Sunday, February 25, 2018

More of the same only different

It is still winter. I can tell by the two feet of snow we have had this week. Smaller doses starting last weekend and finishing this morning with another foot of the stuff plus a pretty stiff wind. At least it compresses and blows away otherwise it would be impossible to traverse. I got out skiing yesterday and realized how much I missed moving. Walking is difficult because it has been slippery and until recently skiing hasn't been fun because it was too cold. Now things are getting warmer and better so I am excited to get moving more. Here are a few pictures from this morning.

The inside cats know just what to do when the weather outside is frightful and lots of snow needs to be moved. They have been doing their part so well for years that they can practically sleep through it. Here are Bella, Cotton, and Blue doing their part.
Vinny, the outside wild man, has a nice house on the deck. It was under snow this morning, but he had the forethought to spend the night in a hay shed making sure that no mice would rest easily. That is apparently his part. He is less fearful of the camera now, but his attitude is unmistakable.  Here was the day before the storm resting in his human made digs.
Still pointing that thing at me?

 Click the pics to embiggen.

It will be March this coming week. There are a lot of special days in March. The first ones to pop into my head are the Ides of March, in which I make a mental note to appreciate the works of William Shakespeare, St. Patrick's Day, and the Spring Equinox. Other special days are, March 2nd which is Employee Appreciation Day, March 4th which is Grammar Day, March 9th which is Meatball Day, March 11th which is World Plumbing Day, March 12th which is Napping Day (one of my personal favorites), and March 31st which is Bunsen Burner Day reminding us of all the near and not so near misses in our early science education. There are lots of other fun days in March in which I always celebrate the return of a decent length of daylight at last.

I would be remiss if I didn't congratulate Norway on it's fine and winning participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Gratulerer med spillene!

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Every once in a while someone comes into my life that forces me to consider other forces at play. If I were a religious person I could say something like, "It's God's doing," or something like that. I seriously doubt that something omnipotent would waste its time with my petty curiosity when there are so many serious problems in the world that need immediate attention.

After a hiatus of several years from the music group I play with, Over The Waterfall,  I needed to come back and play. I have walked away from music for periods as long as a year without even touching an instrument (although I sing in the car a lot) I always come back. The band has existed for at least 25 years in one form or another. When I started to play with them again there was this "new" guy in the band and a few of the veterans. About a year and a half ago we were practicing in my garage and toward the end of the practice Erik, our Irish flute and penny whistle player notices my father's old license plate from Delaware that I had on the wall (part of my "garage chic" decor)  and asks me, "Are you from Delaware?"
"Me, too!"
"Which part?"
"Me, too!"
"Where did you go to high school?"
"Me, too!!"
I went over to my record shelf (lots of old vinyl LPs) and pulled out my 1969 senior yearbook, the "Azurean," and opened it up. It turns out that we had some of the same teachers, but 18 years apart. Erik was also in the high school jazz band, the Brandywine Blazers, which added to his musical credibility. Many, if not most, of the musicians in that group went on to be at least semi professional musicians. They had some serious talent. Erik also plays saxophone and a few other instruments.

It also turns out that Erik was born the summer I graduated. In fact he lived one block from my girlfriend's house and I probably heard him crying at that distance. His father worked for the same company and at the same location as my father and where I was working that summer. That was 48 years ago so now he is all grown up and has a lovely family of his own and only lives a couple of miles from me. He is a teacher by profession, but plays in several musical groups around the area and is another gem in our community.

In all these years since I left the East Coast I have rarely run into anyone from Delaware let alone someone from the same high school and even then with someone with whom I had so much in common. Coincidence? I guess so.
Here he is playing Celtic music with one of our fiddle players at one of our local venues. Now I need to figure out how to upload music from a cd to blogger and then you can hear something.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


You may remember the feral cat I mentioned a few months ago. He was hanging around the farm and showing interest in seeing how the other half live.  I wasn't sure at that time if it was male or female. I am still not 100 percent certain, but I believe he's a male. He isn't pregnant and he has a rather large ruff and looks kinda like a male. He still won't let me examine him close up and he is too hairy to see any external indications of his gender, but I am pretty sure.

We have made his life easier and while he is still more comfortable outdoors we have provided food water and shelter for him. He appreciates this and does rub against my legs and likes to have his head scratched, but is still shy about a lot of things. He is pretty sure a camera is a device used to maim and torture small animals. When I go to take his picture he tends to hide. Being a wild cat he is pretty good at that.
You are probably wondering how I came to call him Vinny. If you notice in the pictures his left ear is only about half there. I imagine it froze at some time in the past which lets me also know he is at least a year old. He may be five or ten for that matter, but he is a mature cat who has seen at least one winter. I named him after Vincent Van Gogh because of the ear thing.

I don't know what he does or where he goes all day, but he is here in the morning and evening waiting for food. I have seen him in the morning coming out of the shelter we have for him on the deck. He knows how to stay safe and that's a good thing. I have heard foxes barking nearby and saw one in the pasture yesterday. It is their breeding season. I also saw a large, healthy looking fisher about a mile down the road the other day. They are fierce predators and will eat cats and have been known to eat porcupines. They don't have many, if any, other critters to fear.
I think Vinny will be safe if he stays near us.

Meanwhile it is still cold and every night for the last couple of weeks has been well below zero. The days are starting to warm up a bit with the longer day length and stronger sunlight. Here is a shot from the deck yesterday. The first few miles of the lake is open water, but you can see the ice pack out toward the horizon. The wind is sending it over to Michigan and Wisconsin. They can have it.