Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Small Learning Experience

It once was, that if you hit "next blog" at the top of the page you would be given a random blog to view with pleasure, alarm, horror, or boredom.  There were times when I could be treated to all of the above and a few more emotions, in the space of ten blogs or so.  When I found one that appealed, I'd read into it, maybe bookmark it, maybe start to follow it.  And then on to the next.

Now, it seems, Blogger has decided if you seem even slightly interested (ten seconds seems to be a kind of bench mark, apparently) in a blog on, say, birds,  well, by gosh and by  golly that's what you get.  Hover too long over the marshes of a distant preserve, or read into a gardening blog or two, and suddenly you are seeing marsh birds, endless images of gardens,  and birds in gardens.  Where have the other blogs gone?

This morning I decided, as much as I wanted to read about bushtits and upland lakes,  I was going to try to wrestle my blog hunting away from Blogger.   Fifteen tries later I broke free of the bird lovers and plummeted into the gardening.  Undaunted, I kept moving.  More birds, more gardens. Aha, porn. oh, wait...

Fast forward to economics, a few political blogs, ducking the golden eagle swooping over the marshlands again,  dodging owls in their native habitat, and came up upon an unhappy mother and her unhappy life. One more click and I found myself staring at a Japanese entepreneur making and selling handbags.  I rested there for a bit, let Blogger catch up with me, and maybe tomorrow I can find a wider range.

Once I escape the Luis Vittons and the Coach bags.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Statement of Policy concerning Early Spring (6WS)

I refuse to garden in a winter jacket

It is  my considered judgement that wooly hats and mittens clash with lawn mowers  and it's hard to pull the rip cord in mittens

Sunburn, yes. Frostbite, no.

I will wear rubber boots out there but do draw the line on wool socks and fleece-lined mukluks

If I have to shovel a path to the garden shed, maybe we should wait a week or two, ya t'ink?

It's also very hard to turn a compost heap when it's still a 4X4 block of ice with twigs embedded in it

Thursday, April 14, 2016

thirteen of them (Jaudo13) (Thursday 13)








E enjte


Dydd lau

thu nem




Wednesday, April 13, 2016


You go into a new forum, and are confronted with about five screens of sign-in 'security" code.   Your address, repeated.  your magic question.  your password (oops, it has to be 12 letters and numbers, no two consecutive, lower and upper case);  your date of birth.  your screen name (ohhh sorry, that one's been taken) --and so have all of these.

now comes the little box with the strange swirly looking letters, pink and yellow on a white background. No clue as to how many there really are, (is that a sideways number or part of the design...) or if you need to use upper and lower case...oops, sorry, try again.  (you have three more tries and then, sir, or madam, you will have to start over)   oops, sorry.  you have used up your tries.  Start over please.  e-mail address? no, that's been taken----

All this to enter a forum where you want to ask a single question about one item.  and by this time I have totally forgotten the question,  lost the site address,  and no longer care.

By contrast, all I have to do is go into my local bank and 'look familiar" and they will give me my savings account number.  No ID necessary.

(shakes head. wanders off)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

I miss the Five and Dime (6WS)

1. the narrow board squeaky hardwood floors

2. goldfish and turtles at the back of the store beside the potted plants

3. the snack bar with the red vinyl seats and a foot rail to hold your packages

4. the notions aisle

5. the popcorn machine at the entrance

6. the parrot

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fast Forward

8 years ago today I started this blog, with trepidation
and not much hope of it going anywhere.  it's a small thing,
as these things go, but it's mine, and like Gollum, I cling
to the rocks and shoals of it, waiting for the shiny parts.

44K pageviews, 22 followers (several of whom have wandered
off), and a LOT of photos.  It's been fun.

Every day is the first day, and the last.

Then again, I guess it's that way anyway. These days I wake up
a little surprised that I woke up at all, and glad to be here.

and here. Thank you for taking the trip with me. It's a lot more fun
with company in the passenger seat.

13 cool things about bread

1.When it's done baking the smell fills the house
2. Making bread is great exercise
3. Always knead it longer than the recipe tells you to
4. It has to be truly awful to be inedible, sorta like cheesecake
5. Toast
6. More toast
7. If you're the bread baker in the group, people say, ooooo.  you bake BREAD?
8. If you're not, you wish you were
9. Yeast is magic
10. Once you get over the idea that yeast is a living organism...
11.  It rewards all the work when you open the oven and it smiles up at you
12. A sandwich wouldnt be a sandwich without it
13. Oh, have some more toast

Thursday 13

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A very long walk

100 years ago this part of New England was just recovering from almost total deforestation;  farmers had found new and more efficient ways to manage the land, sons and daughters were now working in towns,  and the once ubitquitous farm land was reverting back to fields, truck gardens, and forest.  In the late 1800s NH was 90% agricultural land,  by the end of this last century it had reversed itself, despite our sincere efforts to pave anything that didn't fight back.

