Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost Halloween

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blueberry Barrens Late October



Anthropoda diplopoda

Photo: Tree1008

"Millipede is a wormlike, many-legged animal. Millipedes have segmented bodies. Two pairs of legs attach to most of their body segments. The word millipide means thousand-footed, but no millipede has as many as 1,000 feet. Some species have up to 115 pairs of legs. The animals range from less than 1/8 inch to up to 9 inches They have round heads that bear a pair of short antennae. Millipedes usually feed on decaying plant life, but some species also attack crops growing in damp soil. They live in dark, damp places, under stones and rotting logs. When disturbed, millipedes usually coil up. Many give off foul odors. A few species are capable of producing fluids containing cyanide poison. About 7,500 species of millipedes are found throughout the world. "

Edwin W. Minch

World Book Encyclopedia

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yesterday's Nightfall


Monday, October 27, 2008

From: Somewhere Over The Rainbow Blog

1. Where is your cell phone? desktop
2. Your significant other? enroute.
3.Your hair? fluffy.
4.Your mother? deceased
5. Your father? deceased
6. Favorite thing ? Love
7. Your dream last night? Horses
8. Your favorite drink? coffee
9. Your dream/goal? fulfillment.
10.The room you're in? Office
11. Your fear?Slavery
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?Anywhere
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? nothing
15. Muffins? cranberry nut
16. One of your wish list items? Tires
17. Where you grew up? suburbia
18. The last thing you did? thought
19. What are you wearing? jeans
20. Your TV? analog
21. PETS? lots
22. Your computer? rocks
23. Your life? interesting
24. Your mood?ebullient
25. Dating someone? No
26. Your car? awesome
27. Something you're not wearing? bra
28. Favorite Store? open
29. Your summer? Flew
30. Your favorite color? indigo
31. When is the last time you laughed? minutes
32. Last time you cried? Thursday

Here's what you're supposed to do...and please don't spoilthe fun:cut & paste into YOUR BLOG, delete my answers and type in your answers & keep the fun going!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

wind power

I caught T-Boone on 60 minutes tonight. That was right after my flat tire, so I missed the small bits but caught the important stuff. T-Boone owns a 60,000 acre ranch in Texas and wants to be the largest windpower plant in the country. For ten Billion dollars, he can put in 2600 windmills to produce enough power for 1,300,000 homes.

Now I am not sure what the ten billion covers-if it includes the infrastructure, etc, or just the windmills-but my thought immediately travelled to that 700 billion dollar wall street bailout Paulson just received. That 700 billion would have supplied windpower for 72,210,000 homes.

Oh yeah, other news today? Paulson, former Wallstreet exec and current secretary of the Treasury who just received the aforementioned 700 billion dollars from the American people to bailout big banks and anyone else he deems deserving, isn't going to stay with the job. End of Bush's term, he's out -Take the money and run, baby. :(

I headed out at sunset for a pizza run. A couple of miles from home on the desolate country road, the car started making a funny noise. Sort of a roaring rumbling noise that I tried to pass off as my imagination. Until it got louder, and louder.

I prayed that whatever was wrong would not get worse and I would make it home. Then the thumping started. Phew, just a flat tire!

I realized that I would ruin the rim if I tried to make it home, so I found a likely spot on the dark road and pulled over and put the emergency flashers on. I was happy that I had the flat last spring, since I had to put the donut on myself-my first tire change-so I had some knowledge of the jack and process.

That just left the pressure of fixing the flat in the near dark-the pitch blackness relieved only by leaving the headlights on low and the flashers on. Then the job became a time constraint-how long can a parked car sit with the headlights on and still start?

I popped the back and left the donut propped up against the rear bumper to show passerby the reason for the flashers and set to work. The locking hubcaps gave me a bit of trouble and I had to resort to a lighter to see what I was supposed to be doing. Once I finally freed the hubcap, it was a relatively simple matter to properly position the jack and loosen the lugnuts.

The jack worked a lot easier than when it was in a foot of mud last winter! I did those two steps mostly by feel. Then I jacked the car the rest of the way up, wondering if I should scout the roadside for something to block the tires, and decided I was on pretty level ground and it should be ok.

The the tire wouldn't come off the rim. I was in a bad spot since the steel belt was sticking out and I didn't have a pair of gloves. No way I could get ahold of the tire and yank on it. So I kicked it, and whacked it many times with the tire iron, and tried to use the latter as a lever. I thought I was defeated, and suddenly I was able to rock the flat free.

