Friday, June 05, 2020

Out There

Common Yellowthroat

In the murmuring dark.

My farmer's soul can't sleep past four. If I get up the dog gets up and must be aired right smart.

Off in the distance just one robin is singing.

Or is it? So far, so soft, just not quite silent.

The yard light wakes the locals, the chorus is on. By first light there'll be a dozen, by sunup many more..... the Indigo Bunting that must nest in the yard, although we've never spotted the structure itself. There are fledglings though, every single year, fooling me with ringing chirps that surprise from the shrubbery all summer day long.

Warblers, Yellow, "Sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet," Yellow-throated, "Witchity, witchity, witchity," little bandits of the bushes. I love their bold tameness and their bright, yet secret colors.

And American Redstart, who also says, "Sweet, sweet swee..." but it's a sharper, thready sound, almost too mechanical a whistle.

Northern Cardinals, Carolina Wren, done with first nesting and back to summer song, sometimes a Wood Thrush, usually well off to the north, but one day right out by the wood stove, and wasn't that a morning! 

Sun will bring the Bobolinks, and their techno crazy melodies. Check out a spectrogram of the places their songs go. Wow!

Field Sparrow, first time they have ever summered near the house. Such a gorgeous silver waterfall of sweet, sweet, liquid sound all day. 

By breakfast it will be a job to pick out all the singers and squawkers and squealers, but in the last true darkness, it's just the robin and me out there, light waking sleepers sharing our joy, twin seekers of the light.

Purple Finch

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Wednesday, June 03, 2020


As farmers finish spring tillage and planting work and segue into the hay harvest, it is wise to use caution on rural roads. 

Most farm machinery travels 25 mph or less, and around here, some of it travels a LOT less. However, a little patience and caution will get you where you are going pretty quickly.

So look out please, most of them are feeding the world and we all love to eat.....however a few are just having a hecka good time.


June is Dairy Month

Great advice, should school as we know it ever return
I always loved writing the June is Dairy Month and July is Ice Cream Month columns back in the day. It seemed as if they wrote themselves in fact. When you love dairy farming, dairy farmers, and dairy products is is easy and fun to talk...or write...about them.

These days however, times are tougher than they have ever been on our nation's dairy farms. Farmers are facing unprecedented low prices, transport problems, and leadership doubts. Consolidation in markets, coops buying processors, dumping milk, decimated milk checks...It's a wonder we can still get cheese on our pizza.

Our local source for milk, Stewart's, has been sold out a number of times even though they source their own milk from dedicated farmers. With folks home with their kids demand is high, which in theory should result in higher farm gate prices. There are dozens of excuses why it hasn't. 

Still, I am happy to salute the men, women, and children, who rise early and work late, caring for God's creatures, producing nature's most perfect food, and stewarding land for now and for the future. Let's raise a glass...of fresh, delicious whole milk of course.... to their hard work and wholesome product.

Milk-it does EVERYbody good!

***And if you want to own your own cow here's your chance. 

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Wild Flowers

Blue-winged Warbler

Some earth bound and some with wings to fly.....

River Walk

Spotted Sandpiper

Song Sparrow with a big Mayfly

Not long after sunrise, the best time of day.

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Pink Lady apple...purchased last November 16th. Still usable if a little rough

Last year's apples taking up room in the crisper drawer. Space needed.

Had a thought. Could you mix rhubarb, which is in season with apples, which are well past theirs but still perfectly good, to make some kind of sauce?

Google says you can and so I did.

Applesauce with a kick...kinda zingy and good. Whatever we don't enjoy with pork chops for supper tonight I'll freeze.

And now the crisper drawer is free for summer fruits and vegetables.