Places like this took less of a direct hit because of the topography, and the trees crept back steadily as there was less and less need for grazing land and huge acreage for crops.  This particular bit of land was scraped down to bedrock by the glaciers, carving large tracks for the melt that followed.  I suspect that thousands of years ago there were serious rivers in each valley, all of them heading down to what would someday be towns, and lakes, and larger rivers.

` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

The biggest concern was the rain: would it?

It started to rain the minute people began arriving for the walk;  35, more or less, amazingly enthusiastic people.  It continued to rain while the two tree guys introduced themselves and we huddled like refugees waiting for the walk to begin.  It rained harder as we marched off into the woods. Some people actually brought umbrellas =)

we had originally suggested splitting the group into two separate parties, one to go west and one to go east but the organizers felt we needed to stay together.  

This is one of the stone walls that divide one pasture from another deep in the woods at the bottom of the valley.  to the right you can see how steep it is.  

this is basically the same area, only looking the other way, up the side of the other valley.  At the bottom, one of our tree experts is showing us about a basswood tree,  one of only a few that we have. They LOVE finding stuff like that. =)

We decided to take the easy route (most of the people on the walk were  over 50, some I suspect were even over 80), through the admittedly sloppy valley.  At some point one of the wood fellas hopped a wall and we found ourselves trekking upward toward the beech ridge.  It was a lot like that part in the Hobbit where the  hobbits are inexorably shunted downward, toward the Evil Tree, only in this case we were being somehow propelled up.  Since snags and downed trees blocked the way down, over and over,   up seemed the way to go.  Suddenly we all agreed that since we were here, yes, yes, the beech ridge would be lovely.

this is the end of the beech ridge path, leading to the neighbor's field and the really cool view.  He's very generous about sharing the view, and it never disappoints.

 And this is one corner of the pasture, (yes, it was still raining.  endlessly)

Below that  photo is the overlook, on a good day you can see the ocean, 40 miles away.  

We turned back, to come back to the main house, all along the beech ridge but going the other way.  Once there my husband said, hey, let's take the OTHER walk too and everyone said, oboy and off they went.  My jacket was thoroughly soaked, and I was starting to forget what toes feel like, so I came in, stoked up the fire, and had one of my power naps in the rocker.

An hour later they all trooped back, having taken not only the scenic route but the long loop,  a complete journey of nearly three miles.  yikes.

As they left, the rain stopped.  The sun came out almost immediately.  Of course.  And last night, just to make sure we didnt get too excited about spring, we were given two inches of snow. Nature's answer to "spring? Can't last,  don't get used to it..."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Before dawn, this morning, a woodcock (6WS)

One of the uglier birds out there, but for me, always a sign that the seasons are progressing the way they should.  I went out to get kindling for the morning fire, and sure enough, I heard the whistle and that nasal "peent peent peent" overhead.
They have a tendency to sit smack in the road or field (if I close my eyes you cant seee me) and only when you approach too closely do they fling themselves upward and fly away.   Once your heart stops pounding and settles back in your chest you realize you have just terrified a Woodcock.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Addendum /Link alert

this is a link to an earlier post that describes the process a bit more clearly:



At the moment everything is in stasis:  a bit of rain, a bit of snow,  a LOT of wind.  Not much to write about (and I so do not want to discuss Scary Politics here) and unless you are fascinated by the processes involved in de-mousing a closet,  I will draw a tasteful veil over that and promise I am still around, if not visible.
Tomorrow if it doesn't rain we are going on what is called a Site Walk with MMRG (Moose Mountain, our Land Trust people), with two very interesting tree experts and probably 30 people total.  This is what I wanted to have happen,  that it become a place to learn stuff about the way trees mature, the way forests mature and change, and why a messy 'natural' forest is the place where wildlife actually live, rather than just pass through to get to the good stuff.   This IS the good stuff.

I'll try to remember to take photos.

Last year we had 20 or so, that the sight of them winding their way across the land in a kind of careful conga line was both gratifying and hysterical at the same time.

And now I must go tidy up the porch. It's been a repository for wood and bits all winter, and it's begun to look as if there should be a wringer washing machine at one end and an old washtub at the other.  =(