Wednesday, January 17, 2018

the markmaking continues

 One of my clothesline posts.
This post was old when I was young.

One of the bells hanging by my temporary gate.
I jangle them when I pass.
The sound cheers me, and lets the goats know where I am.

From a photograph taken a few months ago,
walking in the woods with Piper.

Shriveled fruits of a Maple Viburnum.
From a photograph taken this week,
walking here at home with Piper.

My sketchbooks are developing a unique topography...
an unplanned effect of painting with a very wet brush
on very inexpensive paper.

Most of the daily markmaking has been taking place at night, when I wake up and can't get back to sleep. This has unexpected advantages! For one thing, the process is unencumbered by the daytime pressures of all the waiting tasks tugging at my mental coattails. Also, it is extra-satisfying to create something in a period of time that would otherwise be fretted away in wakeful unease. So, keeping a sketchbook, a pen, and a few watercolors by the bed has turned out to be quite a good thing.

But still.


Between you and me?

I'm a photographer.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

pick a window

After a day of mild temperatures - very welcome, as you might imagine - we had hard rain for a solid day and night.

It was still raining this morning, which is when I took these pictures.

Quite suddenly, the temperature began to drop. To plummet, really.

 In three hours, the temperature dropped about 35 degrees.
Really. I checked it twice.

And then the sun came out!

And a bitter cold wind began to blow, which continued all day and was still trying to take my ears off when I put the critters to bed this evening.

The temp is dropping back down to zero tonight, and our highs are not predicted to rise above freezing again for a good long while...but at least the forecast is for single digits instead of negative teens.

I know not all of my readers are experiencing winter right now, but for those who are: stay warm and safe! 
And for those who are experiencing Summer: send pictures!


Friday, January 12, 2018

this week in goat world

All the ice and extremely cold weather has been causing a bit of hoof trouble, and I've been keeping a close eye on several goats. Now that there is a break in the cold - it has been raining non-stop all day and is predicted to go on straight through tomorrow morning - it was the perfect time for a hoof treatment for Campion (my Champion).

Being such an experienced goatherd and all, I carefully prepared and arranged everything needed. Each step was taken slowly and calmly: cleaning hooves, soaking, drying, trimming. Throughout the process, many well-timed apple slices were offered and accepted. Finally, the BluKote: a liquid hoof dressing that must be handled carefully because it stains everything it comes in contact with. There are usually a couple of little splatters, like this one on the leg of my dungarees:

But because I was being So Very Careful,
there was no staining of Campion's coat or my hands.

At first.

Then this happened:

Oh, Campion (my Scampion)! Such a prankster.
He waited til I was opening the full bottle of BluKote,
then jerked his hoof out of my hand and did a little spin.
Both hands. Front and back.
I wonder how many days it will take to wear off?
Place your bets!

In happier - and less purple - goat news,
Cloud Harvest Cashmere had a visitor on Tuesday:

Start the countdown for Kidwatch 2018!
Vinca may become a mamagoat around the 8th of June.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


I'm generally up well before dawn.
In the wee hours of the morning, in fact.
Some would say "the middle of the night."
When it's completely dark outside, unless there's a bright moon.

I do some routine morning things in the house: breakfast for Moxie and Della, breakfast for Piper (unless she's sleeping in and "will have brunch later, please"), unload or reload dishwasher, clean litterboxes, tend the woodstove, have something to eat or drink. Random puttering. You know the type of thing.

So when I first go outside, here is what I usually step into:

Can you see the string of fairy lights between the barn and the workshop?
(May have to left-click the image to enlarge.)

Those little lights give me a cheery lift every time I see them.
They will probably be up til Spring.
Maybe year-round.

The view from my window looks very much like that picture right now, so out I go.

LOTS going on today...will plan to post pictures and words tomorrow!