Then I just had to get the donut on. That turned out to be difficult, as a temporary tire is much shorter than a standard tire, and so was several inches off the ground. I guess I could have lowered the jack a bit, but by checking the location of the lugs and the holes on the tire, I was finally able to get the tire on.

Phew! put the lugs back on, lowered the jack, tightened the lugs, and we were on our way! I was very happy it wasn't pouring rain, or snowing, or twenty below zero. It was a dark, albeit starlit night, free from summer's mosquitoes and not yet below freezing, Actually, it was 62F this afternoon, so for a flat tire in the dark, it could have been much worse!

About twenty vehicles drove by while I was changing the tire. I didn't try and flag anyone down-but a pair of headlights on the job or a flashlight would have been much appreciated! I opted not to call for help. As it worked out, I had the tire changed in about a half hour-much quicker than the arrival of any available aid.

I joked with the Willow as we drove away-"Well, we are ready for the Amazing Race!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Striped Skunk

Mephitis mephitis

Driving Reflections


Thursday, October 23, 2008


...or should that be, "Scare-Pekos"? Tree1008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008



Here is a pic of Peko after his retrieve time with the Firebird.

Peko, as my regular reader will recall, is a rescue dog. He spent at least a month of glorious summer at the local animal shelter before being adopted by us. The dog manager commmented that he would make a great agility dog after seeing our interaction.

Peko is partial to tennis balls. We happen to have a tennisball type soccer ball that Peko has taken a shine to-and he is a great soccer player! The ball has just enough slack that Peko can pick it up in his teeth and run it to the goal.

I recently laid a nice oriental rug down in the kitchen for warmth, and enjoy soccerring tennisballs to the dog while cooking supper.
I had to interrupt this post to help the Firebird coop the chickens for the night. One of the white roosters had gotten in with old King and there was some emergency. Pulling on my shoes, I let Peko out. Directing the Firebird to shoo away the white rooster, and acting as a block, we then utilized Peko with a sit stay and go get em to help drive the rooster to the coop.
Peko, being half lab, was thrilled to be included with bird driving. An exciting evening for this slow world. :D

Some of our poultry


Here is a pic of some of our chickens. Four barred rock hens, a white leghorn hen, and three retreating white roosters, which are barred rock/white leghorn cross.

The big barred rock in the front is named "Nonny-Nonny". She is the only survivor of the original batch. She is probably 8 or 9 years old. The other three barred rock are second generation hens four or so years old-hatched perhaps by Nonny-Nonny herself, and fathered by our dear old barred rock rooster Manny, passed several years ago. He was purchased from a breeder at one of the local fairs.

The White leghorn escaped from a neighbor and is still quite wild. I guess she heard our roosters and came to join the flock. She can fly over a 6 foot fence. She is the only one laying eggs right now-one enormous fat white egg each day. Amazing! She is such a scrawny thing. Her legs are bleached white-an indicator of a dry hen, I once read, but she is a tremendous producer! With feeding the rest of the flock, I figured her eggs cost us about $2 a piece-so you can imagine how terrific they are!!! :P

I thought she had stopped laying, but today I found her stash of three white eggs and stole them gleefully. We haven't bought eggs from a store in a very long time-and I didn't want to start just yet!

Behind her are three of her four sons-fathered by one of our second generation barred rock roosters;either King or Chick Boy. We still have poor old King-he lost the flock to the younger roosters. Chick Boy was murdered by me because of his nasty disposition.

Willow has named all of the hens. We have a couple more hens that hang with another white rooster that aren't in this pic. One of them is just known as "The red Chicken" -a Rhode Island Red given to us by another neighbor because she was broody. Now she is an egg eater and a goat grain thief, and not well liked by me.

We also have "Chooster"-who crows, but Willow swears he laid an egg. He was the only barred Rock hatched out in the last clutch-most likely inbred and possibly a hermaphrodite.


Usually I dislike following large trucks. I prefer to see open road ahead of me-I am spoiled living out in the boonies. But, today, when this large hauler pulled out in front of us, we were shouting with glee at the maelstrom of leaves blowing in it's wake.

Quickly I started groping around on the passenger seat for the cam, to the great chagrin of the Firebird in the back. "you're going to take a picture while DRIVING?"

