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“Your real duty is to go away from the community to find your bliss.” – Joseph Campbell
13 February 2016

Poem: Do The Trees Talk Back To Us?

Can We Hear Them?

Can We Hear Them?

Do they complain to the sun, and the rain,

and the cold. Can I see their arms

waving to one another in the morning light?

Sometimes, in the forest, I see my dogs stop,

and look up, they can hear so much more than me,

do they hear the trees welcoming them as they run,

laughing at the games they play on the path?

I have no evidence, but I can tell you that trees

can be deafening sometimes, when they cry out together,

Mother Earth spins around.

The poet Mary Oliver says the trees speak back,

especially to the wind.

"If you can hear the trees in their easy hours,"

she writes,

"of course you can also hear them later,

crying out at the sawmill."

 

Posted in General

The Beauty Of The Polar Vortex

The Beauty Of The Polar Vortex

The Beauty Of The Polar Vortex

Of all the seasonal skies, I find the winter sky the most beautiful to photograph. Our old friend the Polar Vortex returned today and the temperature has already plunged. It is -5 degrees, supposed to go down to -18 tonight here at Bedlam Farm. The very excited anchors on the weather channels say it may get down to – 45 wind chill but somehow I doubt that will happen. It is very cold, and a strong wind will make it a lot colder for the animals, and for us as well.

We have two wood stoves going and the oil heat on. Bless our heated blankets. By 1 p.m. tomorrow, it will begin to get warmer, and by Tuesday it will be in the 40's. It's been nearly this cold many times in my time up here, it's hard to separate the hype from the reality, but I can feel how cold it is, and I'm impressed.

We will be fine. The animals get restless in this, they drink a lot of the heated war. We give them extra hay and some small amounts of grain for energy. People who argue that all animals need to return to nature ought to spend a few hours with them tonight, I am glad we can give them shelter from the wind and sustenance and warm fresh water, those things matter on a night like tonight.

The dogs don't seem to notice or care about the cold, I took them out for a run in the pasture, I couldn't take more than 10 minutes, they were running well and eagerly. I loved looking at that sky, it is a work of art all its own.

Posted in General

The Difference A Wall Makes

The Difference A Wall Makes

The Difference A Wall Makes

Maria finished painting the south wall of the living room today, two coats and it makes a significant difference in the room. We worked hard to scrape the old wallpaper off this room when we moved in two years ago, this was easier and satisfying. We have worked on three rooms – the bathroom, the dining room, this room, and the salmon wall adds a great deal of warmth and character to the room.

We both like it a lot. Maria's eye and skills are transforming our small old farmhouse, and now that we know that we can keep it, we will continue to improve it in small but meaningful ways. There is not the money to do the big things that need to be done, but we will get to them over time as we begin to recover from the various financial traumas of the past few years. We will get there, slowly and creatively. Two coats of paint can make a big difference in a room.

Posted in General

Fate And Red Quell A Grain Riot

Red And Fate Quell A Grain Riot

Red And Fate Quell A Grain Riot

We put grain out for the animals as the temperatures plunged – 3 degrees right now, and the wind is really picking up, we put Chloe into the barn, the sheep and the donkeys started brawling. Red and Fate did some of their first serious work together, Red got between the sheep and the donkeys – Lulu kicked him in the side, trying to get the sheep away – he just kept working. Red took one side, Fate took the other. The maintained order and held the sheep in place until the donkeys finished their grain.

Good work.

Posted in General

The Living Room Wall

Taking Shape

Taking Shape

The artistic restoration of our old farmhouse continues, with a couple of cans of paint and some imagination. The South side wall is being painted salmon pink and it looks great, brightening up the living room and giving it character. The other three walls with remain white. In the afternoon, he sunlight pours in through the windows, the color is warm and interesting. Maria is redefining the idea of the old farmhouse.

Posted in General