Thursday, March 17, 2016

Storms and Sheds

For many years I have used Costco canvas carports for hay storage. It only takes one winter to discover whether I've chosen a protected enough location. My current shed is tucked into a sheltered area and has been there for several years, unaffected by wind storms. 

I bought a new, cheaper shed (carport) this summer, and put it right next to the survivor. It's a safe spot, right?

We've had several days of windstorms. My new shed made a journey with each one.

The first storm took down one side. It's still windy with heavy rain, so I left repair work for later. Fortunately it was empty.

The next storm sent it flying (and yes, I had it tied down. The tie-downs are mostly still in place.) Notice the original shed is undamaged.

The next day it made it over the top of the other shed, and across the road. Ironically, one of the tie downs got caught on the old shed, helping to hold this one from jumping the fence (while not affecting the stability of the original).

This guy is now mostly dismantled. I'm not sure what to do with it. While it's undamaged, I think it is not stable. Or perhaps my faithful Costco shed has melded with the earth.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Everyone loves haystacks - especially those with very long tails.
Taking shelter from a sudden rain squall.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

On Top

Everyone loves a hay stack.

Lucy the Climber

Saturday, March 05, 2016


My own personal polar bear.

Millie the Magnificant

Thursday, March 03, 2016

No Dog Left Behind

What do you do if you think your person is leaving with the car, and leaving you behind? Jump in the trunk.


have such an important role
on this living sphere
reveal the winds
show the depths of the sky
are beautiful
and ever changing
distribute the waters of the planet
across the lands

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Room With a View

Winters are always wet here in the Pacific Northwest, but the storms the past two days have been exceptional. Everything is wet. As I was eating lunch I heard "go away" barking. Looking out the window I saw Millie laying on the hay I'd obviously placed there as a dry bed for her. She was warning the silly pony, who wanted to eat this bedding, that this pile was taken.

The previous day, I felt someone was watching me as I walked past the window. I glanced out to look into the bright, dark eyes of my favorite Pyr, keeping an eye on all she protects.

It was raining so hard I could hardly hear myself think. Looking out the window I saw Zander, keeping an eye on the geese and the road beyond. He sat there in a downpour for at least an hour. He hardly notices the rain, but sits on a platform to keep his butt dry.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Signs of Spring

There is always green in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to mild temperatures, conifers, and lots of rain.  The Indian Plum starts blooming in February, adding white lights to the landscape.

The Salmonberries have also burst into bloom. It seems early, but we had a week of unseasonably warm weather. Their intense pink makes my heart beat faster.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Guru Ducks

It is important to have guides to show us the value of every part of life.
Ducks teach me to delight in water and mud. They are thrilled with the storms that make the roads and pastures a sea of mud.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Dog Duties

I have new hay hooks. Somehow I keep losing hay hooks. These new ones aren't curved enough, but I figured they'd work anyway. I hooked one around the string of the top bail of hay in my hayport (a canvas carport) and jerked on it. The hook, somehow, unhooked.

The force of my jerk was meant to dislodge the bale of hay, move it against the other bales so I could wrest it out and drop it down. Instead that force propelled me backwards, causing the bales I was standing on to move, and me to fall. I fell slowly enough to choose a landing, ending up on a pallet instead of against the van door or something pointy. I wasn't hurt, but decided I'd just stay there and contemplate the sky, the hay, and gravity for a while.

Lucy, the Border Collie, immediately came running up, wringing her paws, trying to comfort me. She kept squirming against me, licking me, trying to give me some of her energy. Trying to get me to get up and act normal again.

Millie, the Pyr, sauntered over, stuck her head into my face, and asked if I was OK. She decided I was, so she went out about 10 feet and set up a "do not pass" boundary so no one could come bother me while I was down. After a few passes she came back to make sure I really was OK, and see if I needed any further help.

I figured the animals weren't going to get fed if I continued my personal experiments with gravity, so I got up and - much more carefully - moved that bale and loaded up the van. The rest of the time feeding, every time I turned around I'd see Millie, keeping an eye on me.

People worry about me working out on the farm by myself. I'm never alone, and my companions  are quick to come to my aid. And I have this great phone to take pictures with.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Life from Death

This lovely mushroom is growing on branches from a tree blown down last Autumn.

Serve and Protect

The warrior dogs.