"It's ok, she does it all the time," answered the Willow. ;)

Easier than talking on a cell phone, in my book, except when the cam seizes up in one of its moods, which it did. I persisted, pulled the batteries out to reset it, and managed to get the shot after all.

Autumn gloom has settled in-with the clouds and damp I cannot but help feel a bit melancholy. Yesterday's solution? A hot batch of homemade chocolate cookies! While I can share the anxiety of my ancient ancestors over the need to stay unfrozen through a long stretch of winter, I found myself feeling very fortunate that I could sink my teeth into a warm homemade cookie. 30,000 years ago my ancestors were probably roaming the plains dressed in furs and drinking milk straight from the sheep. Here I have a lovely stainless bowl to mix the dough, and means to cook it quickly-and such delight-milled flour, leavening, processed sugars, salt, chocolate chips-and a homegrown egg, plus a whole stick of butter and some vanilla extract. Yummmmm.

Yes, I am very fortunate! :D

Monday, October 20, 2008



This morning marked our third straight frost. While the third week of October is late for this region, things have been downhill since July with steady cooling and no warm spikes. This photo was taken yesterday around 8 am.

The hard frost this morning left no doubt-and black tender annuals in its wake. The ancient hemlock outside my window had frost up the entire Northwest side for most of the morning. The saplings shouted in amazement at 10 am to find skim ice in the buckets and rain barrels, and a frosty rabbit water bottle.

Where did July go, anyhow? Won't be long and I will have forgotten what green leaves look like. And..the weatherman said there is a chance of snow tomorrow night. :-

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday V

Tree 1008

Holiday! *** Today is your astrological birthday, even though it may be different from your calendar birthday.
As would seem appropriate with this transit, today is a day of new beginnings, and the influences you feel today will affect the entire year to come. However, this does not mean that the whole year will be disappointing if today doesn't work out exactly as planned. You are receiving a new impulse from the energy center within you, as symbolized by the Sun. Therefore any new venture that you start at this time will ride the crest of this new energy and will very likely come to an acceptable conclusion. Whatever you do or begin today will bear the stamp of your individuality more than anything else. This is the day to assert yourself anew. The interpretation above is for your transit selected for today:Sun Conjunction Sun, , exact at 14:11 activity period from 18 October 2008 to 20 October 2008
Birthday blessings to you. :-X

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Finally got it


Yes, I have been in denial. My poor old Sony is getting ready to kick the bucket. Periodically it refuses to take pictures, and I have been giving it the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, using multi-focus on the water...oh, the batteries...oh, what?!?!?

This particular tree gave me lots of aggravation over a period of several days. The LCD would go dark when I tried to take a pic. Finally I grabbed one yesterday-and today there is a pile of red leaves in the drive and none on the tree, so just in time!

I googled the camera model and found a camera forum from several years ago with folks having the same sort of trouble. The gold members response? "You're in denial, time to get a new(real) cam." Or, one of my personal favorites, "Did you think it was just being moody? Maybe you need to take it out to dinner..." LOL.

Yep, and that was three years ago-this model has ancient history. So, I guess I will keep taking what I can-when it is not in a "mood"-and eventually one day there will be a large lull in my posted photos. :(

More foliage


Friday, October 17, 2008


My heart and mind travel over the sea;
my body remains behind with me.



The Firebird 10/08


I watched McCain finally show up on the David Letterman show last night. He managed pretty well, although Dave really tried to let him have it.

Much more composed than the previous night during the last presidential debate. When Bob Schaeffer (sp) asked ,"What qualities does your running mate possess that you believe would make them a good president?", McCain's voice started shaking, and he tried to sputter out, "Sara Palin's a breath of fresh air," and muddled the words to, "She's a bresh of freath air," and stumbled again before finally saying it right.

The firebird and I exchanged glances and burst out laughing. It sounded as if McCain said Sara Palin was, "A breast of fresh air." We were still laughing about it today. Yeah, good one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

X marks the spot 10/08


Entry 10/08




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Autumn Architecture

Tree 10/08

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Busy stuff!

I have really been contributing to greenhouses gases the last few days! More chainsaw duty-trying to get the girdled trees dropped in the goat pen so that they can finish stripping them and I can cut the wood up for firewood.

Whoever decided a bunch of goats should be called a herd, has never seen a bunch of goats in action when they hear a chainsaw running. Total pack mentality. First the dumber, slower ones place themselves where they think the prey (in this case, the falling tree) will head. The more aggressive ones try to help start the saw and stand near the intended victim. The ones that are already full from breakfast hang in the back and watch the fun.

