Sunday, February 13, 2011

flustered here on the farm last night

In a few days, I'll be railing across America.  Well, half way...from Boston to Chicago and then on down to more central points in a state that is known for it's half dead politicians and dead voters who vote often enough...
I must admit, I am terrified of those large cities- I find little of myself in concrete places, just not my element.  What I do find are stories and the people behind them, folks I would have never met had I not gone to the outer limits of my huge comfort/freedom zone.  I would be deeply remiss if I did not admit that by traipsing off into what seems from the wild wilderness- dangerous territories, I often do find such goodness and kindness- frequently in every person I meet.  I do.  Truly.  Not just friendly bumps and sharing spaces, often enough- we stay in touch, we email and aaaarrrggghhhhh... Facebook, apt name.  Faces, yes- (surface dwelling) but at least, it is a somewhat common connection picture posting world.  But it's a fast connect- a virtual flash.  Not much for memory storage...which for this truewonder, is like eating pie and never knowing what the flavor of the filling is because it gets left out.  A light snack for this voracious eater just leaves me hungrier...

On with the story then!  Oh yes, that's what you come here for- the story.  I've got's wondrous.  It has to do with Mystery Guests and artificial shelters.  Intriguing, no?!  How about screams in the darkness, fumbling for boots that should be burned, feathers flying and stars penetrating a fertile darkness?  Weapons and shovels, ice and mittens?  Do tell you say?!  Well, since you insist...

I read the book, I loved the book, I read the critiques of those who read the book and loved the book but not so much the movie.  I liked the movie.  I loved the actress and the man she fell in love with, well- who wouldn't?
The author of said book is a real gem and I'll always follow her because she's brilliant.  But the book and the movie and the love parts that left more to the imagination than seeing boobs and never.. well- you know whats...they don't show those near enough in my way of thinking.  Goodness sake, there's enough of 'em hanging around- what's the harm if one should be exposed like the booby flashing?  Same difference- body parts that get us flustered and blushing...well, I do get red in the cheeks and I look around sheepishly to see if anyone else is happily embarrassed by nudity.  There I go again, off the subject...little trips I like to take you on, just to see if you're paying attention...

I was watching the movie- Eat, Pray, Love.  Totally immersed, completely alone and still- no boobs, no one-eyed monsters and it didn't matter if I blushed or not and frankly, the imaginative way the romances went, well- I liked that opening into my own mind of what might have been going on behind those closed doors and pulled curtains.  Made myself blush... and then, speaking of monsters- I heard screaming.  The screen scene showed India so I just assumed for a moment it was a peacock in their garden, just off camera.  But then I began to hear Guinea fowl squawking, my head questioned- "Guineas in India?"  And my brain then reasoned, although it is seldom geographically correct-
"No, Guineas do not live there..."
I jumped up, turned the volume down and the Guineas and something else resumed screaming, ever louder- every second.  I stepped out onto the deck.  I hollered,(like before a few posts back)...
"Hey!  What's going on?! Hey, heyyyyyyyy!!!!!" 
It didn't stop the squawking commotion and I didn't like the eerie screams, the curdling kind- coming from the direction of the hoop-house, which is known in winter time as the HoopCoop.
Because I keep the chickens in there...didn't I never tell you that?  Sorry.  I do keep the poultry out there in a Florida-like room.  Since the owl attacks of last week, I've gotten the Guineas to go in too, of an evening.  At first it was like pulling teeth, but after two more of their members were beheaded- they all figured that the artificial clear cave might be better than being sitting ducks in a tall Spruce just next door.

The Big Fish was sleeping like a hibernating bear- chick flicks do that to him, I didn't want to rouse the bear...yet.  So I fumbled blindly in the dark for those damn boots, and that sweet Carhart coat and green  mittens but did not take the time- for time seemed to be of the essence...not for me so much, I tell you- I was a little afraid, wasn't sure what I might encounter out there, uh-hum...didn't take the time to grab a flashlight as the moon seemed ample to brighten up the yard.  Down the stairs I ran, collecting Gideon and Etta as I went- had to pull their teeth too, it was cold- they were warm and saw no need, voluntarily deaf to boot- to go outdoors after dark.

