Tag Archives: adventure

This Week’s Catches

22 Jul

There have been lots of catches this week.  Here are some of them.

Lots of frogs were caught over at Dad’s pond.  But also caught was this year old painted turtle.  It resides in the water barrel here at home now, being fed worms and insects and flies.
It left at least 8 of its friends or family to travel here.

The girl decided she was going to catch this wildish kitten at the cousin’s farm.  And she did after two tries.  I kept its attention while she snuck up on it. Daddy said we could not bring it home.  It is skinny as well as being cute.

He gave her some scratches then howled incredibly miserably when he was first caught.

And seemed glad to be released back to his lair.

At the next cousin’s home some neighbors were exercising their horses in the 25 acre pond. Here the Belgian draft horses are swimming.

One thing the girl has wished for a long time is to ride a swimming horse.  She was able to have that dream fulfilled.

The mare really liked to swim and when she had to stop and visit would splash impatiently to get back into the deeper water.

Then of course there was the mess o’fish jay and I caught.

And yesterday I caught this woodchuck who had the temerity to think it was going to live under my front porch.  Not for long.

Hawthorne wished he had caught the woodchuck. It was fortunate, though.  Jay took it down the road several miles to abandoned fields, where the coyotes might find it for supper.

Domesticating a Bee Swarm

4 Jul

Almost a month ago, while we were at the farm for the family reunion, Jay noticed on  Saturday morning a swarming mass on a large mock orange (Philadelphius).


A honey bee swarm!

An old queen leaves with a significant portion of the extant hive workers to found a new hive home after a new queen is born.

Jay has helped bees find a new home before.  A rogue swarm we watched come in a thick cloud across the fields to land in the mountain ash he successfully domesticated into old wooden fruit crates.  They lived quite nicely for several years until wax moths insinuated themselves and murdered the hive.

In the barn Jay located an old tall wooden box or dresser.  In the late afternoon he and his helper, dressed whatever protective clothing was available, propped up the proposed new home, snipped the branch holding the swarm, and slowly, carefully escorted them to their proposed new domicile.

Their move to a new home was a success.  They have set up housekeeping and presumably are busy building wax combs and storing nectar. Busy as bees.

A Few Photos

10 Jun

So much going on!  A little taste of earlier this week. And of what is in bloom.  The trip to NYC was very much fun and very hot.  Doing lots of thinking about things I saw at the Metropolitan.  More to come.

We had a Yee-Haw time with friends who came for a short visit. My SIL and niece are here now.  It was their first visit to NYC yesterday.

From this morning’s walk:  see how small that grass stem is?  Those are eggs laid at the end of a stiff filament that was placed on the grass leaf.   Will try to figure out who laid these.

Deciduous peonies and poppies are out. Foxgloves, clematis, wegelia,and, and, and…..

Surprising Sunday

23 May

The last little robin did not live the night. Spent the morning walk with Hawthorne grieving until I came upon the first of the five efts.  They have been out returning to the wood’s edge many mornings after their night’s hunt. Then remembered that I had told Sue I would get her one to take to her bio class.  The largest and fattest came with us the rest of the way home, also the big black and yellow millipede.  Made them a portable home away from home and drove it up to Sue.

She and I walked around her pond and discussed gardens.  Lost track of time and on the rushed drive home to get ready for church saw a large blue-green snake dead by the side of the road.  Checked it on the way to church just to make sure.  Yup. Dead.

As we drove into church there was my father!  Now why would he be here, two plus hours away from their home?  Jay did not wish for me to see.  But if your parent showed up at an unusual place and time you would check it out, would you not?

And there were my aunts!  And my mother!  And Alison!–with whom I went to college and lived with during and afterwards.

They were part of a plot of our son’s to honor us with a surprise anniversary party.  It was a surprise.  Surprise!  My relatives and Alison came down to church with us.  And afterwards we returned to the family center to a large surprising mix of friends.  Isaac had friends of his helping and taking photos. When he gets some to me I will show you.   The room and tables were beautifully decorated.  Lots of flowers.  Photos of our wedding day.  And lots of dear friends and family.

Isaac made a very nice speech.  He coordinated the flow of the party.

Everyone brought a dish (or more) to pass. There was a large buffet of food.  Then another large buffet of desserts. Mary made and decorated a cake to look like our wedding cake.  Jay made a nice speech. He had been prepared because, as he said, he is an Eagle Scout and scouts are prepared.

We had known something was up.  But not when or where.  Jay had been suspicious of this weekend. But not this method or mode.

Alison came all the way from S. Carolina.  Susan came all the way from Boston.  Eileen called later that evening from California.  Betty and Suzanne and Sung and Gretchen and Kevin and Cassie and Jeni and Sarah and Erika and Isabelle all helped Isaac.

Isabelle played violin and had worn her purple and silver jaguar print party dress underneath her church clothes and all during service while she helped care for babies.  So it was a surprise to see her in the party dress.  I wondered if she had hid her clothes in her violin case.  Isaac and Isabelle played a few songs on piano and violin.  People told stories about us.

It was a very fun time.  Alison and Sue and Betty and Suzanne and Henry came back to our home for awhile together after.

Now there are flowers and food and cards all over the kitchen and living room.  It was a wonderful afternoon and evening.

And while we were enjoying ourselves, that large tornado was destroying part of Joplin, Missouri.

