Thud Thursday, Nov 9 2017 

Gingkos are fascinating trees.  One of the older species around.  Very hardy (the one in the picture is well over 100 years old) and interesting shape.  They don’t drop branches (much).  Females, I’ll grant you, have a blossom which isn’t very pleasant, but one can avoid that.

However… they have one slightly annoying characteristic.  At a certain point in the fall, like other deciduous trees, they drop their leaves.  Unlike other deciduous trees, they will drop them all in one day…

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And one is well advised to rake them up rather quickly, as they make an almost impenetrable mat for the grass to die under.

So.  That was the morning’s entertainment today.

There’s a new boy… Saturday, Nov 4 2017 

on the farm,,,

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He’s bigger than he looks.  17 hands 2, and about 2000 pounds.  Welcome!

Storm Panels Friday, Oct 27 2017 

This place we care for has 19 outside doors (granted, 3 of them only access balconies, but that’s still outside.  And still wretched excess) and they all need storm panels installed for the winter winds which blow across the meadow.  That was this morning’s entertainment.

There is a curious thing about them, though, which we’ve noticed before — they change the feel of the house, even just sitting inside somewhere.  It’s not that one can feel the change in the draught (unless it’s very windy) nor can one see them, of course.  It’s the sound.  The house becomes very quiet inside; outside noises — the odd car, a lawn mower somewhere, whatever — are muted to the point of non-being, and one can hear the house.  One can almost imagine that the house is like a big cat, curling up in its bed for the winter and, perhaps, purring quietly to itself as it goes to sleep.

There always comes a day Monday, Oct 23 2017 

Sometime towards the end of October when, somehow, one realizes that the year has ended.  Oh I know — New Year’s Day is the first of January.  Really?  It either should be the end of summer and fall, or the beginning of spring.  Samhain or Beltane.  I suppose that is the difference between a temperate climate and a Mediterranean one, though.

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Today seems to be that day.  The last of the hay is in

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The last apples are picked…

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And it’s time to sit for a bit — it’s warm out, after all — and just take stock of this year.

There is something Friday, Oct 6 2017 

curiously satisfying about mowing a paddock (we are hoping to get a new horse in the near future — and an unmowed paddock is a seriously bad idea).  Can’t really say what, but it is.  Very peaceful  It reminds me that now — some time on! — I realise how truly at peace with himself and his world one of my early … mentors, to use a modern word he wouldn’t have recognised, was.

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Besides, it is a beautiful fall day — so here are a few pictures to enjoy!

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We are the land Monday, Sep 4 2017 

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We are the land…

We are the farmers and the woodsmen

The fishermen and the ranchers

We are the gals in old pickups

Coming to town for feed for their animals

The men on the town truck

Mending the road

The Wichita Lineman that someone wrote a song about

We are the farmer with his tractor coming home at the end of a day

The rancher, checking his stock before a coming storm

The fisherman, looking for the harbor lights in the evening

Woodsmoke on an autumn wind

A light in the window

The land is not ours –

Oh the deed down at the courthouse may say so

But the land is not ours

We keep faith with our forefathers

And we care for the land for our children

And our children’s children

We are the land.

Jamie

Cedric Saturday, Sep 2 2017 

IMG_1902.jpgIt hasn’t quite gotten to this colour around here yet — another few weeks, though.

But it is cool enough so that we finally gave up and turned Cedric on last night.  Who is Cedric?  The boiler for the heating system.  I do hope that we are not the only ones who give odd names to at least some of our supposedly inanimate objects.  Supposedly.  Not everything gets a name.  But some things do.  Cedric, for instance.  Then there is Fergie, who is an elderly but still quite functional Ferguson tractor.  Or Girl, who is the lawn tractor and mower and in the wintertime sometime snowblower — who got the name Girl after the poem (“there was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.  And when she was good she was very very good, and when she was bad she was horrid.”  Remember that one?).

Whimsy never hurts…

 

When it rains… Thursday, Aug 31 2017 

No, not the liquid sort… but, it we haven’t really managed to finish the peaches yet (getting, there, getting there!) but now…IMG_7464.jpg

Wolf River.  I think.  The tree is having a wonderful time this year (it’s one of those every other year trees).  Looks like we can’t relax just yet.

 

Peaches Thursday, Aug 24 2017 

There probably is a very good reason.  I am sure that there is a very good explanation… but

Do they all have to come ripe at once?

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The cooks in the family have been industriously sterilizing jars and making up a sugar syrup and taking the skin off and so on and on.  That’s only a very small part!  There are more on the opposite counter, and yet more in the cellar.  They’ll be very welcome this winter, but why do they all seem to come at once?

And we’re not done yet!

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Where’s the ladder?

Time Wednesday, Aug 23 2017 

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For something which is completely inexorable and steady, time has a curiously elastic feel somehow.  How long ago was it, really, when I looked out on the view above and the spring crocus were coming up on the edge of the field in all their colors?  Did it seem then that summer would last?  When I was taking my nap just now, how long ago was it that I was lying in the same bed and listening to the milk man come with his glass bottles, on a summer morning just like the one which we had this morning?  Last week? When was that?

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The fall asters tell me that summer is all but over, and that autumn – perhaps the loveliest time of year – is just about to come.  For our young people, perhaps a surer sign is that the school busses are out on the roads, learning their routes.  For others, it is time to break out the canning jars and work on the peaches again.  Another year has rolled around, and much has changed.  And yet, and yet… I look out across the hills, or just across the Keeping Room to my piano, and I wonder.  Just what has changed?  But change, like time, is everywhere and always.

Perhaps the psalmist says it best, as paraphrased here by Isaac Watts:

A thousand ages in thy sight are like an evening gone, short as the watch which ends the night before the rising sun.

Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away; they fly forgotten as a dream flies at the opening day.

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