have brought warm southerly winds into the region.
Subsequently, a pattern has developed with high pressure over the Beaufort Sea and low pressure over the Laptev and East Siberian Seas (Figure 3). In accord with Buys Ballot's Law, this pattern has brought southerly winds to the region, enhancing melt, breaking up ice, and pushing the ice edge northward.
Figure 4. Passive-microwave satellite data shows ice concentration on August 10, 2008, over the Northwest Passage region. The yellow line indicates Amundsen's historic route through the passage. NASA AMSR-E data. —Credit: From National Snow and Ice Data Center courtesy University of Bremen
High-resolution image
Opening of Amundsen's Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage that Roald Amundsen navigated with great difficulty starting in 1903 is opening for the second year in a row, as shown in the AMSR-E sea ice product from the University of Bremen (Figure 4).
The most recent operational analysis from the Canadian Ice Service and the U.S. National Ice Center on August 8 showed a small section of Amundsen’s historic path still blocked by a 50-kilometer (31-mile) stretch of sea ice, although that should melt within the next few days.
Amundsen’s route requires sailing through treacherous narrow and shallow channels, making it impractical for deep-draft commercial ships. The more important northern route, through the wide and deep Parry Channel, is still ice-clogged. The northern route opened in mid-August last year; it may still open up before the end of this year's melt season.
For previous analysis, please see the drop-down menu under Archives in the right navigation at the top of this page.
NSIDC scientists provide Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis, with partial support from NASA.

more shrooms


More shrooms

Here's the deadly Destroying Angel, an Amanita. Tree

Bush Administration does it again

That's right, using lawyers and back door rule changing, the Bush administration via attorneys for the department of the Interior and the Commerce Department are crafting rule proposals that gut the Endangered Species Act.

How so?

The rule changes allow Federally funded projects the ability to determine for themselves whether a project will threaten an endangered species. Currently, any projects have to go through a sometime lengthy scientific screening process that determines if a species will be threatened, via Fish and Wildlife and other departments.

Also included in these new rule changes, it will be forbidden to consider whether emissions from those projects will contribute greenhouse gases that may harm an endangered species. That little gem is in response to climate change, via Arctic sea ice loss, will eventually extinct the polar bear. Some environmental groups were planning on using the polar bear's newly established endangered status to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The way this is going down, Congress will be exempted from the rule changes, and the rule changes will be in force before the November presidential election. Sure, The next administration can try and undo it, as may Congress, but both will take a long time. Another Bush example of "My way or the HIghway."

I will like to add that from personal experience Fish and Wildlife is pretty worthless, at least here in Maine. My attempts to get the Golden Eagles recognized went nowhere. I would have thought an eagle specialist would have been thrilled to verify the presence of an active nesting pair of rare birds. I later discovered that this same specialist was active in getting the bald eagle off the endangered species list. If Goldens were recognized in Maine, think of all the work that would mean.

Two more species have fallen the same fate here in Maine. The box turtle for one. I was proudly showiong my photos of the box turtle to a local school teacher, and she informed me that there had been box turtles in her area since she could remember. Yet on the Maine fish and Wildlife site, they list Box turtles as endangered but having no home range in Maine.

The last species is the Mountain Lion. For years folks had been reporting sightings all over Maine, yet Fish and Wildlife refused to confirm it. Finally faced with clear tracks in the mud, and photographs, they admitted the presence of a mountain lion, but claimed it was an isolated individual.

If active popluations of any of those three species were confirmed, any project in their vicinity would have to come under the scrutiny of...Fish and Wildlife. Just think of the paperwork. That's a lot of incentive to confirm endangered species, isn't it?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Newton Faulkner

I met Newton Faulkner today and I just realized it. Duh. He's a singer songwriter whose lyrics to the song "Dream Catch Me" I posted a few months back.

Here's how it went down. I was in a small local grocery store checking out with the little Willow, juggling three slices of hot pizza on two plates (they were out of plates)and saw a tall guy with reddish dreds at the coffee station. I thought-he looks like Newton Faulkner. Then a small brunette chick, rather plain, caught my eye and I realized they were together and dismissed them as a hippy couple on the way to some show or other.

Still, I turned to the cashier and said, "Newton Faulkner", softly, and she looked at me blankly, so I repeated it louder and added-he's a singer songwriter, since I blanked on the name of the song. She didn't know who I was talking about. Then they got in line behind me, and figuring they must have overheard me, I said to him, "Newton Faulkner" and he gave me a stare and I said, "Do you get that a lot, hey, it's Newton Faulkner?" joking with them.

