3 February 2017

Go West,Young Man (And Woman)! The Path, the Path….

Go West

In just 15 minutes, Ed Gulley had hacked a path through this very dense underbrush. We're going back with pitchforks and clippers to finish the job.

I felt especially useless out there today, it was freezing cold and everyone was carrying something except me, who had the camera. I needed some help crossing some icy hills and no one else did, and everybody but me was carrying something from the farmhouse (rear) to the woods.

When people carry things for you, it is a definite sign you are getting old. As I tried to get up a steep and icy hill (everyone skittered up like rabbits) I was digging my heels into the ice and hanging onto branches. I hoped someone would come back to help me, and when Maria did, I was annoyed that she had come to help me.

"I can get up!," I insisted, but she insisted on walking up with me, although if I had fallen, she would surely have come down with me. I am meticulous about not falling when I am carrying my camera but it was dicey for a minute or two. I got up, seeing once again in this mirror that I am getting older, something every man denies.

Ed Gulley could have tossed me over his shoulder without noticing i was there, but I am wary of showing vulnerability. Still, I have this wonderful meditation, a bridge to cross, and soon, a walkway over the marsh. A dream come true, how sad to have such a nice woods and not be able to get to it.

Posted in General

Trailblazer: Our Natty Bumpo, Cutting Out A Path To Our Woods

Cutting A Path

Our woods are just a few yards from the pasture, but it is tough to get across to them. There are three obstacles. One was a fast-flowing stream we couldn't cross. The second was about 50 yards of soggy and muddy wetlands that are sometimes very difficult to cross. The third barrier, all natural, is the very thick underbrush reinforced by thorn bushes, I've torn jeans pants just by walking through them.

I never saw that sat on what had once been a path, Ed Gulley, our Natty Bumpo (Leatherstocking Tales) spotted the path between two stone walls and through the brush, he has spent much of his life out doors. Walking with him is an education in nature – he sees nests, identifies trees, reads tracks in the snow. He knows where all of the rabbits are making their nests.

He came to bring us a meditation bench, but he also brought a buzz-saw and waded into what I thought was impenetrable brush. In ten minutes, there was a path that led straight out to the woods. Much easier for us to get out there.

Next, we will be hauling pallets home from the dump to make a walkway over the heavy and wet marsh grass. It's very exciting to get out there, it's a sad thing to have beautiful woods you can't get to.

Posted in General

Padlocked Hunting Stand: Lots Of Gall

Padlocked Hunting Stand

I mentioned the other day that there is an unwelcome and illegal hunting stand out in our woods, it seems fairly new and is expensive and elaborate. Ed Gulley climbed up there to check it out and he said the stand was padlocked around the tree with a bicycle chain. We will have to cut the chain with a hacksaw to get it down.

The ladder is steel and so is the stand, which had a cushion seat. There are electrical wires, presumably for battery-powered heaters. This will take some work but we are determined to remove it. We are happy to grant permission to hunters but they need to ask, and nobody asked about this one.

In the next few weeks we'll figure out a way to get it down. There are many responsible and ethical hunters, and we always give them permission to hunt on our property. These hunters are not professional or ethical, and we'll get that stand down.

Posted in General

The New Gulley Meditation Bench

The Gulley Meditation Bench

The new and beardless Ed Gulley came over today with Carol, his sane partner, and he bought this quite beautiful and sturdy meditation bench, made out of two chairs, a ladder, and a tough old piece of wood for a bench. It was a kind and gracious gesture, Maria and I both love the bench and plan to sit out there in the quiet woods – we can look out over the farm through the trees there.

Ed, who is built like a small dinosaur, carried the bench out and through the woods and up the hill (Maria and Carol helped also). We found a quiet and peaceful spot. It was too cold to sit out there today, but when the weather warms up I can imagine meditating out there in the morning, or in the ate afternoon.

A wonderful place for quiet time, thinking and settling, also for mulling over writing and chapters for my book. in our world, time to think alone is precious and rare. No computers, news bulletins or cellphones out there, just us, the trees, the birds and creatures of the woods.

Ed came with a buzzsaw and hacked a path through the brush for us, the beginnings of a walking trail. Our farm is on 17 acres, but we've only used a third of that, we haven't been able to get out to our woods until last week, when Ed brought some wooden planks over and made a nice bridge out of them.

Ed has liberated our woods and opened them up to us, and Maria goes out there every day with the dogs to chop out some paths and explore the trees. We will buy the Gulleys' many dinners for this. Check out Ed's story on the Bejosh Farm Journal, Ed is also a blogger and writer and folk artist.

Posted in General

A New Bedlam Farm Thank You Card

New Thank You Card From Bedlam Farm

Many people prefer to send their voluntary payments directly to the farm, a lot of people still don't like to use the Internet. These payments come in varying amounts with lovely letters – the suggested annual rate of $75, or smaller payments based on  finances and ability to pay. The blog is free to everyone, as are the photographs I take, nothing is copyrighted or watermarked. There is no free for reading bedlamfarm.com, no one will ever be denied access over money.

All payments are voluntary and many come through in small and differing amounts to the post office box we have – P.O. Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816, along with many wonderful letters. I always respond to those contributions and as many letters as I can, and today, we got our new postcards printed up, this will be the way I will thank you for the payments sent by mail – they make a difference.

I will send a postcard to each person with a thank you, Lulu and Red are happy to help. And I thank you for supporting my work as best you can, and if you can.  The $5 bills are as welcome as the $75 and $100 checks. Your support of my work is appreciated in whatever form it takes, and I get some wondrous letters with $1 or $2 dollars stuffed in. They mean a lot also.

Very glad to have the postcards, a nice way for me to say thank you from Bedlam Farm. Your voluntary payments and contributions keep the blog going, and we have a lot of good things to do this year. The address is Bedlam Farm, Post Office Box 205, Cambridge, N.Y., 12816. I will thank everyone personally.

Posted in General