Monday, August 22, 2016

"Well, what tongue does the wind talk? 
What nationality is a storm? 
What country do rains come from? 
What color is lightning? 
Where does thunder goe when it dies?” 

from Something Wicked This Way Comes
by Ray Bradbury

On July 4th I wrote about a big thunderstorm we had. Aside from
dog related trauma things seem to go okay. However the next day
my brother-in-law found one of his younger cows dead on a hill 
in the pasture possibly struck by lightning. It definitely struck this
poplar trees in one of the hay fields.

Monday, August 15, 2016

This summer we have seen mostly Red Tailed Hawks, they

haunt our hay field daily. These photos of a Red Tail on a
truly awe-inspiring rock pile are the result of a trip to look 
for shorebirds that we took last week between Lac La Peche 
and Hafford Saskatchewan.

Sorry about the different fonts blogger will not post the edits.

"Look! Look! he is climbing the last light 
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under 
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings 
Into shadow. 

Long now, 
The last thrush is still, the last bat 
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom 
Is ancient, too, and immense. The star 
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain. 

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear 
The earth grind on its axis, or history 
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar."

from Evening Hawk
by Robert Penn Warren

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"I go and lie down where the wood drake 
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. 
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought 
of grief. I come into the presence of still water. 
And I feel above me the day-blind stars 
waiting with their light. For a time 
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."

from The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

I took the first three photos last year, these sawhorses 
of scrap lumber were made many years ago by my
 late father-in-law and they acted not only as a perch for
  Phoebes and a jungle gym for chipmunks 
 but also as a reminder of John.

I always think of chipmunks as creatures of parks and camp sites, 
easily tamed, not really wild. The next three photos were taken
while canoeing last night. This inquisitive chipmunk climbed thru
a maze of branches to watch us go by. There are no house or 
cabins for a mile or more. It is both curious and wild.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Just consider how the mere idea of it alone
Has already caused me to sing and sing
This whole morning long."

from Rolling Naked in the Morning Dew
by Pattiann Rogers

More small animal yoga poses.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?"

from Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branchess
by Mary Oliver

These shots of the Red Squirrel are from last year.
at the cabin. I am still trying for good photos from 
this year.

"Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches 
of other lives --
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, 
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, 
feel like?"

from Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branchess

by Mary Oliver

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Big slough, waterlily

'And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they toil not, neither do they spin:'

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Big slough

"But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad, 
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know 
The birdsong from the radio, 
It's not their fault they often go 
To Maidenhead

And talk of sport and makes of cars
In various bogus-Tudor bars 
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales."

from Slough (1937)
by John Betjeman

We took our first canoe trip on the larger slough by my 
brother-in-law’s field. While this year has been wet, last 
year we experienced a drought with early summer marred 
by the smoke and stench of devastating wildfires hundred 
of miles to the north. This drought meant reduced hay yields 
last year and the level of the slough is noticeably lower this 
year. Sloughs or potholes are not feed by springs or part of 
river systems. They obtain water via rain, snow melt and 
groundwater so any reduction can be quickly apparent. 
We did not see any herons or kingfishers which could 
indicate a higher mortality among over wintering fish 
due to reduced oxygen. The water was certainly lower. 
This is always an interesting cycle to watch. My copy 
of Wildfowl Carving Magazine, Winter 2016 (70) noted 
“Blue-winged teal populations dropped by a worrisome 
40 percent in the prairie pothole region North America 
during a prolonged 1990’s drought, but their numbers 
doubled within a decade when the rains returned."
”My wife and I certainly remember this drought when the 
roadside sloughs drained like bathtubs. The beaver population 
also plummeted, it has now recovered, they are literally 
everywhere taking down trees and blocking culverts. 
My mother-in-law mentioned that in earlier droughts 
the family actually hayed parts of the areas we paddled 
over today.

"Come friendly bombs, and fall on Jersey; 
Each town and city along the Mersey; 
Destroy Southampton, the West Midlands, too; 
And, for a starting-point, that ought to do."


"Kind bombs, pray smite all points between
The Nullarbor Plain and the Forest of Dean.
And last of all, oh bombs, come fall on me; 
For writing such abysmal poetry :) "

both verses from Slough Revisted
by William Mark