I have only been brave enough to drop trees that I think won't kill the goats if it hits them. I have to have everything scoped out in advance-the whole area, because once a tree hits the ground, forget dropping another one in the same place safely, as the pack descends for the kill.

While the goats are eviscerating the first kill, I relocate with the running chainsaw in hand (it has gone back to cranky starts, so I don't shut it off until I'm done.) and try and get the next tree dropped before the more agressive ones realize I have moved with the Alpha-the saw-and follow.

I managed to work my way up to 5 or 6 inch diameter trunks, and finally decided to take out the 10 inch birch. I have been eyeballing that one for awhile, since it is a big tree for me. And, it is positoned poorly, right up against a boulder, and leaning in that direction. The only way to take it out was to cut it 3 feet up from the ground over the boulder.

The birch was definitely big enough to squish a goat.

I had distracted them with some smaller stuff elsewhere, and moved in for the kill. The birch was already girdled, due to die anyhow, and yet offered a few good pieces of almost ready to burn firewood. I started in cutting the wedge out the drop-side, and on the second cut the goats started to advance. *swears*.

Quickly I moved onto the back cut, and the saw, of course, started to bog down, wanting to stall in the cut. I pulled it back out of the cut and revved it up to bring it out of it, cursing and trying to hurry beofre the goats got into the drop zone. I did not want to leave it at that stage, in case a breeze came up-it might fall the wrong way.

Luck was on my side, the saw came back to life and I continued with the cut and dropped the beast -slowly, but right where I had wanted it to fall. The goats descended in their ravening pack. I moved back to where the goats had just been, and dropped a 5 inch diameter beech, girdled, but still with leaves. I nearly got the chain stuck in the back cut, and called it a day for dropping trees.

Later, after a bunch of other mundane chores, I drove over to a friends to borrow their lawnmower. I annihilated the meadow and reclaimed the lawn this afternoon. No way was I going to make last year's mistake and try and rake leaves in 6 inches of grass!

Looks pretty good for the first mow of the year. :)

I also asked my lawnmower-lending friend to adjust the loose chain on the chainsaw, so that is ready to get back to work for me soon. Rats, he showed me how to do it myself for next time. ;)
What an enabler...LOL.

I really needed to know, though, as the chain was quite loose and it is a safety issue.

That was enough gas exhaust for me for the day! I have started simmering a pot roast and need to go out into the garden and treasure-hunt some pototoes. I like to leave them in the ground as long as possible and dig them as we need them. I just finished off the end of a small row of lovely russets. Next up-not sure if I have reds or whites left? Could be more russets!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Number one: The Crow

Tree archives

I have been catching a lot of bird shots lately, and today I was reminded of my most favorite. Out of over 4,000 pix shot on the Sony, and out of the top 300 that I recently had developed, this one is my personal favorite. :)
I did crop it for this repost.

Wild Turkey Running

Tree 1008

Foliage Mountain

Tree 1008

Foliage Road

Tree 1008

Love Poem of the Calendar Alphabet

Birch-bright are these bodies,
cradling our newborn selves.

Like lightning you impale my heart's red berry;
I study the oracular entrails, still smoking
grey as a rowan fire.

Nursing each other with sweat clear as the snipe's song,
we would drown but for these egos--stout oars of ash;
We are left flooded, silt-fertile.

Fire spirals from us as from hewn alderwood,
whistling like a crimson gull.

Sifting apart, we fall, lost grains through wicker sieves;
the moon owns me, I grieve where the willow mourns,
and your is the hawk's trial: insight and despair.

Zygotic lover I labor, repeating you
as the thrush stutters the rainbow:
Behold my staff. Where I have struck
or leaned on you, you put forth leaves.

Hold me chastely as the night-crow rasps terror;
nothing has any value.

Desparate, we signal across two needfires; we are naive
midsummer wrens, battering the door between us.

Twin, which of us is sacrificed? I, the arch, the altar?
or you who cling there, blossoming?

Concentrate on each other in one shell, we solve
the crane's asymmetry.

Quince be your canopy, the garden your refuge,
the unasked question your tether.
I peck at the gleaned field.

Maenad that I am,
I thirst for your vintage self.