As I rounded the corner out the back door, I spied a shovel sticking out of the snow pile and grabbed it up and carried it over my head like a villager ready to take on Frankenstein.  Screaming, hollering- so just in case whatever was causing all the ruckus might be made just as scared as I was...helter-skelter I continued on.  In opening the HoopCoop door,  nervous soft cluck clucks and low, continuous whistles echoed amongst the Guineas- that is their way of saying to one another-
"The sky isn't falling yet so no worries, because I'll warn you and you'll warn me and we will scream loudly in unison when the time is right, agreed?!"

So to this talk I added,
"Babies, babies, chick, chick, chick, it's OK, it's OK...everybody here?" 
 Real low like- matching the quality of gentle cautious sounds...this always seems the best kind of communication when dealing with the Don Knotts of farm fowl, the every-ready-to-freak-out Guineas.

I looked up then to their roost and counted- they were all there.  I looked around on the ground beneath them for any sign of a weasel or raccoon.  Nothing.  I checked out the chickens in their hay bale home- they were all but snoring.  No nervousness there- the little black tenacious hen had every one calm and in order.  I looked up one more time- I wondered if the Guineas must have just been able to see a shadow flying overhead- perhaps the owl from nights before was searching still, from great hunger- a midnight snack. 

 I could see the sky as if there were no thin veil of a plastic partition between me and the stars.  All the condensation had melted during the bright sun day so there was nothing to frost or freeze causing an opaque screen usually, to look through.  I was satisfied then with the shadow theory, sweetly I whistled my calm goodwill and goodnight to all and I went back inside to finish my movie and warm fire.  Nary a nude scene left- still, I enjoyed the film to it's finish.  Off to sleep went I, dreaming of far away places and islands with four hundred parrots.

My morning chores began earlier than ever, I had to affirm that all was well and that no unknown carnage came to be while I dreamed of carnal pleasures...which incidentally, amounted to chocolate rocks that you could pick up and nibble- I kid you not, that was my dream symbol from last night.

  Eat+Pray+Love= Chocolate...makes sense to me.

Like the mysteries of nudity and love making scenes left to the imagination- I'll leave you with the same.  And...some glorious frost imprints and really quite amazing hints to go on of just who or what had every one flustered here on the farm last night.
A Surprise Barrier to Hungry Claws and Beating Wings

Close encounters of the winged kind.

A few rips and tears to be mended.

Well then, that should do it.  Happy Valentine's Day...I'll be back after my wandering ways have ended.  I hope this long story keeps you well and again, please- I do request- check back on my last post.  Do give a damn, it is as important as roots to a tree and seeds to a sunflower.
Take care-

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Now is not the time

I do not consider myself an activist but a participant.  I do not align with any group or people or product based solely on approval or disapproval, financial situation or affiliation.  I strive to bear my options and opinions by my own research, thoughts, observations, experiences and also due to greater scientists, writers, thinkers than I- past and present.  I aim to ruffle a few feathers again...please listen.
  There is no greater threat to mankind than a non viable seed supply
 I will always, until my dying day- speak out against that unimaginable end- a Silent Spring...

Freedom is at stake-  when the fork you lift contains ingredients not of nature but of corporate greed large enough to bypass even the USDA and infiltrate invisibly both the fields of plenty in our great nation as well as the fields of freedom that our votes once allowed us-  when deregualtion of an absolute uncertain modification is allowed to possibly infiltrate our food supply based on research done solely by the corporation itself and our government, from the bottom up says- "that's good enough for us", we certainly must question that government and remind them that this is not a dictatorship but a democracy.
 President Obama is accepting letters, he may not actually read them- but surely the White House might consider the mountain of evidence from concerned citizens who refuse to accept one sided reports that concern everyone's livelihood, freedom of choice in the food we eat, in the seeds we plant. Perhaps if thousands would make just one statement-

"We need absolute proof from ALL SIDES before we ingest anymore of this substance -before we allow it's unknown repercussions to our precious land."
 or simply offer up this question that must be answered fully and without deceit -

 Are genetically modified seeds benign or malignant?

If that question cannot be answered without full disclosure from all studies- now is not the time to allow Roundup Ready Alfalfa to prosper.

