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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Bow Gives a Facial

"You keep wandering out in the wilderness!" my daughter said to me. And somebody else corrected her to say that we hardly live out in the wilderness, since all we have is a ten acre hobby farm. Well, compared to the big city where Sword will be going to college in the fall, this is the wilderness. What's more, compared to the fields on either side of my property, this is also more of a wilderness. I neither plow nor sow, and wild things grow here.

For Bow, this means a very peaceful atmosphere when he goes outside.

When we get the moat dug for Bow's island, then he too will get to come face to face with some of the wildlife here. Like the armadillo I saw just before I went to my daughter's freshman orientation in the big city.

Armadillos are so easy to sneak up on.

Rabbits, on the other hand, are not easy to surprise.

But sometimes they act as if they were statues in the hopes that we will just pass them by, as this rabbit did soon after I came back from the big city.

When I got back, I was disappointed to see that all the purple milkweed flowers were gone. Even the one in the field, surrounded by poison ivy, no longer sported any flowers. No more milkweed, I thought. But then I spotted a splash of orange!

The butterfly milkweed had suddenly bloomed, attracting small sweat bees.

Being away for a couple of days, while Lawrence stayed with Bow, gave me a chance to appreciate anew how lucky I am to live here.

The big city is exciting, but also frustrating. Here everything is calm and quiet.

And also, Bow gives excellent facials!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Good Neighbors

Bow enjoying a cookie sent him by a neighbor
Yesterday, there was an internet outage. It was a beautiful day, though, so both Bow and I spent a lot of time outdoors, he in the outer pen, and me just wandering around outside.

I saw a box turtle that was around fifty years old.

I spotted a Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly on a purple milkweed in the pasture.

The milkweed there is surrounded by poison ivy, so I could not get very close.

The video of the butterfly embedded below is worth watching, if only for the bird song and other nature sounds.

I spent some time in the front yard recording videos and podcasts for my Anti-Romaticism series, and then I went out into the backyard to be with Bow. But about then, Bow started to show concern, and there was a smell of smoke in the air. So I went into the house and back out through the front door, to try to find out where the smoke was coming from.

The view of the fire from my pasture

The smoke led me down the path in the pasture to the southern border of my property, where the air was thick with it, wafting across the property line.

About this time, I could hear sirens. The local volunteer fire department was on its way.

The view of the neighbors' field from te road

Try as I might, I could not see into the neighboring field well enough to understand what was going on there, because the trees and shrubs are so thick at the border. So I walked back down the path and up my driveway to the road, and down the road to my neighbor's field. I stood at the side of the road, and this is what I saw.

The fire was under control. It would not spread to my land. But the field was black and charred, and plumes of smoke still wafted in the air.  I went home and reported to Bow that all was well, It was about time for lunch, so we forgot all about it and concentrated on our food.

Today, after lunch,  I attended a neighbor's open house with my daughter. A lot of other neighbors were there. Somebody mentioned that burning field yesterday. "I was thinking of you, Aya," somebody else said. "I know you stay indoors a lot, so I thought you might not know what was happening."

I guess I have a reputation for being a recluse and a shut-in, but Bow and I actually do spend a lot of time outdoors,  so much so that he gets his required vitamin D, and I am getting a bit of a tan.

"What caused the fire?" I asked.

"As near as we can make out, they were out baling the field,when both the hay and the combine caught fire."

Aha! "I thought it was something like that," I said.

So we had refreshments and talked about local vegetation. "What's that orange flower that blooms out beside the road right now?" one of the ladies asked. "Butterfly plant?" "Milkweed?" "Butterfly milkweed." "Yes, that's the one." And another person was talking about yucca and how to get rid of weeds surrounding it. Hey, I know these plants, I thought. I am not a complete newby anymore.

One of my yuccas in full bloom

They talked to my daughter about her choice of college and about dorm life, And when we left, the hostess sent cookies for me to give to Bow. "Tell him they're from me!"

So I did.

Bow was happy.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Mulberry from the Pasture

I went for a walk this morning, because Bow said I should.

 The mulberry tree that grows by the path is giving fruit now.

 I picked a ripe mulberry and brought it back for Bow to have.

I did not plant this tree. It just grew. It gives fruit. I give the fruit to Bow. Maybe someday I can have a moat around the pasture so Bow can pick the fruit himself.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bow and the Roofer

After the storms come the repairs. And repairs bring with them repairmen. And repairmen are strangers, and strangers need to be displayed at.

I had been enjoying relative peace and quiet. When Bow is outside resting after a meal, he is usually very mellow.

I have enjoyed watching the milkweed flower by the path bloom, one little floret at a time.

Yesterday afternoon it was almost completely open. But this morning tragedy struck.

Some creature came and bit off the flower head. Now it will never turn into a seedpod to propagate its kind. My friend Kathy says common milkweed also spreads through rhizomes, but this is purple milkweed, and it depends more on its seeds.

I made a video to remember this flower by.

There are still other milkweed plants with intact flowers on my property. But I will miss this one.

On my walks there are still other things to see. Like this yucca that is blooming. Or the surprising number of pears on this one branch of the second pear tree.

There is the occasional box turtle.

Or a rabbit that pauses to look at me for a good long while before it disappears into the underbrush.

But with the advent of the roofer all that has to stop, because Bow is not going to be calm, and he has to display how very big and strong he is.

And viewed from outside the outer pen, it looks something like this.

The roofer is on the roof top, working by the chimney. And Bow is down below, watching and then displaying.

All the rabbits and turtles and deer for miles around can hear Bow displaying for the roofer. But other than that, it is fairly quiet around here.