Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Gifts of a Summer Night

I love lightning bugs, fire flies, or whatever you want to call the magical beings of summer nights.  Many times I have wanted to try to take a picture with a long exposure and try to capture many at once.  I tried a few things last summer, but nothing came out.

Tonight, I went down to close the geese in and give them some water and one of the gosling's chest lit up, just like some kind of toy.  I took a double take and then saw it again.  I thought it must be that a lightning bug flew in front of the gosling but the light was in the same place for 3 or 4 flashes.  Then Sal laid in front of the goslings as they went to sleep and I couldn't see any more.  She didn't seem to think anything of it.  I thought it was very bizarre and worried that it might hurt the gosling but they  do eat bugs, occasionally, and a fire fly is just that, a bug.  I saw Cirrus eat a regular fly off his back today.

As I turned to leave, I was treated to an amazing light show, with hundreds of lightning bugs.  The strange thing is, now I am sitting on the front porch, and as I look out over the front yard, I have seen 2 or maybe 3.  Instead, I listen to an orchestra of crickets and others.  The middle act was my neighbors cattle, sounding like they were heading out on a cattle drive.  And now the cattle come back in, to join the crickets, being careful not to overpower them.

This is another one of the times when I realize that it doesn't matter, rich or poor, the sights and sounds of summer evenings are available to everyone.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Fiber Camp Summer 2016

 It is still really hard to post pictures but here are some finally.

We had 10 campers, a junior camp counselor, and 2-3 adults for both sessions.  Even the chickens joined us.  We had a Super time and it was fun to see some complex projects accomplished.  But where are the pictures of these projects, somewhere.

One of my favorite parts of camp is to see friendships develop and see the encouragement the campers give each other.

Always interesting to have new people join us, as potential fiber artists or assistants.

I love when the kids except challenges, challenge themselves, and make plans.

And then, there are those that like to fix equipment, and build up stock between projects.

I wish this weaving showed up better.  It was quite something.

More wet felting than usual,  you just never know what the kids will want to explore.

And most  like to do there thing regardless or what everyone else is doing.

What a great group of future fiber artists.

Monday, June 13, 2016

You Know You Are a Farmer When You Have To Fix Fencing 3 Days in a Row

Prince is an escape artist.  Every morning around 6:15 the geese start squawking and when I arrive on the scene, I find Prince outside the goose run trying to get back in.  I let the others out and they reunite and head to the puddle pond.  This morning he also went out through the barnyard fence.  At least the barnyard fence is big enough to walk back through when you get yelled at long enough.  The fence of the goose run is reinforced at the bottom with chicken wire, for the most part.  Every time I think I know how Prince gets out, I fix that area.  The next morning he is out again.  There is one more area I am going to attend to tonight.  I hope this does it.

Eloise used to escape when she was really small as well.  There is only so much I can do.  The geese just need to keep a better watch.

Where are the pictures, I know many are asking.  Well, the 2nd week of Fiber Camp started today and we have assigned documenting the week to our new assistant.  She took several pictures today but now we aren't sure where the camera went to.  It is around somewhere.  When we uncover it, I promise many pictures will adorn this blog.

A very different group this week.  Quieter for one thing.  Many of them don't know each other but by day 3 or so they will be good friends.  The chickens have been joining us at camp last week and this week.   They are making new friends too.

 Today, one of the campers had to leave at lunch time to go to an appointment.  She went to the fiber shed to collect a few things and then came in to me to say a chicken was laying on its side right in the doorway and couldn't get up.  I went to investigate.  I walked around behind the hen and started walking toward her.  She got up and walked away.  The chickens play this trick all the time.  They love to spread out in a really hot area,  sometimes with one wing extended, and usually on their side.  If you have not been tricked before and don't have chickens, you think they are dying from heat exposure or some other ailment.

Yesterday, I came back from town and saw the rooster and one of the hens over in Charlie"s field.  I went to see why the chickens had crossed the road and shoo them back.  Walking through the fringe between the road and field, I had my eyes on the chickens.  Walking back through the fringe, I had my eyes on the poison ivy I had walked through with my bare legs and sandals.  Then the two of them started walking down the road.  I said, "good riddens" and headed home, to wash with soap and water.  At dusk, all chickens were in the coop.

At least I don't have to fix fences to keep the chickens in; it wouldn't do any good.  The sheep knock the top rail off its brackets when they want to get into the upper pasture (their favorite).  Then they jump the bottom rail like horses over hurtles.  I am glad sheep don't fly or walk through the perimeter fence and head to town.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

More Memory Photos

The family will be Cirrus, Sal, Eloise, Prince and Penelope.  The last egg was abandoned today and the family went for an outing.  They went as far as the puddle pond and stayed out all day.  Lots of wobbling and tipping.