Gates open in me; now would I resurrect you
with that love which strikes the blue swan mute.

Gnostic geese, we who dwell empowered
under one roof.

Ripening well into winter, we may yet learn
how our roots entwine and drink at one source:
an elder wisdom, therapeutic, a mutual doom.

And yet , alone, each of us thrived in salt-charged sand;
I had no brother who sought me, as you did
your sister--or am I silvering through her mirror,
a lost Tamar myself, thinking I seek my son?

Our histories are being burnt away, like furze
singed to clear space for fresh sprouts' greening;
we sense our own preparedness for this buzz,
electricate, in our touch.

at last as mountain heather, we arrive;
you are drenched larkspur by this passion
and I am dry of wing-ready, now, to hive.

Entropy, we know, consumes all our consuming, will blaze us
and then bury us-- but upright in our graves
if we have earned it, like poplars
exuberant on a darkening autumn hill.

I will not love you then, nor will you care for me,
despite all our intentions--except as our dead mouths
may speak roots subtler than these tongues:
poems probing through the earth-dull ears of others,
gnarling into a single trunk, an utterance.

Joined at such a height,
we gaze at one another undisguised--
this risk dangerous as a fall
toward no certain ground;
this space massing white as distance
which shreds, powerless,
before the glance of
eagles such as we.

Robin Morgan

Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn Maple

Tree 1008


Thou comest, Autumn, heralded by the rain,
With banners, by great gales incessant fanned,
Brighter than brightest silks of Samarcand,
And stately oxen harnessed to thy wain!

Thou standest, like imperial Charlemagne,
Upon thy bridge of gold; thy royal hand
Outstretched with benedictions o'er the land,
Blessing the farms through all thy vast domain!

Thy shield is the red harvest moon, suspended
So long beneath the heaven's o'er-hanging eaves;
Thy steps are by the farmer's prayers attended;

Like flames upon an altar shine the sheaves;
And, following thee, in thy ovation splendid,
Thine almoner, the wind, scatters the golden leaves!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ruffed Grouse: McCain and Obama


Ruffed Grouse

Bonasa umbellis

I found these two while driving up a friends driveway today. They were quite oblivious of anything else but themselves. One would posture and leap, the other would duck and dodge. I am not sure what sex they were-one did seem more dominant than the other.

Later, after watching the McCain-Obama debate tonight, I thought of these two birds today. :P So I have named them Obama and McCain.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Happy Birthday to our Firebird! All the trees are celebrating with us, draped in their autumn finery.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another Golden Day


Today we hiked on the power line trail. I remembered my camera. On the return trip, our attention was drawn to an alarm cry of the bluejays, and sharp eyed Willow called out, "A Golden Eagle!"

And there it was, emerging just above the trees that held the protesting jays. Then the eagle headed away from us down the powerline. Cam in hand, and desperate, I gave out the alarm whistle. I only recently learned that the Golden whistle is an alarm call, but they have always responded to it in the past, and today I was not disappointed.

I squinted, cam in hand, and Willow told me the eagle was headed back. I started snapping pix-fourteen fair ones in all. The Golden circled and soared- finally directly over our heads. Satisfied I had the best pix I could get, I waved farewell and we headed on. Just a few minutes later the second Golden appeared and headed away, still on the hunt.

Willow had collected some feathers on the trail-most likely from a nice wild turkey snack for the Goldens. That makes the third time in a week we have spotted them-or I should say Willow has sounded the alert each time. We also saw them the day we went to the beach, but I was driving and it was a difficult spot to stop.

Maine Golden Eagles


Saturday, October 4, 2008

questionable conservation

Yesterday I decided on the spur of the moment to include a trip to the beach with our errand- running for the day.

We started off by stopping off at a friend's house to pick up some amount of garbage that for various reasons they have been unable to take to the transfer station. As we had a very small load of our own, I offerred to take their stockpile for them.

I loaded 8 trash bags into the back of the wagon and we started off. Within minutes we were all gagging. The odor released from trash bags containing a summer's worth of dirty disposable diapers is indescribable. I suppose it didn't help that I had chucked them off a second floor deck to save the trips up and down the steps-apparently I had really shook up the contents.

Willow reminded me that I had recently purchased some car fresheners-lavendar scented trees whose scent had previously been rather overwhelming. I ripped open the packages and Willow and I each claimed one for our section of the car; the Firebird opted to roll down his window, pinch his nose, and keep his face inside his sweatshirt.

