Thursday, March 27, 2008

Metaphor for Life

I like to step out onto the deck first thing in the morning to stretch and breath and admire the stars or rising sun, depending on the season. This morning the robins were so loud I could barely hear the coyotes. I'm pretty sure there's a metaphor for life in that somewhere, but I can't quite get my head around it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Weekend

As KAZ illustrates, the deer are becoming increasing domesticated. That's Murphy on the log. Doesn't he look a bit like an albino raccoon? This particular deer has been coming up on the deck recently looking for more bird food. I've been making a half-hearted effort to chase them away when I see them. Maggy's favorite line now is a quote from when I run out on the icy deck waving my arms and yelling, "Don't make me put on my boots!"

Speaking of Maggy... She and Andy colored Easter eggs yesterday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chicks - The Avian Sort

Simon has posted a picture of his new chicks. See the little yellow ones? Those are my new Buff Orpingtons. I picked them up last night. I've been raising chickens almost longer than Simon's been alive. But he has this nice brooder box. Mine still live in a cardboard box 'til they're big enough to withstand outdoor temperatures. He's got that nice little feeder. Mine still get an old bowl. I have a real drinker, though. There's really no substitute for that if you want to keep the bedding reasonably dry. Mine is a hand-me-down from Bill's lab thirty years ago. I actually asked for a chicken feed hopper for my birthday this year. Sigh.

[Link corrected 3-21-08]

Friday, March 14, 2008


Don't despair, Leendalu. It is spring!

The ground is still mostly snow covered. The maple sap is not running yet. I've been hunting in vain for emerging noses of snowdrops and winter aconites. Cornell and even Ellis Hollow, at slightly lower elevations are a couple of weeks ahead of me in that regard.

But I know it's spring. Not just because I heard geese flying overhead in the dark last night. Not just because Orion is no longer high in the sky when I get home from work. Not even because I watched bluebirds in the field outside my office yesterday. (I should note that in all my years of casual birding, I've never actually seen a bluebird before. It's the state bird of New York. So, it can't be that uncommon. Hat tip to Dave in the building department for noticing them and telling me about them. This photo is from Web Earth Online. I had my binoculars with me, but not my camera.)

But this is the real sign of spring: the solar lights along my sidewalk are lit when I get home at night. For the first time in weeks, they're getting enough sunlight during the day to put out their feeble light for at least an hour after dark. I'm not yet getting enough daylight to feel energized. But I'm beginning to think it won't be long now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Well, the main problem is there's no way I'm gonna get the carton to close. Seven of these eggs are "normal" jumbo eggs: 2.5 ounces each. The trouble maker there in the back is 3.3 ounces.

We've had our share of double yolk eggs over the years. But this is the first triplet I've ever seen. Too bad I broke the yolks. But you get the idea.

In other news, we've been having ice storms on and off for weeks. The radio story was "Power outages across Northeast." But here the headline would have been "Power continues uninterrupted." It really is newsworthy. The lights flickered several times and I was fully prepared for the power to go out. But, no. It stayed on. I've heard from friends on the southern side of town that their power was out. So I feel fortunate. Not that being without power is that much of an inconvenience here. This time of year refrigeration isn't an issue. If I just get that hand pump installed so that I'm not dependant on the electric pump, I'll be fine.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Reading for Fun

There's something very cool about waking up to the realization that the main item on my to do list is reading a book. I like reading, so it seldom makes it onto my to do list. I figure I'll get around to it whether it's on the list or not.

But lately, my job requires reading a lot of stuff that isn't that much fun. So I haven't been getting around to the fun reading. Coincidently, my book club is reading the delightful 800 page An Incident of the Fingerpost.

I'm just going to clean up the kitchen while I listen to Selected Shorts. Then it's reading for fun all afternoon.