7 Jul

As some of you have may have noticed I’ve been working to be more active on my blog lately and I’ve realized I have a bunch of drafts I never finished or posted.  Procrastination is an ongoing issue for many of us…certainly one of mine.  

My southern based and soon to be departing boss remarked to me on Monday “how cruel it was to be posting all these recent photos of snow” as she would be happy to be viewing these scenes from a window up here once she’s retired and doesn’t have to drive in it.  Fair enough Ann…although we did tease you about you wimpy Southerners.

I decided to revisit some of previously non snowy not posted blog posts just for you.   Consider it my going away present!

This is from July of 2015.  The new chicklets ” spring 2015″!

Well it’s been quite an afternoon and I’m so glad i was home today.  I heard the first peal of thunder and immediately raced to check on our beautiful, sweet, slightly deaf, used to be faster and very phobic old girl Zelda.Old photo…Someday I’ll invent a drink called “Zelda on the Rocks” but I digress.  Benadryl is a wonderful anti-anxiety drug for frightened dogs.  It makes her chill and sleep.  I don’t know why she can’t  just enjoy the thunder rolling and bouncing around the hills…it’s an amazing sound but whatever I love her anyway.   Good thing I got to her quick cause a series of short lived T-storms came rumbling by and you have no idea how much damage a freaked Zelda can do while trying to hide (shudder).

 I did manage to get all three dogs out to the pen for business doing in between.  We just got back to the porch before the heavens opened in a deluge.  Both boy dogs and myself REALLY hate getting rained on.  Just before the next storm the hens started shrieking from the meadow.  Uh-oh.                                                              

As some of you might know we’ve had coyotes stop by on a few occasions.  One got a mouthful of tail feathers but Stumpy survived and I managed to pop the coyote in the butt  with a BB gun <grinning widely> to send it loping off into the woods.  One of the Wyandottes managed to escape the coop before Elizabeth was up, into the jaws of a predator…we think coyote.  So much for the early bird!  We followed the trail of feathers to the woods.                                                                                                                             


So anyway, this afternoon when the hens started hollering, I ran out to see Stumpy almost to the the porch and a small coyote out in the field making eyes at the other three hens running as only hens can run towards the house. I yelled loud and waved my arms wildly to chase it off to the woods.  I grabbed a BB gun to fire in all directions towards the woods.  But my heart sank as I realized there was no sign of the 15 chicklets.   

I found all of them in the bushes near the house.   All present and accounted for!  Smart kids!  

After the next torrential downpour, me and the 3 farm dogs made the rounds on the outskirts.  Domestic canines left plenty of messages to any wild ones lurking about.  And honestly, (slight sidestep here) there is so much we can learn from our closest companions.  Dogs have few issues regarding body image.  Therapy and farm dog, 13lb Frankie left the most obvious messages.  That boy just cracks me up!                            

It was a wild, weather-wise afternoon with swift moving systems about the hills.  Another clearing arrived later day.  

The big dogs to the pen, youngest canine and I to seek bounty from the land.  Mid July is a wonderous part of the wheel to be living up this mountain.  Thank you to the hands that tended flower and fruit before us!


True Norths Gloaming

25 Jun

True Norths gloaming
True Norths Gloaming June 25, 2015

Into the not yet night I walk
The sound of gravel underneath
As I stride thru the tall pines
At the edge of open I stop
To hear the stillness
Of True Norths Gloaming

The sting of the wind has ceased
As bird clamor dies down
While the heat of the day dissipates
Leaving air cool and dew wet
Grass tickling my legs
In the True Norths Gloaming

Stepping forward again
I ponder the complexities
In the changing light
Smell the deep and close forest
Rich with earth and water
All bound by True Norths Gloaming

Walking the edges of shadow and light
The pristine shades between
Day and night with farm dogs
Gathering scents from the land
Herding chickens to coop and sleep
In the True Norths Gloaming
But the ominous rising sound
Of insects awakened
With the dawning of night
Turns me quickly back
To seek shelter from the
Fading of True Norths Gloaming

Chop Your Way to Success

10 Mar

“Four days into my new exercise regime and I’m feeling and seeing results” says Weez McCarty of Western Massachusetts who is thinking of producing a new Exercise Video: Chop Your Way to Success.  Her wife Elizabeth was skeptical at first, calling Weez her “crazy wife” and worried that the hour a day seemed excessive.  Some on Facebook even liked and commented along with Elizabeth.  However there was no denying the lack of water seepage into the guest/music room, the ever expansive view of the deck or the trimmer new Weez.

“It’s not an easy routine but boy it is so satisfying to get after it day by day” says Weez.

Weez went on to say “it’s been such a long snowy winter, and I’ve  spent so much time on the couch I was beginning to get cabin fever.  Weez and Elizabeth do indeed live in a log cabin.

Weez complained of not feeling like herself with no fire wood to stack, all the snow paths shoveled and only one snowshoe outing this winter.


Weez listed some of the benefits of her new workout.

