Saturday, April 29, 2017

An Eye for an....

A nifty little driftwood camp, snuggled under some Box Elder trees...
as ephemeral as the Killdeer nests once the water rises

We went down to Schoharie Crossing the other night to see what we could see. No new birds, but the river was about as low as I have ever seen it; I got carried away walking.

I walked all the way down to the Mohawk, enjoying the antics of Killdeers trying to lure me away from hidden nests. I am no danger atall to them, but the rising of the river is something they should have planned for. Heavy rains, or the closing of the locks will doom any eggs laid among the small stones that are normally well below the water line.

I felt kinda bad about walking so far, since the boss was sitting at a pic-a-nic table with nothing interesting to do. I couldn't resist though. That may have been the last time until winter that it was possible to walk so far, and river bank walks are not so appealing in snow and ice.

When I returned, rather than being irritated, he had a tale to tell. A giant snapping turtle had started to climb out of the river and then changed her mind. He much enjoyed describing just how large she was.

See that speck?

And then he pointed out into the Schoharie, "I think that's her right there."

I saw the thing he was looking at. Even through the binoculars it looked like a stick. There are lots of sticks in the river....

A little better look

And then it vanished from sight. Wow! That was one huge turtle! And what an eye that guy has!

The Sprout Brook Auction is Today

If you see the boss tell him hi for me.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

There is Nothing Worse

Than a sexist farm mom. This was firmly pointed out to me in reference to my posts about farm girls. Thus here is a farm boy in all his glory......

Farm Girls

You may have seen yesterday's post about two generations of farm girls doing what farm girls do. I wish I had seen Peggy's reaction to that barn full of wonderful cows, not to mention baby goats, and human kids to play with as well. 

Here are a couple girls of another era...the taller girl is the Boss's mom, an amazing person I wish you could have known. The smaller blond is his auntie, 97 years old now and darned near as sharp as ever. They were farm girls too, on that little place up on Fiery Hill, before loss and hard times sent them other ways. 

Our Peggy is named after both of them...Peggy and Ann...she even has the same last initial as they did when they were young girls.

Of course the Boss's mom ended up here on this farm and named the place and showed it love. So many things are still hers...your mama's apple tree...your mama's garden....your mama's sitting porch....sometimes you leave a mark on a place and she sure did. I still have almost all of her houseplants and tend them faithfully and with love. We surely miss her.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My Favorite Cow

In the course of looking for a photo of the girls working in the barn when they were little, I came across amazing memories. We are so fortunate to have done all we have done and experienced so many wonders.

This is why I was looking for the know how it is with apples and trees....

Talk about blessings!

Anyhow, I discovered that I sure took a lot of pictures of my favorite cow of all time, Broadway, my first Milking Shorthorn cow, a daughter of Alan's cow Bayberry and a shorthorn bull we bought after finding him online...I always called her "Beautiful" Broadway because to me she was.

This Old House

Was an antique shop when my folks ran a different antique and book store in the same village back when we were kids. Sad to see it falling into such disrepair. 

At least it still stands, unlike the one we grew up in, which was burned by arsonists not too long ago.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

About those Work Clothes

These things are not the real deal no matter what the store that sells them for over $400 claims. 

And here's what Mike Rowe has to say about the concept of pre-unwashed work clothes.

 May I say that the "Borax wash" he mentions closely resembles the attributes of grout clothes, with which us relatives of driller folks are well familiar....They make the washing machine go clunk, clunk, clunk, and can stand on their own even after your best efforts to clean them.

On the other hand above are work clothes. They are worn by someone who gets them dirty with real dirt. The others are just wannabes. 

The Return

We much enjoy woodland creatures
and spotted this amazing fellow at Lyker's Pond the other day

Of the rain, came just as forecast. Seventy yesterday, several degrees below cold now. It won't hit fifty on the day watch today. Still, it feels like spring; all those pansies are planted either in hanging baskets or the lovely window boxes Alan got for me from one of his coworkers. They make even the dank cold look cheerful and sunny.

Peggy got to visit a dairy farm yesterday with her folks, the home of a fine young man they did 4-H with back in the day. He was always a hard-working go-getter and hasn't changed a bit. It is good to see how he and his young family are carrying on the dairy tradition.

Anyhow, while they were there a tiny goat kid was born. When Peggy got to go in to see it, all damp and matted down with being newborn, she asked, "Where is the shell?"

Everything that is born anew and observed by her youngself around here comes out of an there must be a shell, right?

Explanations were in order and she is now much taken by goatlings. It is such a delight to enjoy the wonder of learning in a little one. Plus Liz got to milk a couple of cows, which made her day.

I don't dream about cows any more, although I used to all the time. Oh, those alone-in-the-milking-parlor at the farm where I used to work come on occasion, but less and less as time goes by. I do look at photos of them and enjoy passing farm fields redolent with the scent of new grass and the valuable organic fertilizer cows provide though.

However with the challenges facing dairy farmers today....well, I don't think I could deal with that....again...... because as long time readers know, we lost our market....twice. It is harder than you think.

And farmgate prices are low despite thriving butter and cheese sales. There is a lot of blame to be laid at the door of government officials who told us back in the day that dairy fat was bad for us. Too many people still believe it. Not us, we love our milk and ice cream and cheese and don't feel a bit guilty about enjoying them.

Lots of these guys too...

Monday, April 24, 2017

What a Wonderful.....

The Boss of Bowmaker Pond
He has a nest way out on a little cattail island in the pool
But if you step out of your car up in the parking area he will swim over, clamber out
and give a good dose of the evil eye.

Weekend. We had a day of nice weather for a change, after a misery of a cold Saturday...the guys went racing and about froze.

However Sunday was glorious enough to make up for it and as frosting on our cake our boy brought his young lady down and took us out to breakfast at my cousin's lovely establishment.

We visited the folks for a bit and then came home and enjoyed the day until he had to leave to get things going for back to work today.

We next went out on the hunt and found Bonaparte's Gulls at Schoharie Crossing, life birds for me and a welcome addition to my county list for this year. Once you get all the easy birds, finding the more unusual ones becomes a bit of a job...albeit it a very entertaining one.

My how the countryside has greened up with the rains, even though they weren't exactly the warm ones that really get things growing. The mild winter has allowed the forsythias to strut their stuff and wild yellow flags border bright emerald lawns everywhere you look.

We stopped at Sunnycrest for the first time this year and Becky bought me a flat of pansies, some stunning petunias and a nice pink geranium. Today is a busy Monday kind of day but as soon as I can those pansies are going into the flower boxes for the sitting porch....

Bonaparte's Gull

One more nice day....and then the rains return.