Peko huddled under some extra coats between the two of them.

We were much relieved to get those stinking trash bags out of the car when we finally reached the transfer station!!!! Then we stuck the air fresheners back into their cellophane. Although they were preferable to the trash odor, on their own they too were more than we cared to endure.

We headed down the penisula to the ocean. I opted to head for the locals spot-a small beach that we call "Baby Beach", because it is so calm and shallow. The only drawback is that at high tide, the beach disappears and the water comes up to the retaining wall of jumbled granite along the causeway. Of course it was high tide when we arrived.

From that point there is a little known back path of about 50 yards that brings you out on the far end of the larger beach. Otherwise you have to drive way around, and in the off season, park on the road outside the gate and hike in quite a distance. A very few poor or cheap folk occasionally use the back way in to avoid the small-one or two dollar gate fee during the season.

One has to be desparate to dodge the fee using that route, as the parking there is minimal at best-possibly four vehicles-and once on the larger beach you have to walk quite a distance for the restroom and snack bar.

The path, and I do mean path, as in this case it is perhaps 8 inches wide of worn trail, starts between some prickly spruce, and then down a short incline along the marsh. Then there is a bit of a wet spot where in years past someone had strategically placed chunks of ancient concrete for stepping stones. Then the path skirts right behind a building that is part of an estate, and emerges through some more spruce and sand dunes onto the beach.

No one has ever wandered off this foot path into the marsh. IN fact, the marsh used to be part of an overboard discharge for the park sewage, so there was additional reason not to wander off the path.

The inlet and outlet of the marsh to the smaller beach has mostly been blocked by the aforementioned granite and causeway-a culvert runs under the road to release the marsh overflow.

Thankfully, several years ago, the park put an actual septic in, which helped the smaller beach considerably, as it is the outlet for the marsh fluid, and used to be rather ripe at low tide. (not as bad as the trash bags with ancient dirty diapers, but nevertheless)

As far as the property the path skirts; the path is on park property, but adjacent to an estate as mentioned previously. The estate changed hands several years ago, and the folks are jerks. I don't know them personally, but there was quite a battle about the waterfrontage. There is ledge on that end of the larger beach, and at low tide it is well exposed and full of tidal pools which a dozen or so beachgoers might explore on a given summer day.

The footing is treacherous at low tide-full of barnacles and slippery rockweed-so one has to be adventerous and fit to say the least. Usually parents with children who want to check out what lives in a tidal pool. This spot became a battleground between the town and the new owners. The new owners wanted to install a ten foot chainlink fence straight down over the rock to the low tide line, to prevent the public from passing over the park rock onto their side of the rock.

The town fought it, winning by claiming the fence would be a boat navigation hazard at high tide, but a compromise was reached by allowing the estate to put twenty foot high galvanized fence rods into the rock at twenty-foot intervals with signs stating private property. They were permitted the chainlink up to the high tide line.

Now that I have filled you in on the background, I will continue with the story. Once we had parked at Baby beach, piled out of the car with our gear, and realized the state of the tide, I decided to take the back path onto the big beach. Well, we headed for the path and placed in clear view were specially made metal signs and posts stating, "marsh restoration-no access" or something along the lines.

Ok, I am a bad girl. We disregarded the signs and took the path. Now, my regular reader will now that I am rather rabid about the protectiion of wild spaces. But I have known this path for thirty years, and it has not deviated an inch in that time,or in any way caused erosion or any harm to the environment.

The cost of the signs far exceeded the loss of any income from annual gate fees-I began to suspect the estate owners had made another stink.

Once we passed the prickly spruce, hopped across the stepping stones, skirted the estate building, and rounded the corner up to the dune, there was another suprise. A twelve foot high pile of beach sand was piled at the end of the path. That's right, in the name of marsh restoration, the town had scraped the seaweed and beach sand off the beach-at least four large dumptrucks worth, and dumped it at the end of the path. Now that's beach conservation! :P

Not deterred, we clambered over.

We were the only ones on the beach. The tide was way up, and the surf was large for that area. The wind was blowing fiercely off the water. Willow immediately started looking for a place for a sandcastle-I walked off with Peko beachcombing, and the Firebird started playing tag with the surf.

Peko and I came back and joined in the game. We were nearly falling over each other as the waves surged in. As is usually the case, the ocean won the game, and Peko got his feet wet, and then all of the humans ended up rolling up wet, sandy pantlegs; having shed our shoes back at the end of the path when we hit the beach.

