Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now I know why my front lawn is so green

These 11 wild turkeys have been around all summer. They have been carefully tended by two females, and not one of the eleven was lost.  Baby turkeys are as near the bottom of the food chain as you can get, and its not unusual for a mother turkey to lose an entire clutch of 12-16 babies in a season.  I suspect the two hen turkeys were sisters from one of last year's broods, and I am strangely proud of them for protecting these guys all summer, from coyotes, foxes, fisher cats, and anything else that eats turkeylets. 

This seems to be their first day on their own, without the two mothers watching over them.   The fields were mowed yesterday, and they've been scouring it steadily ever since, gleaning, gleaning...

Harvesting Moonlight

Slowly, with care so as not to break
its spirit

Storage can be a problem
unless you have a field large enough
to hold it all

Any wild thing will tell you
let it run free, trust it will return
at the right time and for the right reasons

Watching from the edge of the woods
rising over the trees at last
only a little to the right
of where you left it the month before

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Odds and Ends

Finally, rain. The neighbor who takes our hay every year came to mow, yesterday; and today, racing the rain, he gathered it into windrows, baled it,and loaded it onto our flatbed all in about five hours. Just minutes, literally, before the rain started for real, he came back with his pickup and got the last half dozen or so bales left behind.

Which is why we do not grow or sell hay for sale, why we do not raise vegetables or fruit commercially, or any of the other things folks seem surprised we do not do with 'all that land'. I simply do not have the emotional stamina any longer to watch thunderheads gathering on the day we mow the field, or watch a late May frost wipe out an entire year's harvest. I do however
admire those people who do, and seem to thrive on it in some way.

But it did rain at last and is raining now. I hope it rains for a week.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Still no rain

Words of one syllable department: in the local paper last night I read that in some areas of the country they are advising people to put out barrels to catch rainwater until the drought is over.

Read that sentence very very carefully.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cecropia moth caterpillar

Found this on a neighbor's blueberry bush a few days ago. This eventually turns into the largest moth in North America. Even by itself it's pretty spectacular

enough, already

This has been the Summer of Small Appliances. I finally divested myself of three old vacuums, one dating back to the days when women were shown in ads wearing heels, stockings, and shirtwaist dresses. and smiling. Nature, however, abhors such things, and sure enough my mother in law, hearing that I was down to one, unloaded--errr,--gifted me with one of hers, cutting her vacuums down to two and raising mine.

Some time later I was telling her what a mess my new iron was, and she said, oh wait, I have one that you might like better. It's not very good, but at least it doesn't spit water at the cat.
She was right, it wasn't very good. Just last week, as part of her current effort to clean out the deadwood, she presented me with her newest one, truly a terrific iron. And as she said, since you're ironing my clothes anyway...(no, ma'am, I don't mind at all). Now I have three.

Tonight she parted with a mixer. It's a late forties Dormeyer Silver Star. No, I never heard of it either. I shall add it to my mixer collection, which is now up to six. No one, ever, ever, needs six mixers, three of which are stand mixers. Just as no one ever needs 14 strainers and colanders...

I can hardly wait to see what she sends over next--