-no need to join a gym or for expensive equipment                                                                                                                 

-You can workout in your Jammies although boots and gloves are advisable.                                                                                                                                                                                       

-a total body exercise combining cardio and strength training                                                                                             

-and as an added bonus you see imediate results in reclaiming your porch steps or deck and you know Spring is just around the coner

Weez is hoping to try a Kickstarter campaign to fund the video project but promises a special discount for all New England residents.  

A Season of seasons

26 Feb

It will take a Season of seasons to know this place I now call home.

To know which trees or bushes start the parade of autumn and where the yellow, orange and reds are the brightest.


How shadow and light tracks along the land and in the cabin.


Where does the sun decline behind the mountain in each season? When does Orion and his dog Sirius first rise in the east and come visible to us earthbound admirers?


I have learned which directions the wind blows and what the covering of snow reveals of this slope of hill in this winter.


It has been a long and sometimes difficult fall and winter. And so the Wheel of the Year turns. I have witnessed two seasons…fourteen more to go for the full Season of seasons. A small sample size to know how the rest will unfold.

Recently I woke late in the night and unable to sleep rolled over to catch my breath in wonder. Orion and Sirius were framed neatly in the liquid velvet of the dark sky. Although the nearly full moon was not yet visible from the bedroom window, the hanging icicles glowed as if lit from within. All in the glory of the moons refracted light.

I watched the familiar stars move westward from an unfamiliar vantage point and felt comforted. Past and present with change and timelessness are bound up together in this life and this future. For now the heat of the wood stove and warm glow of light emanating from the windows keep the cold, chill winds at bay…I can’t wait to see what adventures await!


Here at CoyoteCrow Farm.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

16 Feb

We’re not going out one last time, no, No, NO! And you can’t make us.



Can’t say I blame them. My wife’s iPhone app says -25 with wind chill. May everyone’s version of God be with anyone outside tonight!


I thought about going snowshoeing today. It looked so beautiful once the sun came out.


Until I took the dogs out and witnessed the wind first hand. I quickly changed my mind. Tanner was the last one to leave the pen and the first to the porch…by racing past Zelda and leaping over Frankie. No fool that boy!


Elizabeth and I left our place once this weekend to have lunch. This is what our driveway looks like.


Becket General Store is 1 of 2 places around these parts to eat and grab a few essentials like milk, ice cream, bread or beer. An out-of-town first time visitor came in while we were there.

You might ask how we knew he was new to the area? I’d say it was probably the shocked look on his face when he realized there were no green vegetables to be had unless he drove around and down the mountain to Pittsfield or Lee.


We’re learning it’s different up here in the hill towns. You’d better keep what you need close at hand and travel in 4-wheel drive vehicles to get to town. Most of us have roof rakes, spiked boots and heat with wood.

It’s a close-knit community and folks are starting to recognize us. Heck, half the town knew where we lived before we actually met them. So we wave and offer help to each other and practically blow kisses to the plow guys…especially this first winter! It’s feeling like we’ve finally come home to the warmth of hearth, love and community.


What I think most people want and I am blessed beyond measure by having the wife and life I’ve always dreamed of. No fool this girl! Especially in my lined farmer pants!


May you all be as blessed with the warmth of love and shelter on this cold, blustery and star filled February night.

And the stars answered…

15 Feb


a winter nights wish                        weez  february 14, 2002

tonight I stand and watch the crystal
brilliance of unshrouded stars
feet firmly planted on frozen earth
while a north breeze sounds wind chimes
and plays upon my face
with lips tasting cold winter air

my heart, my senses, and yes my soul
cries out to the universe
for the one to complement me
not complete me
for I am complete
and wish to find
another complete soul

I feel like I’ve always been a creature of the night, even as a child.   My senses become sharper the darker it gets.   And it’s amazing how much easier you can tell what season it is in the absence of light.  While I love the night and the moon it has been the stars that fascinate and speak to me the most.  When it is very still I can hear them… a…

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Seasons of Our Lives: Part 1

27 Dec

LOVE, love our bumpy map…now residing in our music/guest/map room!

6 months ago, this is where we lived (center of map…Pittsfield) and expected to be for a few more years. We had a 2 to 3 year plan. We had been looking at land in Washington county, NY with an eye to camp and eventually put some sort of structure up.
And 6 months ago, I suggested to my wife to look in the Berkshire Hill towns so we could continue to work where we work and stay closer to family. She pulled some website up (she’s my IT support at home) and the 4th property she looked at…as she put it “OMG, I’ve found our Dream Home!” And so now we live here! (center of map.)

Sorry Geography Nerd here…

We caught a small glimpse of Summer, witnessed Autumnal Glory,

and are heading straight into the teeth of Winter.

We are looking forward to the changing light on the different parts of our mountainside as the Wheel of the year moves through the seasons. This year of grace to contemplate will help us know what needs to be planted where and how the stars move through our heavens! A year of healing and becoming…for both us and the land.