I had to call the Firebird back several times, as he kept inching further and further out into the surf. An experienced parent, I had foreseen well enough to bring dry pants for both of them, but after a brief thought, had passed on a dry shirt for the Firebird. So, as much as he would have like a good soaking, it would have been a long cold ride home in a wet sandy shirt. And it was too cold to take off coats and shirts at the beach.

Suddenly I saw a squall kicking up out of the So'West-a nasty-looking, fast-moving beast. I gave them a few more minutes and we dashed over the beach, back over the path for probably the last time in our lives(since we really do try and live by rules in general) and to the causeway where we had left the car.

Just as it started to sprinkle. I doled out the dry pants , and once down to their underpants, the saplings had to scamper down the granite to wash the sand off their feet in the high tide, of their own choice, showing no hint of modesty, although there was nobody in sight.

So we loaded up the dog, the soaked sandy clothes, the sand bucket filled with bits of shell and rock and driftwood the Willow had claimed for souveniers. I emptied my pockets of a few late- season rugosa buds and we headed off the penisula.

And squall it did! We drove through a downpour-the lovely colored leaves mixed in with the rain and leaves as we drove away. We all had a lovely time!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Golden Eagle

Aquila Chrysaetos


One day I will get a clear picture of the goldens!

This was my best attempt today. I was driving up the small dirt road that leads to the farm where I buy my hay, and came across a power transmission line. I looked down the mountain and was disappointed that the foliage was not better-most likely oaks that will change in the next few weeks.

I thought about the golden eagles, and wondered if they hung out in that area. Then, a few hundred feet down the road, I saw a golden soaring at the edge of an upcoming clearing. I pulled up to the clearing and put my foot on the brake and scrambled for the cam. By the time I had it in my hand, the golden had vanished, and I thought I missed my opportunity. Then, suddenly, from ahead of me, another golden soared by headed after the first.

No time for the viewfinder; I snapped off three quick shots aiming in the direction of the retreating golden, and then it was gone. I started to check the pix, and all of a sudden, "bang! crunch! bonk!" and I jerked my head up to realize that I had taken my foot off the brake and was driving off the wrong side of the road. Well into the puckerbrush! I quickly recovered and drove out without incident, seeing all the rocks, stonewalls, ditches, stumps, and utility poles that I could have hit when I went off the road. Luck was on my side!

When I arrived at the farm, S was in the barn and I told him my story. He looked incredulous when I told him about goldens, but had a great story himself. The night before he was headed out to the barn and saw an enormous brown shape in the field quite close to the barn. He headed in that direction, and a bull moose shook his head and stood up! The moose had one antler.

Shortly afterwards he looked out the house window, and saw a retreating moose, and ran out to see if it was the same one. That one had two antlers. So either they had been fighting or the former had lost an antler stuck in a tree. S said the first one that was down was acting quite strange, so perhaps there had a been a bull moose battle right in his back yard!

I was a little edgier than usual taking Peko on his pitch-dark walk tonight. Walking down the drive I thought I could hear sticks snapping in the woods, and once we hit the road, it was so dark I couldn't even make out my Obama sign a few feet away. I could hear my feet scuffing on the dirt road, and the light jingle of Peko's dog tags. I keps straining my ears for a 900 pound moose walking down the road, and wondered if they made much noise on the dirt. Then I wondered which way I would run if one charged me. I am pretty sure I couldn't out run a bull moose. LOL. I have to stop this or I am going to manifest an encounter of the bull .... kind. ;)

Paulson and Wallstreet

Found this googling Paulson and wallstreet. The comments were pretty interesting, as well. Just to give you a better idea about the guy who requested 700 billion to bail out banks with no strings attached....
[Todd Zywicki, September 26, 2008 at 11:55am] TrackbacksHank Paulson's Wall Street Days:Looks like the boom/bubble years on Wall Street served Hank Paulson pretty nicely:
Executive compensation: As Goldman's chief, Paulson received an $18.7 million cash bonus for the first half of 2006, and in 2005 he was the highest paid chief executive officer on Wall Street, reaping $38.3 million in salary, stock and options. He also accumulated 3.23 million shares of Goldman's common stock worth $492 million, plus restricted shares worth $75.2 million and options to purchase 680,474 shares, according to a Goldman regulatory filing on July 2, 2006.
He sold the shares in 2006 when he took the Treasury job:
Paulson sold his 3.23 million shares in Goldman, worth about $500 million at the time, when he took the Treasury job, according to regulatory filings. He was exempted from paying capital gains tax on the sale of those stakes under a rule meant to avoid penalizing wealthy people who take government jobs and are forced to sell assets....