Please visit the link below.  I am not asking you to give a dime or a drop of blood.  I am beseeching you to concern your self with what concerns each and every one of us.  There is a direct link to President Obama's office. Thank you.
I hope that soon I will read that the people have spoken- that we care enough to dare say "answer our questions fully or we will continue to question everything" is such a hard thing to earn, it's time our government tried to earn it again and not bypass the citizens that make up what has always been a land fought and won for freedom's sake, not for a corporation's way-over-the-line greed.  
And one more thing, since you've come this far- do treat your self to President Roosevelt's speech that turned the tide for so many, I don't know if it's fear that most needs conquered these days...but I am certain it is greed, and we as a nation must take a stand against it. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mystery Guest(s)

What makes a supposedly sane person or bird for that matter- go out into a storm just to see what hasn't been seen, ever before at the bird feeder?  What strange force compels one to sit beneath a spruce tree with a recently replaced new digital camera that one could barely afford, and risk it's demise in a frigid wintry mix of moisture, snowfall and gale forces?!  Frost-bit be damned to the trigger golly, let it fall off- I must, I must I tell you- capture this image...
Mystery Guest
Who is this mystery guest?  I was all aflutter when I spied him and he spied me.  I tell you true, he did a little dance for me in the snow, not three feet away.  I believe he may have been as excited to see me as I him.  (Or her...)  It could be the reciprocating glee came from the fact that I was filling feeders in a blinding snow- still, let me have this one dream come true.  Just this one for now...a mystery guest came to these bold Downeast woods, and I am richer for it!

Now, on the flip side of that coin- the morning found me screaming at the top of my lungs, running through three feet of fresh on top of compacted snow with the most horrendous, useless boots on.   And wave my arms I did, and gestured hugely hollering and yelling towards the culprit who just moments earlier had knocked one guinea off it's roost by ripping it's head off from above pine branch and then zeroed in on another while this intended second victim tried to makes it safe way through showering snow and little light.  I saw this mystery unwanted guest pounce, grab, shake, rip- I heard the guinea scream to no avail while all others scattered, screaming too.  I rounded the pen and in the ten second time frame blind spot- I lost sight of the killer.  By losing sight yet never hearing the exit- I owl had just visited the tranquil forest's edge and reduced my guinea fowl population by two...
The one left on the ground, head still intact but...well, I won't go into detail -  there was just enough life left that I held her and stroked her, gave her thanksgiving and farewell.  My only regret- that the owl would have at least consumed these birds, instead- it came like a cat- dismembering, disenchanting the rest and me and now the safety in numbers and homestead is innocence lost to the not yet year old brood of the most nervous birds on the farm.   This same fellow or female came back at end of day to perch upon the tallest Spruce in the yard- viewing, waiting, ready to do the same as it had done in the early A.M.  In admiration, in joy- I would have grabbed my camera again to take THE photo of a great owl.  But at that time, I had no welcome in me- I only wanted this guest to leave and never come back.  So from a safe distance on our second snow covered story deck- again, I waved and screamed.
"Go away!!!  Get away you bastard...leave them alone."
And then, after it seemed I had no affect on this wild forager- I pleaded with him-
"Then just take one to feed on, but only one.  I know you're hungry, I know you need to eat too...but such waste you left in your wake this morning.  If you are such a great hunter, prove it.  If you are so wise, be that too.  Don't take more than you need, don't kill just to kill.  Surely you are a better bird than that."
I know...but when you're left with the only weapon that truly can make a difference, if only to your self- appealing with reason, if only your own- at least it brings a bit of peace to the situation.
From that lofty perch, where the owl remained and swiveled that magnificent head then- towards me...silently, swiftly and oh so very elegantly- he left.  Up, up on open wide wings towards the deeper woods from where he came.   And I was thankful, again- for a time.
Later I put on those awful boots, adorning myself as well with scarf and mittens, Carharts and an umbrella and waited with the rest...the guineas in their secret other perch, me underneath.  We heard the who-o-o-s and fretted almost silently, so as not to give off the new position.  But I thought I heard nervous talk among the survivors- and finally came the call from the new leader-
To me this is what he said to the clan, "We are safe as long as we remain together, quietly- until one feels truly endangered.  Then by all means, speak up so that the rest of us might know what we are up against.  Otherwise, quiet yourselves- be still..."

I went in then, to my warm fire- leaving the way of the world and the wild to the forces greater than I.
This morning finds me and the guineas, the Redpolls and Chickadees safe and in sunshine.

 The owl?  I do not know...he did not take me up on my offer, his ways are not my ways and as we both acknowledge each others predicaments, I guess one might say we live in peace at this telling- each on our own terms.