Friday, January 24, 2020

Preaching to the Choir

Telling it like it is 

A commenter recently suggested that it might be a good idea to share some of the sources mentioned in the other day's post about the demise of the Farm Side.

Seems like a pretty good idea, so here goes.

For New York and local ag news you can't beat Morning Ag Clips. I will certainly be continuing to subscribe to that excellent compilation of stories as long as it's available. Here is a link to the subscribe page: Morning Ag Clips

I subscribe to everything Agweb and Farm Journal publications will send me...and it is a lot. Dairy Herd Management, Drovers, and any number of other farm magazines can either be accessed through subscription, or if you don't qualify for that, Facebook pages, which offer links to stories almost endlessly. I have an email address pretty much dedicated to farm news and it is filled every day.

It is also helpful to subscribe to daily emails from the NY DEC. Not everything is related to farming, but it is a way to keep up with environmental news.

It is by no means a bad idea to follow Farm Bureau pages on Facebook, which is free and easy. New York is a good place to start but there are pages from all over the country, as well as AFBF. There are many other ag organizations that have web pages and a Facebook presence as well.

Here are some Facebook pages, which you might miss that are useful sources of information.

The Calvary Group

Farm Watcher UK

Green Shirts

97 Milk

Farmers who are tired of....

Dr. Dairy

Protect the Harvest

There are more. Many more. I will share them as I come upon them if anyone is interested.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

And the Painted Ponies go up and Down

A dear friend of ours restores carousel horses with astonishing skill and passion. She somehow finds their hearts and brings them back to life. When finished they are alive and full of personality and vigor. It's magic.

We are big fans of her and her work.

Liz and I stopped for a moment at a carousel of local fame yesterday when we were out running errands and looking for birds. We grabbed a couple of photos while we were there.

 I have fond memories of Sherman's Amusement Park in its heyday, especially the carousel. I always looked fondly at the brass ring as we passed, but I was far too timid to let go of the reins on the prancers I chose. 

It is now shuttered and still and has been the subject of much acrimonious local controversy. 

It is still beautiful though, even from outside.

This one's for you, Grey. 

And here is a song I like on the topic.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

If you Missed the Farm Side last Week

Here is my fellow columnist's take on what happened. I thank him for doing such a fine job of saying what has been on minds here at Northview Farm. He is very eloquent.

I can honestly say I am okay with losing my job. I will miss the paycheck. It wasn't big, but it paid about one small bill a month.

However, I was writing books when it was offered to me...none of them published, alas....and maybe I will go back to that. Or maybe I will just blog here and share the photos I have so much fun taking. And it was hard to come up with a topic every single week for so very long.

That being said, I now realize that whenever I read anything I am watching for material I can use. Did the president speak to Farm Bureau? Yeah. I will read up on that. What are the animal rights people up to lately? Nothing good. People need to know. Who is hosting Sundae on the Farm? Will there even be one with the farm economy what it is? And if so what stories can I tell about their farm and family?

And so on. It's hard to stop doing that, but sometimes it's a relief too. There are a lot of email newsletters that I don't have to read any more if I don't want to. I used to put at least four or five hours into each column, and sometimes much more when some topic required deep research. 

It would have been 22 years in March.

No one bothered to tell me or the other writer that we were no longer needed. I actually wrote and submitted a column last Friday. It wasn't published so I was able to assume that I wasn't quite going to make that 22-year mark.

All in all it's been fun. I have met a lot of nice people and worked with some wonderful editors who pretty much gave me free rein.....and believe me I used every inch of it. 

If you have been a reader, thanks. If you are one one of those editors, thank you as well. You sure came up with some great headlines over the years. 

The best part of all those years, besides the cool people, was how much I learned. It is amazing how much information is out there if you are willing to dig. I read newspapers from all over the world, Great Britain, South Africa, China, Japan, and often Russia. My advice for folks looking for trends is watch Europe. So much political shenanigans and animal rights madness starts there and then migrates here like a mess of demented lemmings. 

I think I will keep on studying the wonderful world of agriculture. It is too important to ignore.                  

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Color of the Cold

The sun is sliding slowly nearer, floating up from below the horizon and slicing the sky like an orange......or maybe a really cold, frozen, peach. 

These very cold days are events of great beauty, if equally intense discomfort.

Such colors! Especially at the bookends of the days.

Lyker's Pond, good birding in all seasons

Raw blue and turquoise. Oranges and golden lights that defy description.

The evenings are equal to the dawns, like a rewind of the emerging beauty, folding the flaming tents and tucking them below the rim of the earth. 

We went out early yesterday, as Liz didn't need our school, the bus does not seem to be exactly Peggy-friendly..... and although we saw few birds, every single vista of frost rimed farms and steaming chimneys, cows' breath pluming, snow sparkling, made the trip amazing. Like a slide show spectacle of wonder. 

Same pond, different day, facing in the other direction

A short run for owls in the late afternoon was similarly fruitless, but at least equally gorgeous.

I am ever so thankful for birding even when we don't find birds. It gets me out. It keeps me watching. It gives me a reason to go, when my entire instinct in winter is to hibernate like a good, fat bear, and wait for seasons a bit more to my liking weather-wise.
Blue Jay soaking up the morning sun.
There were 22 in one tree and more flying in as we watched

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Good Morning Bird Day

Blue Jay

Mourning Dove

White-throated Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker

Seen out and around the yard this morning.