Tag Archives: photography

Following the Light 

8 Jun

One of the most fascinating things about living up here… Both through a single afternoon and through the seasons  is following the light as it slants down through the hills, vegitation and trees.  I especially like walking the land in late afternoon.  







A late afternoon spring ramble.  Oh my, it takes some scrambling to keep up with the shifting light on a daily basis!

And now for your viewing pleasure, a seasonal spectrum of the amazing light show we are fortunate to see up here.  Much less scrambling I can assure you









It is such a gift to follow the land and God’s light and grace through the seasons or even a single afternoon!



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!

Family Reunion across the Rainbow Bridge 

13 Feb

Maeve 

I recently wrote a post about my 14 year old girlie Zelda and how I felt some sadness of the passing of the years.

Zelda


My Uncle Bill commented, “They have to move on to make room for others!”  I replied, “that’s why God gave us big hearts!”

Apricot Sara


I’ve frequently heard people say “I had a dog (or cat) once but I loved them so much that when I lost them I decided then I would never get another one because it was too painful.   My response has always been “I guess so, but if you lose friend or family member does that mean you never make another friend or love a family member?” Some odd responses to that question!

Nisha


 

Each time I’ve said goodbye to a beloved, human and furry, I’ve kept their memory and lessons learned from each.  Lord knows, I still miss Digger, Cherry Merry, Agnes, Iago, Jeremiah, Kaya, Apricot Sara, Nisha and Maeve (my furry family) and of course my cousin Kevin, Grandma and Grandpa, my Dad, Aunt Pat and all of the rest of my Aunts and Uncles and friends too that have passed to a place beyond my frail human comprehension!  Sometimes I think of them all at some celestial Family Reunion with soft grass, soft warm breezes and of course fabulous food.  Love surrounds everyone with their/our dogs, cats, sheep and pony frolicking about, all part of that love!

 

 

Please Mama, don’t stop!

11 Feb

Yeah l know I recently posted about our girlie Zelda, but this morning was just to sweet not to share!




Our 14 year old (98 in human years) has retired from active Physical Therapy Rehab doghood.  Which makes me sad on several levels.  It means she’s getting closer to the “Rainbow Bridge” and I’m pretty sure the special understanding of the folks on the Huntington’s unit during her work days had enormous positive effects on her skittish nature…they still miss her!  



They still remember her name…from 2011!  They don’t always remember my name for crying out loud!   She’s become much more affectionate, tolerant and accepting of strangers.  That makes me sad too because I wish we could give her all the affection she so deserves!





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.

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ALL PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR!

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!






A Season of seasons

26 Feb

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

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

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

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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?

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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

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

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A matter of balance

31 Oct

backyard blizzard

Last year at this time we were digging out after the Halloween weekend blizzard.  Little did we know it would be the last substantial snowfall of the winter.  Today many of us are cleaning up after the wind, rain, fallen trees and branches of “Superstorm Sandy”.  How like October.
Impressionistic October
October can make me think of every season.  Indian Summer, green leaves morphing into autumnal colors, spring cold naked branches and wild winter blizzards all in the same month.  I live in New England because I love having all 4 seasons.  No wonder October is my favorite of the year.
And Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.  Samhain as the Celts called this day marked the end of the harvest season before the winter dark descended upon the world.  It was a time of honoring beloved ones passed beyond the veil, of stock-taking and preparing for the cold months.
I have found myself doing just that for the last few weeks.  I’ve been thinking a lot about my loved ones who are gone and working on balancing the various aspects of my life.  Taking stock if you will.

family cemetery

This has been an odd sort of year for me.  I worked for 5 months away from home as a traveling physical therapy assistant (PTA) and filled in as per diem in several nearby facilities.  But I haven’t had a permanent position in a year and a half.  It has been unsettling as I’ve never gone this long without the security of a full time job.

working

Reintegrating back into the rhythms of home after 5 months away has taken some time.  I have felt out of balance and not taking care of myself as I should.  It has been something of a struggle to leave the house and interact with the world.  There is a tendency to retreat and neglect the very things that nourish and re-balance me.

A beautiful workshop Saturday at our favorite farm reminded me again of the power in each of us to find balance.  It’s not the same for everyone.  Exercise, being outside especially with animals, music, cooking, companionship of like-minded folks and of course writing are part of my balancing act.

Frankie

Tonight I sat outside with Count Dogula AKA Frankie conversing with neighbors and passing out candy to their kids. I indulged my 11 year old self by wearing my muskrat fur hat along with my handmade coyote mask.

Halloween ritual

It felt like another step towards self nourishment.  As does writing again.  And tomorrow night I’m cooking a dinner of buffalo steak and potatoes from our garden for date night with my wife.

Full moon above home.

May you take the steps to find what you need for your center.  May you find the spark and shelter of love and companionship.  And may you all stay safe and warm during the coming months of cold and dark.  That is my Samhain prayer for myself and for all of you.