 Gretta is very curious about the new arrivals.  She has gone up to them very closely but carefully a couple of time and the geese don't mind.  If the chickens are even in the remote vicinity, they get
charged by the geese.  They don't know what to think.

 I thought maybe Cirrus and Sal would be a little more organized this time with one in front and one bringing up the rear, like you always see with ducks and geese, but no.  They are, once again, very laid back parents that let their goslings swim across the pond on day 2 while they are on the other side.  I know we are talking tiny pond, but still.  Sometimes the three adults walk in triangle formation with the goslings within.

I was just glad they all walked into the run at dusk.

Day 3 of Fiber Camp was fun, what a great group of kids.  We started off the day asking the campers to remind us to take pictures, since Frances and I both forgot on the first 2 days.  We thought having 10 more people thinking about documenting our fun week would be what we needed but alas, day 3 went by with still no pictures.  When I realized this and said something, a couple of the campers said John took a picture of them when they toured the tiny house.  I asked him about it later and he told me that he took a picture of the "afternoon 8" up in the loft together.  Who lets 8 children go up in a tiny house loft all at once?  I am glad I was not there for the photo shoot.  I did want to see the picture though but when we looked on John's phone, we could not find it.  He said tomorrow he is going to tell them they have to do it again because one of them wasn't smiling.

I really do wish I had my camera this afternoon in the barnyard to record the tipping and wobbling, Gretta's curiosity, the big swim, and the rest, but I won't forget.  And how do you record the kindness and caring.  How do you photograph comrodery (sp), laughter, and summer friendship?

These are the important things.  These are my most treasured photos.  I just wish they were memory photos for all to hold close.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Prince and Penelope

Meet Prince and Penelope who hatched out today.  

Eloise has been a big help today.

Below she is sitting on the third egg while Sal takes a nap.

I hope this video works.  It in funny to watch Cirrus watch and wonder what he is suppose to be doing while the girls tend to the goslings and the third egg.

Lyndy was here for the hatching and named the goslings.  When she heard it was Prince's birthday today, she thought that it was fitting to name the male Prince and I think Penelope just goes good with Prince.  If the third egg hatches we will have to find another fine name. 

 What would Prince think.  I wonder how many creatures and critters have been named after him since his death.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Wonderful Neighbor, Kitty

Today, I finally dropped everything to go visit my wonderful neighbor, Kitty.  I have been thinking about her a lot lately and decided I needed to go see her.

On May Day (May 1st) Cathy was here and she and Lyndy and I delivered wild flowers in tussy mussies that Cathy and Lyndy made.  Kitty  was our first recipient.  We chatted a few minutes and I told here I would be back soon to visit.  Is one month soon?  And it was a long month.

 I have been trying really hard to make sure the important things get done, when so much is going on.  I have been doing pretty good but today's visit gave me some important confidence that I am on the right track.

I love visiting with Kitty.  We laugh a lot and always come around to talking about snakes and today, bears, as well.  We talk about so many things.  Kitty was talking about her grandson and about how much he knows and doesn't realize he knows.  He just graduated from VA Tech and immediately got hired to work with a wildlife organization in NC.  He is a pretty amazing person and I like to talk to him when he is visiting his parents or grandmother, Kitty.

I thanked Kitty for all she has done for me and thanked her for who she is.  She said she didn't think she had done anything for me and I told her it was like David not knowing how much he knew, she just didn't realize what knowledge she has given me and gifts.  I am so glad I took the time to go and tell her that today.  Now, if  I don't do another good thing this week,  I have done enough.

Kitty is one of those people you want to go and help because there is much that she can't do these days.  But when you go, you realize, you are the greatest benefactor.  The love, the laughter, the stories.  Today, it was the story about the 5 foot black snake in her kitchen drawer.  I think I have heard this one before, but it is new when she is telling it.

Kitty is a wonderful basket maker and reads constantly.  I was telling her about a wonderful book I am reading (more on this later) and about a chapter on basket weaving and she told me about baskets she has made of all sizes, including a wool drying basket.  Then we talked about various ways I dry wool and problems involved.  Kitty always has great suggestions.  We talked about upcoming fiber camp and how I am overwhelmed with finding places to stash wool and finding the most space I can for 11 fiber campers to work.  Again, some great advice from Kitty.

  I hope everyone has a Kitty in their life .