Then he said, "well, my Mom....and me sometimes..." and still I am in denial, and say, "Yeah, it's the dred" all the while his girlfriend is sort of fidgeting and chuckling. Still, I am grabbing my bags and getting my change, and he adds after me, "I wish I had his money, though" and we all had a good laugh and I left, but have to admit I watched them leave after I got in the car, saying to the Firebird-"check out this guy, he looks like Newton Faulkner."

So I am lying in bed trying to fall asleep and the conversation replayed itself in my head, and I am thinking, "Damn, I think that was Newton Faulkner-why else did he say his Mom?"

I just googled images, because I didn't remember Newton having a little goatee or being tall, or having thick rather than thin dred, and there he was...Newton Faulkner.

Well, I guess I am glad I didn't realize it at the time, since I couldn't remember the name of his hit song...Dream Catch Me.

You rock, Newton!

Another deluge

Well, I really need to stop speaking in absolutes as they seem to come true.
I may need those loads of gravel for the drive sooner than I thought.

We returned home around noon after errands and a lovely hike down a power line, where both saplings lost a shoe in mud, in different places, at the same time. I managed to keep my shoes on, but came out of the hike spattered in mud. Peko had a blast. The day turned hot and sunny, so first thing on our return was to answer the pleas to go for a swim.

Being a lovely Sunday afternoon, plenty of canoers and kayakers had similar thoughts, and the Willow was a bit put out that they had to get out of the water and wait for folks to put in. I was happy as I love to meet the folks that come to enjoy the pond. The water was too cold anyhow, so we headed home for some consolation chocolate bars and I made my last post as black clouds loomed and thunder started rumbling. Hence all the typos, as I quickly posted, and then disconnected everything.

Man, did it rain!!! It rained harder than the other day, and it rained like that for well over a half hour. lightning, thunder, but no big wind. It was an enormous deluge. I kept hoping that all the nice folks I spoke with had made it safely off the pond before it hit.

As soon as the storm passed, we headed out to survey the situation. Quite a lot of my driveway had washed away. There is a huge collapsed section in front of the mail box again-worse than last time. It is over a foot deep and two feet wide and about twelve feet long. I am glad most of my important mail goes to a post office box, because there is no way the postman will be able to get to the mailbox.

All the vehicles of folks we had spoken to were gone...but there was still a truck jammed up in the woods. I imagine they must be camping to have left their truck there...hopefully they didn't wash away. The storm sprang up very quickly. I would have been ashore cowering under the canoe if it had been me. LOL.

pond puzzle solved

Last night I was outside and saw the truck return from two nights before. The one Peko barked at, and the voice that sounded familiar. Normally I don't pay any attention to who is at the pond, unless we are planning on swimming or fishing. I always defer to the visitors. This time, however, I went into my own sneak mode. My curiousity had been aroused.

I saw a guy get out of the truck, and then a woman from the passenger side. That confirmed an afterthought I had that when the voice said, "sorry about that" he had been speaking to someone waiting in the truck for him, not to me for startling us. Then he took some gear out of the back of the truck, and a stepladder. Now I was really feeling nosy.

I grabbed the cam as a cover, and wandered over to the landing. Another truck with out of state plates was there, and they had all headed to the dam to fish, speaking in loud voices I couldn't help but overhear part of their conversation. ;)

As I had suspected, the fellow with the ladder had trimmed the branches, most presumably for his out of state visitors fishing pleasure. Then I heard someone approaching, so I spoke out as to not frighten her. I was actually more pleasant than usual, and the batteries chose that moment to die, so I made my way home and heard her following me. Not caring, I headed up the drive happy to have found an answer.

The neighbor who owns the property might not have been so happy to hear that folks had been trimming branches on her property. Her deed allows for a twenty foot wide right of way to the pond for public access. Her deceased husband had hated folks that parked up in the woods, and his last winter, he used his tractor to haul logs out to mark the right of way. They never posted the property, though. The neighbors on the far side of the dam, did, and right there in the middle of the dam is a no trespassing sign.

Although we have both exchanged verbal permission to each other for property access, neither of us takes advantage. We stick pretty much to the right of way. Her daughters I had to call onto the property after a runaway dog-they are very concious of respecting other folks property.

Last year the saplings and I were at the pond swimming, and a couple of guys showed up with sledehammers and proceeded to chip apart a large boulder in the right away that always made the right of way nearly impassable for a boat trailer. I had to call the kids out of the water-rock chips were flying that far. Still, hard to tell from y posting, I am rather easy going and engaged the rock smasheres inconversation, sort of amazed that they could and did annihilate that rock by hand in short time.