My regular reader might recognize that certain things really get me going. Dishonesty and injustice are a couple of the top two.

A few days ago I discovered something which at the time did not irk me too badly, but apparently my subconcious felt differently. I awoke in the wee hours just churning, trying to get back to sleep, and figured if I wrote it I might be better able to release it.

A few weeks ago my oldest worked 2 1/2 hours at the farm stacking wood. About the same time I told a persistant Boss that I would not be returning to do fencework for various reasons. Well, a few days ago I saw the check she had mailed to my oldest for his woodstacking, and she paid him more money per hour than she was paying me for designing and installing fencesystems and carpentry work.

Now, there was no confusion as to the amount of time he worked, as I told her on the telephone myself. It just really burns me, and I am soo glad I am not committed to a job at the farm right now, or we would be having words. No wonder she was so keen to have me back. Just another stone in my face this week. :(

I do want to thank everyone for their nice comments on my foliage shots-those have been a saving grace for my ego this week, I'll tell you. :-X

On to the big wide world. Melamine. Melamine is an ingredient in plastic which is not approved for food use. In fact, it causes Kidney failure . A few months ago there was a massive pet food recall where companies had purchased feed ingredients from China which were found to contain melamine. Melamine when added to food gives a false protein reading.

I suppose you could add melamine to paper dust and it would appear to be full of protein.

Recently China has had problems with infant formula. Apparently dairy farmers were watering down their milk and adding melamine to cover the fact it was watered-down. Lots of babies have gotten sick. As US consumers we were assured that there were no legal imports of baby formula from China on the market in this country.

Then, a few days ago, there was some news that Cadbury chocolates had shown evidence of melamine. And M & M's, and snickers, and oreos-again, none in this country.

Alarmed that mass-produced food product could easily fall victim to cheap ingredient imports, I vowed to make snacks from scratch. I made a batch of peanut butter cookies tonight. Then when I awoke a little while ago, my kidneys were feeling cranky, and I started feeling a bit paranoid. How safe is that store brand flour and butter? I always assume stuff like that is produced here in this country and governed by safety regulations, but now I am not so sure.

How do I know that large corporation is not getting flour from China and re-packaging it here in the US? Or the peanut butter-even though that was a name brand. Very frustrating.

The last rant is just a hope that the House again refuses the 700 billion bailout bill for wallstreet. I think the news has been very biased in putting pressure on the public to accept this bailout package. I would have liked to have seen surveys out there which included more than two or three people. How about, "do you think congress should pass a 700 billion dollar bailout bill which would buy bad debt from banks?"

I suppose even that survey would not be accurate, as lobbyists would pay folks to sit down and repeatedly type "YES!"

I guess the fact that bothers me the most is that, Paulson, who crafted this fine plan, pretty much came straight into government from Wall Street two years ago. Conflict of interest? Certainly not!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Isabella Moth Autumn


In The Beginning

In the beginning was the three-pointed star,
One smile of light across the empty face,
One bough of bone across the rooting air,
The substance forked that marrowed the first sun,
And, burning ciphers on the round of space,
Heaven and hell mixed as they spun.

In the beginning was the pale signature,
Three-syllabled and starry as the smile,
And after came the imprints on the water,
Stamp of the minted face upon the moon;
The blood that touched the crosstree and the grail
Touched the first cloud and left a sign.

In the beginning was the mounting fire
That set alight the weathers from a spark,
A three-eyed, red-eyed spark, blunt as a flower,
Life rose and spouted from the rolling seas,
Burst in the roots, pumped from the earth and rock
The secret oils that drive the grass.

In the beginning was the word, the word
That from the solid bases of the light
Abstracted all the letters of the void;
And from the cloudy bases of the breath
The word flowed up, translating to the heart
First characters of birth and death.

In the beginning was the secret brain.
The brain was celled and soldered in the thought
Before the pitch was forking to a sun;
Before the veins were shaking in their sieve,
Blood shot and scattered to the winds of light
The ribbed original of love.

Dylan Thomas