Saturday, May 23, 2015

Listen to the Mockingbird

Savannah Sparrow

Well, actually, listen to the Bobolinks and Red-Winged Blackbirds. This field was seething with birds yesterday when I went up. Savannah Sparrows dotted the edges singing their sweet little raspy songs.

Two hen turkeys took off at my passing.

An Upland Sandpiper called almost right in my ear to make sure I noticed his passing.

Common Yellowthoat, the little masked bandit of spring

Cardinals sang, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, Willow Flycathcers everywhere....a Harrier passed, rocking low over the grass, pursued by half a dozen smaller birds that didn't like the look of her.

Great Crested Flycatcher seen from the sitting porch

I took a short video so you could hear some of the din. Turn your sound up to experience the techno music of a hay field in spring. The actual video quality is negligible...this is just for the songs.

Brown Thrasher on the Long Lawn

Oh, and I drove this too....although that is not me in the  photo.....

Thursday, May 21, 2015


How things have changed around here in the past few years......we used to the know the name of the owner of every farm around. Knew their kids and their wives, and sometimes even their farm dogs. Knew them to talk to at auctions and meetings, or were even good friends and good neighbors.
"Whew, got 'em stopped just in time

We knew how long they had farmed their land.

And who farmed it before them.

Must be a campfire

That is all done now.

Everything has changed. Everything. Almost every dairy farm has gone out of business...there are barely any left. Some have been replaced by small Amish farms, but all the folks we used to know have left the industry, left the area, left the land.....or even died, all too often untimely.

All new people now....all different, all changed. We know a few of them.....have hired them to do some construction, bought a few things, chased away particularly persistent elders who wanted to buy the place whether we wanted to sell it or not, which can be generally pretty aggravating. 

Still, I'm sure glad someone is farming this reopening other land that had been grown up to brush and weeds....

On a ride around last night though, we could barely recognize places we have known for all our lives..... and I sure do miss the old neighbors.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Wonder if the Crow

Masquerading as a Raven, what with molting outside feathers leaving him a pesky wedge tail, worries about  the Grackle eggs he is stealing.... are they organic....

All stealthy as he sneaks from apple branch to cedar stem, a screeching stream of iridescent black and green and blueshine parents flowing behind him, wishing in his wake that he was more selective in his dining.

Do the selfsame Grackles post on social media about the GMOs in the Catbird eggs they maraud upon or the nestlings they make away with?

Hmm....I wonder....

That fine, large, whitetail buck that gallumphed across the pasture just a little while pretty against the green...seemed unconcerned, but what do we know? Does he fret about cholesterol in his clover? Will it interfere with antler growth? Could he be low T?

Or the cottontails nibbling at the edges of the iris patch. All that grass....Gluten free? Free range?

I wonder....but wait...there's more. I'm pretty sure none of these creatures worry about anything other than enough.

They certainly don't have to worry about where their food originates. It's all one big farmer's market to them and they are our most frequent customers.

Too busy to fret about factory farming as long as their bellies are full and their homes are snug and secret.

Farm Kids Can

Frieland LF Bama Breeze

Congratulations to Sawyer Fredericks who lives on a farm a couple of miles from us. I've even been on that farm several times when other folks were farming there....seems like a great place to grow up.

I am glad this fine young man won last night. He truly deserved it. I don't have the patience to watch TV, but Ralph had it on in the other room. Every time Sawyer came on and his fine, pure, yet gritty, powerful, but still sweet, voice drifted out to the kitchen I had to go listen.

He is that compelling. I would have been very disappointed if the other performers, no doubt fine in their own genre, but sounding to me very slick and commercialized, had beat him.

I wish him all the best.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Little Slice of Farm Life

Liz made this video of the young birds the kids have raised from chicks, which have now moved up to a big coop. You can hear the sounds of the day in the background, the lambs querying when their next meal will arrive, the roosters crowing, the radio playing country music in hopes of keeping varmints at bay.

I like it and find myself playing it over and over again, despite being able to walk right down to the barn if I want to.

On and Off

When the wood boiler is going, which it generally is if we want hot water, unless the water is diverted, heat flows upstairs through the ducts even if the furnace fan is off.

This can be shut off, and during the recent heat wave it was.

Then we had the boss turn it back on because it got chilly.

Yesterday we wanted to ask him to do it again as it was hot enough to be uncomfortable out planting the peas and beans, and was downright excessively cozy in here...but he had had a tooth out and we didn't want to be mean to him.

Boy, are we glad today! is downright shiverish.

Lots of rain last night too. I have a tool tray, which I keep filled with water and keep mint plants in pots in it. It was empty yesterday. This morning it is full...on the porch!! And not under the drip either.

Must have been some storms. I dunno. Having managed over 7000 steps yesterday I missed them due to sleep.