During the conversation, the more vocal fellow revealed that he was a dedicated fisherman, with a bass boat, and state law allowed public access to every water way and I guess he was rationalizing his right to take out the rock. I let him know who owned the property and suggested he should speak to her, as he starting sharing his vision of personally putting in a culvert and bringing road gravel in.

A few days later I ran into the landowner and mentioned the guy taking out the rock, and he had been to see her. *laughs and giggles*. Well, dear reader, you are at a disadvantage at my private joke, for you have never met the woman. I don't know how to describe her without being insulting, but let's just say, since I am a doglover, that she is a bulldog with a nasty disposition and lungs to match. (I have never seen the fellow with the bass boat since.)

I saw her daughters walking on the road today as we were headed out, and I was sorely tempted to ask them if they had given someone permission to trim, but decided not to. I saw one of the girls lose a lure in one of those branches hanging over the dam this spring...and although ballsy beyond belief to trim property that does not belong ot you for your personal use, they did do a good job.

But now I know why the guy was acting so sneaky the other night. Good dog, Peko.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I have been feeling restless and cranky the last two days. The sun finally made an appearance today, and we headed over to the pond for what could be one of the last swims of the season. You never know around here with the weather.

The water was high and cold from the rain and cool temps. The saplings did not stay in the water long, so we took advantage of the newly trimmed path to walk out to the point and back.

Then we came home and stretched out in the meadow (lawn). I haven't had the goats out since we brought Peko home. Someone has to stay in the house with him, as he suffers from separation anxiety, which is getting better as time goes on. He prefers to know where I am every minute.

The saplings help to show him that if Mom goes out, or leaves him in the car, it is no big deal, and she comes back eventually. I haven't dared try to shove him in the dog crate; as a training tool, it is supposed to be their "safe place"-one they want to go in for some alone time. I have a feeling that Peko would be one of those uncratable dogs. If I throw something in there for him, he looks at me like I am nuts, even if I crawl in myself and call him.

Well, to be expected after being in an animal shelter.

I have also been feeling well enough to tackle some of those long overdue cleaning jobs. I did the Firebird's room last week, and rearranged the furniture. That set me back a couple days as I must have stretched my back moving the bed.

A couple days after that, and we had school friends visit for the day. Everyone had a blast-it was fun to have a house full of happy kids. While the kids were visiting, I tackled some of those messy places in the kitchen. Yesterday I worked on my room. Next is the tool area-which I am dreading. Once the house has had it's long overdue spring cleaning, I will hopefully be able to move onto some of the construction projects I was supposed to be doing this summer with the time off.

Most of them require the substantial purchase of materials, and trying to save up with the higher cost of everything has been another challenge. This seems to happen to me every summer, and then Taxes come due, and firewood needs to be purchased, and the car needs And I really better buy a load or two of gravel this fall, or we will be parking on the road and using the driveway as a foot path.

Friday, August 8, 2008

more rain

Well, I don't like to complain about rain. But it poured this morning. Not a zillion bucket flood, more just a steady downpour that caused me to pull morning goat chores solo and take an experimental track.

Usually every goat gets collared and grained separately, outside, but I couldn't force the goats to stand outside for their grain, so I fed en masse. I put most of the grain in a large tub, but only Sir Nicholas braved the rain, so I was forced to move that into the larger goat house. I had two other tubs I set for the rest, under cover, and then scattered shavings and hay for them.

The houses are a mess-a trip to the grain store this afternoon included a bag of shavings for a total clean out in the near.

I ventured back over to the pond and discovered that someone had groomed the short trail that runs from the boat landing to the point, along with the alders at the boat launch. It was a very good job. I suppose the oldest son of the now deceased landowner must have done the job-I don't think his wife is too concerned about that end of their property.

The rain has now stopped but everything is saturated. Temps did fall the last few days to the cold and wet I predicted-running in the low to mid 60's (F). Things might dry out for a bit, but more rain through the weekend.

*sigh*, I would love a few more sunny 80's before school starts and autumn comes knocking....but, at least I am sitting here barefoot. :D

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tonight I slipped over to the pond and noticed two things. One, the branch that I pointed out in the Peko pond post has been trimmed. Which amazes me to no end, since the only time I have ever seen branches actually cut over there was to retrieve fishing lures stuck up in branches.

