Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another Glorious Sunrise

We've been blessed with a warm, dry Indian summer. Late October, and the skies are blue (or red and pink) and people walk the streets in t-shirts. It's a joy to behold. And nice days make for wonderful sunrises.

I love the way the angle of the sun and intensity of the colors highlight different clouds, changing the look of the patterns.  

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Berna Meets Scooba!

Berna isn't as thrilled as I am with my new helper - iRobot's Scooba, the floor washing robot. This thing's great. My dogs walk in and out of the kitchen with muddy feet, and my floor stays muddy all winter. Now I fill Scooba up and set him to work while I go do other tasks. Presto! A clean floor! Helps with keeping the floor picked up, too.

Now I need to get Dirt Dog, iRobot's equivalent to a shop vac. Normal people use Roomba, the vacuum bot, but I have too much dirt and hair for that. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Morning Pastels

The sky colors were actually less intense in real life, and unfortunately the exquisite pale pinks and golds of the very early sunrise were in a sky too dark for my camera to capture. I love the patterns of the clouds, and how different they look a few minutes later when the sun peeks above the mountains. This time of year every clear day is a treasure. The morning air is crisp and cold, the grass white with frost. The sky is a perfect reflection of the feel of the morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Morning Mugging

The darkness increases quickly. Every morning it is dark later, every evening it is dark sooner. This is autumn in the north; dark, damp, cool.

I gather the food for my chickens, and walk out the door. There is a glimmer of light, shapes are seen but not clear. I walk down the stairs, and am mugged by chicks. Twenty tiny feathered balls surround me, pecking my feet, jumping for the food in my hands. I'm afraid if I step forward I will step on one or more of them. I sit on the steps and feed out organic hamburger to intrepid young chickens. The dogs wander over to see if they can get some of those treats. The chicks ignore them. A cat comes on the porch with big meows. I give her a hunk of hamburger. The chicks steal it from her.

I think that if I tripped and fell, the chicks would devour me. I imagine my dogs protecting me from two inch baby chickens. It is cold. They are hungry. I am out late, because it is still dark. I sit and admire the sleek beauty of these tiny birds, so eager to live.

I want to hibernate, to stay in bed until it is light and warm. My feathered friends are out seeking food at the first glimmer of dawn. Life goes on, even without the sun. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Morning Darkness

The clouds are dark and flat, forming a lid on the world. The lid is ill fitting, it chatters around the mountains, and gold light pours in. The sun sends out tendrils, looking for openings, shining brightly through the cracks, warming the air inside. The clouds are stubborn, resisting the light, maintaining the darkness. 

I am inside, looking out through the cracks. Where would we be without mountains, keeping the clouds from forming a seal, allowing in color and brightness and hope for a better day. 

Friday, October 03, 2008

Enter Stage Left: Fall

We've had a wonderful late summer, with temps up in the 80s just a few days ago. Suddenly the trees are turning, and a blustery wind brought in the clouds and rain. The rain hasn't been the usual deluge, but on again off again showers. The temperature, while well below the lovely 70s and 80s we've just had, has been in the 60s. The gusty wind has a quality that makes one smile from inside, as it blows freshness and joy all the way through body and soul. 

My chickens and sheep want extra food, and spend more time hiding under shelters. This is a gentle transition, showing that there can be joy in autumn and winter, in spite of short days, cold weather and the ever present rain. The maple leaves are bright yellow beacons, reminders of sunny days.

Raw Feeding At It's Best

At least from a dog's point of view. I recently got a great deal on beef cuts and bones. Imagine my surprise when the bones turned out to be things like entire shoulder blades, well covered in meat. Fortunately I have large dogs, who are up to the task of eating them.

Berna was given her shoulder blade outside. She felt the living room was a safer place to eat such a treat. Since my back door has a faulty catch, she was able to make that choice.

The next day there was a polished shoulder blade on the floor. I moved it outside. It's back in, about 1/3 the original size. My dogs are very, very happy with the buying co-op I belong to.