Settling In at CoyoteCrow Farm

22 Nov

While Elizabeth and I are still working at emptying boxes making this new beautiful space our own, the animals are settling in…each in their own way!

Maeve being the cat and incarnation of Bast hangs out pretty much where she wants to even unto the dog beds!




Tanner meanwhile is grateful for everything! Note the wolffish grin!



And if anyone wonders why Zelda is so skinny, it’s because she is constantly doing laps around the place…we’re wondering how many pedometers it would take to accurately measure the miles! She does occasionally rest, usually with a baby of some sort and is always the last one to accompany me upstairs to bed at night.





His Royal Frankie-ness takes advantage of his size to sit where he fits. We’ve had to add extra sleeping arrangements on the hearth since he and Maeve kept vying for the same warm spot!




The Chicken Palace has finally been moved up the mountain but the Chickens have to make do with their FEMA trailer coop until the palace is completely predator proofed. They are loving their new home!





But 3 out of 4 of the indoor critters agree the best seat in the house is right next to the roaring warmth of the wood stove!

Zelda is too busy pacing!

Beginnings and Continuity

3 Nov

The sun has set up here on Housewarming Weekend.


And what an amazing weekend it’s been for our household and CoyoteCrow Farm! The dogs haven’t moved in an hour or more, Maeve kitty is blissed out on catnip and the Chickens are safely tucked and locked up in their coop. My wife Elizabeth and I are enjoying some wine, soft background music and relaxing into the warmth of the wood stove and love of friends and family.

Friday night brought 2 past and dear friends up the mountain in renewed connection for our House Blessing. It was a simple but straight from the heart affair…a perfect way to begin enfolding who we were into who we are and who we are becoming. Thank you so much Kacy and De’Anna!

Saturday brought waves upon waves of old and new friends and family. At one point it was standing room only with a plea to step away from the front door so yummies from the grill could be brought in! The bounty of food and gifts was almost overwhelming. By the end of the evening we were begging people to take home food not wanting to waste the bounty…after all there are only 2 humans in this household and my Irish Catholic background forbids waste of that kind. Everyone wanting to share in the joy and amazement of where we find ourselves.

One of the most fascinating aspects of all the gatherings I’ve been a part of since I was a child and especially as an adult are the connections that are made between the various parts of my life. I love, love, love that some of the oldest friends I have here in the Berkshires have connected with someone I work with now and also with one of my wife’s knitting group members.

Our Chimney sweep and his partner (yes they were here) we met as a result of a friend’s party years ago who is still a beloved member of the group of women who were here Friday night. And so it continued all weekend long. The weavings of past and present kept popping up.

I gotta say one of my favorite moments was when my rehab buddy’s all high fived over the fact that the bathroom is handicapped accessible and OT approved! We can’t help ourselves…occupational hazard to notice these things away from work!

The blessings of the weekend continued on Sunday with the sleeping over of a rehab friend from the North Shore who lived with us as family during her traveling time last summer…the dogs totally remembered her! Shortly after she treated us to breakfast at the general store, my cousins from NH arrived with simple but thoughtful gifts for everyone including treats for the chickens…honestly who remembers the chickens during a move…I certainly didn’t! It’s also why Maeve kitty is blissed out on catnip.

A particular joy this weekend was seeing the kids and grandkids of the cousins and co-workers of Elizabeth and I play catch, run the dogs and check out the chickens over the wide open spaces of our place. As I remarked to my cousin Kathleen, it reminded me of our youth romping over our Grandparents home acreage.

From friends we met at workshops at ColdAntlerFarm traveling from out side Albany, NY, to my sister and her husband from central Ma, my In-Laws from eastern Ma, my cousins from NH and friends and co-workers from all over Berkshire county and beyond, Elizabeth and I so appreciate you being here this weekend. You all helped us celebrate our new beginning and also celebrate the continuity of community we are still a part of!

The cold winds have been howling all day…thanks Chloe for howling with me and the wind! The clocks have been turned back and the darkest, coldest time of the year is upon us.

We will not fear the coming winter months as we have learned to embrace the wheel of the year. This is the time to know the skeleton of the trees and the bones of the land when introspection and uncluttered vision is upon us. We will be sustained with the fuel and food and friendships we have cultivated in the less lean times. We will shelter in place out of the wind and cold in this log cabin in the woods and up the mountain with the warmth of a wood fire and the memory of love and good will. Thank you to all our friends and family for helping keep us warm and loved. We love you back!

Fridge Poetry: Weekend 38

22 Sep

Happy Birthday, to my my Lovely Wife,

As you end your 37th year and enter your 38th this is for you!

Fridge Poetry: Weekend 38.   9/21/2013….9/22/2013

Pray each Spirit still whispers
Delicate twilight wishes
Only to keep moon rain want
Kissed as water beautifuly fired
Over sun reason moved above blue grace


Let thy heart dream on sight
Of how sublime art prances
Then happily reconcile beauty at age
For as always time is a bringer
Of enough hard needed truth


But then there be too, another
lovelier kind thought
KNOW we none are alone