The other thing was that all the sedge behind Peko in the picture had been trampled. The two may or may not have been related, as I saw a couple walking a dog out of there last night. Peko didn't care for that dog too much. It was sort of ironic, as they are the far neighbors, whose dog in question has lunged barking at my car every time I have passed them walking for the last five years. Now it was my turn, I guess.. "He's new," I offerred in apology while dragging the lunging barking Peko into the woods with the little Willow and camera. for some dusk stream shots. (which didn't come out well-too late in the evening)

This morning I returned alone with the camera to get the mushroom pics. I passed a car that someone was sitting in and startled me, "Hey, how's it going?" I said, as I turned into the woods with the camera, wondering what they thought of that...he he.

Tonight the Willow and I took the dog down and saw a truck at the pond, so we turned up the hill to see if the road sprayers had hit our roadside with herbicide this morning, as much of the road ditches were showing signs of herbicide application this afternoon. We turned and headed back down the road, me pointing out the huge mud dauber nest to the Willow that the Firebird and I had discovered two days ago, and Peko started to growl.

I looked up and saw the truck, and chastised the dog for his imagination, and then noticed boots from under the tailgate-someone was at the back of the truck, good eye, Peko. Peko let out some good, "hey, I know you are there." barks, while I tried to hush him and head back up the drive.

"Sorry about that," a voice called from the truck.

"It's ok, I replied, pausing at a familiar tone in the voice, but unable to make out more than the boots, so I turned and headed off with the Willow and the pup, still wondering if I knew that person.

The Firebird suprised Peko on our return, and I had to drop his leash before he took one of us out with his lightning circles and jumps-he was really being a happy dog. Willow and I picked some blackberries, and the phone rang...and by the time I decided to take a solo look at the pond, the truck had left.

I will probably never puzzle out the mystery of the trimmed branch and trampled sedge, but at least the alder probably feels better. :)

More mushrooms

Tree 808


When life gives you two weeks of rain-take pictures of mushrooms

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Imagine my shock and horror when I opened an email from a friend today that was a FW-which I rarely open, except this one said something like, "you won't believe this guy", or "check out this guy," and since it was bright and early, before-caffeine-kicks-in, animalistic mode, I fell for it. ;)

Thoughts of some incredibly hot guy pics, or feats, or some stupid guy story (yes, they are out there), quickly vanished when I clicked on it and scrolled down through a very lengthy list of where the email had been.

It was an incredibly racist, prejudice attack on Barack Obama, with Biblical analogies. I don't care to repost any of it here to give it further energy, but I was stunned.

I was going to forward it on to the Obama campaign, but I am too impatient for their lengthy page to load, and think they are already aware of this. I think I remember reading something about it a few months ago, but the idea that anyone would continue to circulate it is frightening.

The email obviously had Christian right wing origins. I always get confused as to how anyone that bothered to read the teachings of Christ could be so racist and bigoted. *shudders*




The weather finally broke yesterday at noon. A thunderstom came down out of the west-a bad sign. Big and wide and we were in a direct line.

Still not a flicker of wind. The lower atmosphere was so dense it prevented a big updraft that can drive storm winds. I could see flashes of lightning at noon it was so dark-and we took one hit just as it passed fairly close-from the boom probably somewhere out on the pond.

We had seen a couple boating up the pond earlier the day before and their truck was still parked on the road-all I could think was that I would not liked to have weathered that storm in a tent!

Their truck was still there today-I will start to worry tomorrow if they haven't showed up.

Then it started to rain. A deluge. I announced at one point that I didn't think I had ever seen it rain so hard in my life. It was coming down so fast and hard, it was like someone dumping a zillion buckets of water from 5,000 feet.

The evening local news later said that points east were turning in reports of 4 inches of rain in a half hour-causing sudden flooding that had cars up to their windows.

We had another threatening sky build to the east around five tonight-I sort of dismissed it, as I have never seen a thunderstorm come out of the east in this area in 20 years.

Well, it went right over us, this time with a bit of wind as we actually saw the sun for a few hours today, and the updraft built a little gust. Then it poured again, but only for about ten minutes. Oh yeah, and it rained hard last night.

Things are very wet for this time of year. I usually think of August in Maine as cold and damp, but our temps here have been riding 70's. Things are so wet that after I grained and hayed the goats this morning, I was in the kitchen and felt something in my hair. I reached up and pulled out a slug. Ewwwww.

The weatherman said more of the same right through Sunday.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Peko, Pond

Tree 808

Peko is not responsible for the broken alder behind him.

Although the pond is an isloated location, some visitors don't take as much care as others.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Dark no sun

no rain no air

flower scents hang heavily

oppressive suppressive depressive

Searching for meanings

words sing hide no translation

moods darken damp everything

wrung in moisture

joints ache head throbs

mundane chores squish

Thunder grumbles in the west

the north the South overhead

everything still

waiting for relief

that doesn't come