Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 pictorial












Edited to add:

Unlike previous end-of-year pictorials, this time I did not have software available to make a multiple-image collage for each month. I think choosing just one image for each month took nearly as long as building a dozen collages!

Each month name is a link to the post containing the image, in case of anyone feels like going back in time for just a little while.

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy New Year's Eve...
hope to see you in 2017. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

just before dawn

There isn't much light for photographs right now.
The first hint of dawn is just peeking through the trees:

That bright spot isn't the sun; it's the lightness well above the sun.

It snowed all day yesterday, and most of the night.
Heavy, wet snow. Some is already dropping in big wet clumps.

I'm hoping for a light wind, to bring more off the trees.
If it freezes or if we get a strong wind,
there will likely be a lot of breakage.

 This squirrel was quite perturbed by the snow on the feeder.
In a dozen photographs, that tail never stopped twitching!

More snow is predicted for Saturday.

This is the time of year when one does not "put off til tomorrow."
If something can be done now, then "now" is the time to do it.
As soon as the sun is up, I will be outside.

I hope wherever you are, the sun comes up on a peaceful world.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

blimey o'reilly

Winter is well and truly here.
Yesterday morning it was -6F (-21C) in the sun.

The goats are all well-dressed for Winter, but I saw both Betula (above) and LeShodu (below) hold up one hoof for a few moments when I was collecting the empty breakfast buckets. Cold feet, goats? But they were not interested in going back into the barns.

On days like this, buckets contain extra oats, for extra warming power. Speaking of buckets...on each of the goatcams, one of the preset directions points directly down into a big water bucket.

Being able to check the water levels from inside the house is a functional luxury for me. Is the water is clean? Are the de-icers are working? If either answer is "no" it means getting out there immediately, night or day.

And the water level in each bucket tells me how many gallon jugs of water I'll need to set outside the door at chore times. That way I don't have to keep coming back inside, pulling off my boots (cleats and floors don't mix) and going to the sink to fill another jug while leaving clumps of melting snow all over the kitchen. 

The above picture was taken by a goatcam at about 1PM yesterday.
The goats choose to spend most of their time outside, so I throw hay down in several locations both in and out of the barns.
On such a bittercold day, that bright sun was very welcome.
Those looong Winter shadows at 1PM!

 Today, it's doing this.
Has been since last night.
Tiny, tiny flakes.

The view from right here, right now:

The original prediction was that the snow would stop by morning.
Then, it was predicted to stop at noon.
Now, it's predicted to stop at 2:45.

Glad the propane delivery came yesterday.

Also glad I have a tiny house.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday.
Stay warm - or cool - as appropriate for your hemisphere!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

cats on the web

Since Della and Moxie moved in, I have learned many things.
Here are a few of them.

A kitten can scroll a touchscreen with her paw.
Considering that I - a human with fingers - sometimes have trouble with the touchscreen, this really amazed me.

Kittens can also - in a split second, on a daily basis,
and with just one little paw -
find things on your laptop you have never seen before.

They can summon Help for the operating system. Repeatedly.

They can turn on voice activation.
They can open a pop-up window of keyboard shortcuts that I wish I could find again.

They can set up skype.

They can mute the system in a way that requires googling to figure out how to cancel. (So far, they themselves have not googled anything. But to be on the safe side, I only open Amazon when they are both asleep.)

They can add umlauts to the onscreen keyboard.
I still haven't figured out how to undo that.

They can compose and send a tweet:

I just noticed: twitter provided a "translate" button on the kitten-tweet - LOL!

A couple of days ago I opened my laptop and found
a pop-up window on twitter that sternly warned:

You are not permitted to Block yourself.

Well, thank goodness, is all I can say to that. Because I don't know how I could have ever gotten back into my account to Unblock myself.

Of course there's one thing I already knew, but which the kittens have learned:

it's possible to fall asleep at the computer.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


This little bottle, in a south-facing window at the foot of my bed,
catches a few minutes of sunrise in one of it's beveled edges.

 Time to get up and out.
The days are short and there is always much to do.

But sometimes during morning chores,
I take a few pictures to share with you.


I hope your week is off to a good start
and your chores are going well.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016


When I photographed this mullein plant,
it was only moments away from losing it's light layer of frost.
Can you see it?

The morning sun was just coming up through the trees, so plants close to the ground were still coated with frost. The trees were intercepting the sun rays, and frost on hemlock needles and beech leaves was sparkling and literally disappearing before my eyes. Melted frost dripped from the tips of beech leaves faster than I could focus on an individual droplet.

This particular mullein plant has given me a lot of pleasure this year.
It grew in the Very Raised Bed, so I walked by often and stopped to admire it many, many times.

You may already know that mullein is a biennial plant. The first year there is a rapidly-growing basal rosette of thick, fuzzy "bunny ears."
(That may sound twee or childish, but I defy anyone to see that first rosette of mullein leaves in the Spring and not think of soft furry ears.)
The second year, the plant produces it's impressive stalk and flowers. I find mullein visually interesting at all stages of it's life, and all year round.

Mullein is always a popular plant with pollen-gatherers.
This one had frequent visitors:

I did an ink-and-watercolor drawing based on that same cluster of blossoms. Can you tell I was drawing a stalk that was far over my head?

The big soft leaves and sunny flowers made me smile so many times all through the summer. And come next Spring, I'll hope to find new mullein plants, offspring of this one, sprouting nearby.

But meanwhile, right now, I find this plant so beautiful.


Sunday, November 20, 2016


I tried to get Moxie's "good side" for you.

Pretty easy, really.