Tag Archives: chickens

Of Recalibration, Gardens, Bees and the return of Spring 

2 Jun

So today I realized it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here.  But you know, Life has a way of getting in the way…wood stacking, shoveling, sweeping, doctor and dentist appointments and of course work.  I tend to get caught up in what needs to be done.  But as my beautiful wife reminded me the other day, it’s also important to take time for the things you love!

we laugh a lot…still, after 14 years…my redheaded wife and I. 

chicken antics.   

my beloved pups.  

and our crazy, hunter supreme cat…Oliver T Posh.

So in the past few weeks I’ve been trying to incorporate more of what I love into my life.  See above and below photos.

Music, photography, and walking/hiking our land with my canine and feline friends.  Some  of my favorite things!

First fire of the season a few weeks ago

Full moon rising over the hills to the east

The flowers are blooming and the first of the garden put in…that’s mostly my wife.   And after years of research and a little bit of trepidation, my honeybees have arrived and been installed.  I am now a beekeeper!

That’s a lot to be grateful for!


Franklin John McCarty

7 Feb


 Otherwise known as Frankie J, he is the youngest canine of our household. 

 He is also the “small” dog I never wanted. He’s 14lbs and don’t call him a little dog, never mind.

Frankie wanted nothing to do with those small tennis balls… even as a young pup… I’ll take the regular tennis ball.


 And what’s this puppy food business… I’ll eat what all the other canines in the house eat… Thank you very much!


He likes to think he’s fearless but he is a bit intimidated by a few things…chickens for instance. 

And goat videos…of all things!

He’s also not too sure of our new kitty Oliver as he’s not used to cats who actually bat at him with claws.  Our two old cats never struck out at the dogs when they harassed them.  Maeve and Nisha just meowed and ran away.

But he seems to be working at getting along with Oliver.

Frankie’s got a few more hobbies than playing ball and chasing cats.  He loves to go kayaking and hiking.

And bothering his sweet big brother Tanner.  One of the most frequent expressions heard around our house is “Frankenstein, leave your brother alone”!  Note the long suffering look on Tanners face!

But one of Frankie J’s favorite things to do is go to work with mama even when we worked in different places when we did travel PT on the other end of the state.  We call it Frankie Friday now and he’s a darn good physical therapy dog!  He should since he started when he was 2 months old and he’s 8 and a half now.

He’s pretty tired after working all day…after all it is quite exhausting being adored so much!

And he really is adored from one end of the state to the other…we call him the “Gateway Dog” since even people who don’t like dogs are charmed by him.  It’s kinda hard not to be!

Love, love, love this boy!

Another Beautiful day up here on our Mountain

6 Feb


Finally some snow up here!  The chickens really appreciated the pathway back to the coop provided by our amazing Farm Help.

Next year’s fire wood slumbering for the fire pit!image


The old dog/puppy Zelda (14) dancing, making “snowdog angels” and finding her way back home in her ever graceful self

All of us here at Coyote Crow Farm are really grateful for the land and the warmth and the fire that makes this place home.



Loving, departing, scary stuff and renewing the pledge of love!

24 Aug

It’s been quite a year up here on the mountain.  We fell in love with and bought a log cabin on 13 acres and fell in love even more with the cabin and land.  We’ve now had almost a year up here and how could we not!

And that was just fall!  As we settled in to our first winter we realize there wasn’t enough wood.  We needed to hire someone to plow and a scary new health issue reared it’s ugly head, meaning shoveling the many paths needed over and over again was challenging.  

Ya, I had to pull out my lined farmer overalls and hand knit hat and then go rest between shovelings.  It was hard on the dogs, on the chickens and us!

But Spring , early Summer, new chicks and new life arrived up here on the mountain.  So did better health, wonderful young farm hands, a new garden and a new appreciation of the slow but steady way of approaching physical labor!  We got new spring chickens this year…and well I’m not one of them!

We’ve lost a few more of our elders this year…it’s been hard as our family is so closely bonded and beloved to each other!  I know we’ve missed all of them in our own ways…I can still hear all of their voices in my head.  And now we become the elders of our nieces, nephews, grandchildren and the parents they remember.  It truely is the cycle of time and family.  I’m not sure any of you will ever know my memories and love of you all.

And then our animal companions.  Not that everyone understands this but in some cases almost as important as our ” human” family.  Chichi, Digger, Iyago, Tilly, Cherry Merry, Agnus, Sherlock, Shirly, Bernie and Charlene, Lance and Jeremiah.  Yup, I’m pretty sure these are names my siblings and cousins would remember.

