Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Fairy Wogdog

Is no relation to either of ours....

Yesterday Mack laid a good one on me. Of course I should have known that a Jack Russell terrier would have guts of granite and a constitution to match, but I am used to Border Collies.

They are much more tender.

Anyhow, each morning I have been taking Fin out on a leash and letting Mack run order that neither be inside barking while I walked the other, in deference to the night shift. They have a great time mauling each other.

I think it will be a long time before I can trust them together though. Mack loves the pup, but he is so darned fierce. I fear he might hurt him without meaning to.

Then I bring Fin inside to have his breakfast and leave Mack out to hunt rats. Yesterday he was most successful....except that his chosen prey was the lovely carcass of a deceased chicken.

A long deceased chicken. Bones, feathers and decay.

Or actually, upon further research, two of them. I think he found them up under the small chicken coop, which is vacant because something...probably rats....was killing the teenaged chickens there.

Guess the clean up crew missed a couple.

I did not discover the crime until AFTER I had given Mack his breakfast. He was bulging in an interesting fashion and looked as if he might soon pup a nice litter.

Then all day long he ate newspapers. This is not normal for him. I guess he wanted to pad the bone ends or something. I worried, as worrywarts are prone to do. We had just finished getting the other pup over some typical Border Collie tummy troubles. Just what I needed.

However, this morning the signs of pregnancy have subsided and he seems to be his usual obnoxious and overbearing self, barking at something or other and tearing around like a wild man....btw, Jade went back on days and the darned dog is back on his cable....bark away, buddy, bark away....

Me, on the other least ten new grey hairs.....see, right here.....


If morning is, then ours is opal

All misty firmament and heart of fire

And trees the secret of the Orient within.

But whatever is up in the garden driving the dog nuts and making him bark.

Stopping my work and getting me out there, dog as excuse, and camera in hand

Be still.....

Go away wild thing, whatever you are, I need to write.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fair Time


The fair is almost upon us, so one of the veterinarians from Midvale Veterinary Clinic, where we have done business longer than I have even been here, is here doing the "fair work". Getting legal for attending a show where many animals from many farms are all grouped together. This lovely young lady is great with the horses and does a good job with pups too.

Coggins, rabies vaccinations, ditto Potomac Fever are being done on the horse and the three ponies. We have heard that Potomac is really bad this year so everybody got an extra booster. Even if they aren't going to the show they need their protections......

And lucky me, the lovely young lady who is doing the work today had dog vaccines and medicines right on the truck.

Thus Fin got his rabies vaccination and his third distemper, lepto, etc. shot, plus some Frontline for the fleas that seem to have taken over his He saw fit to retaliate by peeing all over me during the rabies part of the deal.....

Ah, well, it's only laundry, right?

Meanwhile it is finally cool enough to feel lively again. I think I may be at least ten years younger than during recent weeks.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Been pushing the walking envelope the past few days. Made it all the way to the 30-acre Lot yesterday, although it took a very long time. Took a shorter walk this morning, but by golly I took one. Pedometer still doesn't register my careful little steps.


Everywhere you look there are signs that this is going to be a very short summer. Blue Jays are back in loud mode, yelling all day long. Haven't seen a Yellow Warbler or Redstart in a week or more....nor heard them either. Plenty of Common Yellowthroats around though. There were two cuddled up very cutely in a desiccated little shrub, preening in the early sun, right next to a House Wren doing the same.

Mixed flocks seem to be the norm now, another sign of impending change. While the boss and I talked next to the wood pile yesterday we saw that Dark-eyed Junco that is back early, more Common Yellowthroats, a couple of House Wrens and at least eight Carolina Wrens, all in one little feeding flock.

If you stand still you can hear yellow leaves falling all around anywhere there are trees. I suspect this may be a feature of the weather as much as the season, but it is a bit disconcerting. I am never ready....

It is threatening rain today and the boss has a load of hay ready to bale. Sure hope he gets it.

This impish little person is planning a tooth brush raid.
Found mine behind the toilet
and the boss's in the garbage wrapped up in noxious paper stuff.
Time for new ones I guess
And a functional gate for that door.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Duck, Duck, Duck, ooooohhhh, Cool Duck

We did a few hours up in the swamp on Saturday before the family pic-a-nick....which had me plumb wore out by evening, but what a good day we had.

Besides bazillions of great birds....43 species in all, plus some peeps, which I could neither ID nor photograph.

There was this one duck, which came under a great deal of discussion. Couldn't quite make it fit anything and it wasn't close enough to get a great look at it.

Kinda looked like a Lesser Scaup so I put it down as one but with the disclaimer that we weren't sure. We got several photos though, so it could be checked out by those who know more than we do.

Thanks to the lovely folks who review eBird check lists we now know it was a Ring-necked Duck.

How cool is that?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Happiness Is

Some volunteers

Being too young for the Senior Citizens' Day free admission at Altamont Fair. There are only a handful for which I am still not old enough to qualify.....

Getting off easy in last night's storm. Some wind and lightning, but nothing too awful. There sure has been some violent weather the past few weeks. Not really all that unusual for a NY August, but the constant heat and humidity makes it seem worse.

Are more welcome

Helping bring along the next generation of birders. I was coming downstairs from putting laundry on the bars when I heard a LOT of peeping around the front porch. I went to the screen, but it was so dim, with approaching bad weather that I couldn't tell what the birds were even though I could see them.

So I pished a bit through the screen door and soon had a porch full of YOY Carolina Wrens. There were at least 8 around. Peggy came out and asked what I was doing, so I yielded my place to her mother, thinking she could call them up so Peggy could see them.

Seriously, they were coming over a couple of inches from the screen. Not much bolder than a wren. Liz couldn't get them to come back in but Peggy started squeaking at them and they came right over.

Than others

I wish you could have seen her face when she came and told me all about it! Soon they wandered over to the sitting porch and began noodling around all the flowers, while hummingbirds were drilling for nectar. I hope this year they are savvy enough to head south. I hate losing them every February when it gets really cold.

Getting a year bird yesterday...they are awfully thin this year. Anyhow, as I was cussing out JRT Mack for hauling me off the step in his rush to go potty hunt, I glanced up and saw a distant black outline flying east to west. 

Great Blue Heron. Cannot believe it has taken me into the second half of August to count one here on the farm. With the river nearby and a tasty stream full of frogs in the center of the place I usually see them much earlier.

So many missing species this year. Bad luck or some other thing I do not know, but even the Great Crested Flycatcher has been elusive. We normally see them or hear them daily in summer. No Green Heron either, another normal spring and summer bird.

No Upland Sandpiper. Only four warbler species. I sure hope approaching autumn livens things up. It doesn't help that I can only walk a little way but still......I haven't even seen a Yellow-Rumped Warbler yet.