Free At Last

8 Apr

When last we joined the confined flying squirrels, they were living in an insect cage:

What a mess!  They thought so, too, for they chewed through the hardware cloth and would crawl between it and the wire mesh, trying to find a way out:

Or attempt a heist, in this case hazelnuts from my aunt.

But yesterday, in addition to being my younger brother’s 50th birthday (Happy Birthday Charlie!) was the first real spring-like day, and a day Jay had off work.  So in the middle of the afternoon I uncovered the sleeping squirrels and removed them from their sleeping sweater:

Transferred them to the blue bird box.  One picks them up by the scruff of the neck. They had significantly chewed the edges of said box so their sweater was used to plug the holes for transport to the woods behind Mom M’s.  Jay thought that would be a good spot as it is predominantly hardwoods.  The gray squirrel population there was reduced somewhat by Daren this winter. (Remember my Christmas present?)  He figured there would be suitable empty holes in trees for housing.

A view of their new home area:

Their box is tied to the sloping pine tree.  Their sweater is on top.  We scattered all the rest of the food we had in stock for them around a 100+ square foot area. And put some in the box, too.

The first flying squirrel to come out is the brave one who always came out first for everything new.  He came out within the first three minutes after the box was up. Ran up the tree and around and around, testing out the numerous holes available.  His coloring is perfect camouflage.

The second squirrel jumped out a few minutes later and immediately ran/glided off and found itself in an old pen.  It easily escaped and scampered off.

The last little squirrel, the one I think is slower than the rest because it is the one which got hit on the head by the mouse trap, refused to come out while I was there.  It seemed to be having a fine time just sniffing and looking.

God speed!



17 Mar

Angela sent us this link.  Some friends of hers made these runs yesterday in the high water.  The first falls (Broken Dam) is in Fall Creek.  Jay almost died there running it alone when he was 17 years old in an old style kayak.  The boat tip got stuck in a hole underwater.  Jay managed to get out while upside down underwater under the heavy fall of water.  He had not informed his family or friends where he was going or what he was planning to do.  It was in May, when the water is considerably warmer.  These guys are all wearing wetsuits.  The second falls is near Sackett bridge on campus and is where Jay and friends fish for trout and bass later in the spring.

Jay and Brian have also had police and firemen come and assume they are planning to commit suicide during their fishing expeditions.

A White Lion

7 Mar

Snow melted all Friday.  Jay had friends over that evening, and when they left the temperature had risen to over 5oF outside.  Saturday the melt continued.  Hawthorne got so hot during class and afterward that Jay and I agreed I would shear him this week. His is a winter coat and for the cold; above 40 degrees, he is too hot.  I shear him at least three times a year.

Sunday morning it was pouring rain; it had rained all Saturday night.  I had to leave for early service so Jay took Hawthorne for his walk wearing full rain kit.  I thought how happy the chickens would be on the grass under the trees when put out after we came home.  The driveway was totally clear of ice and snow, and muddy.  The creeks were roaring; ice dams forming here and there.  The snow was diminishing.  I could see the top leaves on the eldest hellebore.

On the drive to church the rain changed to ice pellets.  But coming out two hours later:  snow (Snow?!) being shoveled off the church sidewalk.  I had on a light coat; not even a hat or mittens. It had been 40F when I left home! Now a snowplow was at work in the parking lot.

Drove to Ellie’s, changed clothes.  We were to drive to Kathy’s for a get-together of spinning chums.  I had spent a few hours Saturday afternoon making mole (say molay), and was so looking forward to spending time with friends I do not see often.  Shoveled the walkway.  Turned around and wondered if it had really been shoveled.  Monte went out for salt. “I didn’t think I would need any more”!  More shoveling.  The snowplow went by their home twice.

When we left for Kathy’s there were almost 2 inches and counting.  The roads were–not good.  A snowplow went by on the other lane and within a mile there was no way to tell that that side of the road had been plowed recently. Within five miles of our goal, Ellie found a flat parking lot and we turned around and returned to her home.  We ate ambrosia and mole with chicken and corn tortillas for lunch.  I waited for Jay to return home from late service to tell me how bad the roads were out our way.  And to shovel the driveway.   Home about 3.30PM.

It kept snowing.  All night.  Into this morning.

And out the window of our bedroom this morning.  A two foot wide snow lip hanging over the roof line.  Where there had been running water yesterday morning.

Oh, and downstairs?  This:

A bird feeder with a hat.

No school.  Jay called at 8 after he got in: little traffic; he saw people trying to dig their cars out of their driveways full of snow.   Only a quarter of one parking lot had been plowed.  The sidewalk plows at Cornell were stymied, too; the snow was too deep for them.  He fought his way through snow to BTI, through drifts to open a door.  He was the only one there.  Four foot drifts up onto the greenhouse windows.   Twenty-one inches of it reported near here.

It was over my boots on the way to the garage.  Way over.  Wearing snow shoes I only sank down five or six inches instead of 15+.  Hawthorne pretended to be a dolphin, using snow for sea.  Only his back and hind legs were visible when he dug down to the ground.

At the bottom of his prints were icy blue shadows tinged with gray. As if  bits of the blue sky and the gray cloud were snared and carried down trapped in the snow.  The wind was strong enough remove most of our tracks inside ten minutes but traces remained for the return trip, the sharp inside edge that escaped the filling snow a sharp beautiful gray-blue.


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