Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Love the earth like a mole,
fur-near. Nearsighted,
hold close the clods,
their fine-print headlines.
Pat them with soft hands --"
Starting with Little Things
                                William Stafford

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"All our lives are collections
curated through memory."

Dry Storage No. 1
   Richard Fortey

The old houses in the farmyard always
seem to hold nesting flycatchers
( Easterm Phoebe ?)
They greet the dawn and generally
watch over things. We were very happy
to see that our work on the cabin
was also supervised by one.

The Dawn Deer

A solitary silhouette at dawn, ears wide cocked like the gun
I do not carry, we are both poised between past
and future, and so we wait, trapped in the amber light.

For me this is merely a walk, I have simply paused
between one step and the next. But an error on your part
is freighted with consequences and finally you slip away.

Today neither of us is prey, but mute to each other
we know only what has been, not words, not intentions.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

"that when you return
to bathe in dust and build your nests again
in a roofless world where no one hears your cheeps,
only a starling’s modem mimicry
will remind you of how you once supplied
the incidental music of our lives."


 For the House Sparrow, in Decline

                                  Paul Farley

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well I bought a new lens.
A Canon 100-400 Zoom, Ouch
I immediately photographed the
most exotic bird in my yard.

I also discovered a new poet Lisel Mueller
thanks to Cate at Beyond The Fields We Know
see links.

"When I hear them call
in the morning, before
I am quite awake,
my bed is already traveling
the daily rainbow,
the arc toward evening;
and the birds, leading
their own discreet lives
of hunger and watchfulness,
are with me all the way,
always a little ahead of me
in the long-practiced manner
of unobtrusive guides."


Why I Need the Birds           
                Lisel Mueller

Sunday, May 20, 2012

One day last week Spring came to the research park.

"Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It's all right"

                  Here ComesThe Sun
                         The Beatles

"From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing."

                                  Spring Sonnet 98-1-3

Saturday, May 19, 2012

While visiting the farm we saw one of my favorite birds,
the Harris Sparrow.  It performed exactly as noted in
The Birds of Alberta by John Acorn. They appeared in
a large mixed flock of sparrows in conjunction with
White Crowned and White Throated Sparrows. They
feed primarily on the ground and they appeared in a rural
area while I have seen them once in Calgary they are most
often encountered at the farm in the spring

" Harris Sparrows are birds that seek out the edges"

Return to Warden's Grove: Science,
Desire, and the Lives of Sparrows

                                        Christopher Norment 

"There is a place where the town ends
and the fields begin.
It’s not marked but the feet know it,
also the heart, that is longing for refreshment
and, equally, for repose.

Someday we’ll live in the sky.
Meanwhile, the house of our lives is the world.
The fields, the ponds, the birds."

                                     Mary Oliver

Monday, May 14, 2012

The trip to the farm, a nine hour drive offered
ample signs of Spring each pothole, dugout or
slough boasted a complement of Green Winged Teal,
Shovellers, Pintails, Scaups, Mallards, Coots, Grebes,
Buffleheads and countless others.

Flocks of gulls claimed the roads.

At the cabin flocks of Sandhill Cranes,
and a flock of Snowgeese with the black shadows
of Cormorants for contrast flew by.

At the farm mixed flocks of Sparrows claimed the lawn
and a trip to the hardware store was rewarded by the
sight of a Fox trotting along the road and the black shape
of  a Fisher (?) slipping thru a fence.

Signs of Spring

A lash of light; across a brown stage.

The trees begin: their green dance.


"Last night the geese came back,
slanting fast
from the blossom of the rising moon down
to the black pond. A muskrat
swimming in the twilight saw them and hurried

to the secret lodges to tell everyone
spring had come."

  Two Kinds of Deliverance
                            Mary Oliver

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Well we just got back fromn a week at the
farm/cabin. ie we stayed at the farm while we built
an outhouse for the cabin. A four days and we
still have some work to do, sigh. But I decided to
 start the chronicle of our adventure with a Cow Day,
something I mentioned previously that I shamelessly
stole from Roy at The Fenlandwalker Countryside Blog.

"The distant hills call to me.
Their rolling waves seduce my heart.
Oh, how I want to graze in their lush valleys.
Oh, how I want to run down their green slopes.
Alas, I cannot.
Damn the electric fence!
Damn the electric fence!"

Distant Hills
By Gary Larson
( Far Side )

Note cows are black and white.

"I Never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I's rather see than be one."

                     The Purple Cow
                                Gelett Burgess

A little something for Mother's Day.

And so it begins.

"And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers. "  

                      The Cow
                                        Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A bit of travelling and a battle with Chrome and 
I have not posted in awhile. ( Thanks Helen ) I was in our
 Edmonton location for a couple of days. Brown with a 
touch of cold rain., Still there were a few hints things 
might change.

" i am singing the cold rain
        i am singing the winter dawn
             i am turning in the gray morning
                                                            of my life
                                                            toward home"
                                                                        I Am Singing the Cold Rain
                                                                                   Lance Henson

"The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the moldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,"

The Rainy Day

    "All day thy wings have fanned,
    At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
    Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
    Though the dark night is near.

    And soon that toil shall end;
    Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
    And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
    Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest. "

    To a Waterfowl
      William Cullen Bryant

Today we are back to a rhapsody
in white. But it is already melting.

Still I am hoping someone may have
our forgotten Spring scrunched down 
in a corner of  their pocket.

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, 
we must carry it with us or we find it not."

Art ( essay )
Ralph Waldo Emerson