Loss is coming to our home as time marches on.  Nisha the Tuxeto kitty is gone now, Maeve kitty is 17 and hanging on best she can, Zelda is almost 14, losing a bit of speed, face color and hearing, Tanner will be 11 this fall and Frankie our “baby” just turned 8!  The joy and sorrow of loving our companions…I can’t stop loving them even as I know the sorrow to come.  

I will not stop opening my heart to family and friends as I will not stop loving the animals that become part of my heart…my heart is big enough for you all!

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

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!

Thinking about home…

26 Jul

Within all the craziness of trying to figure out my temporary life, I’m still in here. This odd and changing world of mine is designated to end in a month. Frankie and I have basically the same motto these days.

The last time I spent 5 months away from my primary residence with only a few visits home was in my mid-teens Catholic boarding school living with less than 50 girls and the nuns on the coast of Maine.

The Catholic boarding school with the nuns on the coast of Maine is another post entirely but it is a bit ironic that I’m living and working on the coast so far from home again, first in Danvers and now Plymouth, Massachusetts.

While I love the sea very much and need to visit at least once or twice a year (Pisces here!) I find I’m missing the hills of home terribly.

And although this has been a marvelous opportunity for Frankie and I to bond even closer, I think he misses the other dogs… Tanner and Zelda

And the cats… Nisha and Maeve.

As well as the chickens… both to watch

and to stalk more than the hills!

But I think it’s the steadfastness and the feeling of completeness that my wife Elizabeth (Frankie’s other Mama) and our life together on CoyoteCrow Farm that we miss most of all!


Hang in there, Honey… We’ll be home soon!

Planting Weekend at CoyoteCrow Farm.

29 May

What my wife said! Dang, it felt good to shovel and have my hands in the dirt. I’m thinking our bathtub may not recover for a while… with all the dirt my shower left behind. And my mouth waters thinking about the yumminess our efforts of this weekend will produce in a few months between eggs from the chickens and vegetables from the garden!

I’m finally back in Lexington and heading off to sleep. Tomorrow promises to be a looong day at work. Hope you all had as great a weekend as we did. G-night and dream well.

Reaching for Nonsense

I was going to write a nice descriptive post about the process of making dandelion wine, and maybe I will.  But this weekend was so chock-full of busy-ness and activity that I can’t pull my mind together.  I think I can manage a list, though.  🙂  Thank you for your indulgence.

  • Weez was home all weekend, which was lovely.  Three whole days together, working on the homestead.
  • Got over myself and bought started veggie plants from the organic guy at the farmer’s market–tomatoes, basil, dill, lavender, cucumbers, sage.
  • We planted potatoes and tomatoes in the driveway, which involved lots of shoveling dirt.
  • We put together all the ingredients for this year’s dandelion wine.  Hoping the magic will transform the smelly sludge into a potent elixir like it did last year!
  • Bottled the Scottish 80 shilling ale from Northern Brewer.  Can’t wait to try it out!
  • Made huge…

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Chicken Obsessions…temporarily, I hope!

15 May


Except for a few necessary walks Frankie has spent most of the past 24 hours sleeping. That’s because he indulged in his newest obsession over our 2 days home. The Chickens!


Not for nothing was the term “tenacious as a terrier” coined. I had to remind him of my “Big Dog” status when he couldn’t tear himself away from the chicken coop to come when called… I literally had to chase him around the coop to catch him for the lesson.


Now he wasn’t the only one fascinated by half grown chicks. The other 2 dogs, Nisha one of the cats, as well as my wife and I all spent time checking them out.



I have to admit it took a while for me to come around to the idea of having chickens living in our backyard. But dang they are pretty cool to watch and quite beautiful too. Check out those gorgeous feet feathers on Captain Katherine Janeway!




Dust bath, mealy worms and all. In fact, Frankie and I spent time Sunday night hanging out with them (and in Frankie’s case sniffing them although he did appear leery of their beaks and spread wings that up close and personal) in their rapidly too small brooder downstairs bathtub.


OK, maybe Frankie isn’t the only one with a chicken obsession right now… but hey I’ve never been up this close to them before. Here’s looking at you!


Before and After

14 May

Some before and after pictures from more than just this weekend.






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That was fun. Notice our Tanner boy hanging out on the freshly mown lawn not giving two hoots about the chickens behind him. However Frankie was a totally different story.


Tomorrow… Frankie’s newest obsession!