Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why You Cannot Save the World...

Rarely  -- in fact, you might say, almost never--do I recommend people read something I find interesting.  I seldom "forward" things as doing so seems to intrude rather than inform.

In this blog, out here JOTOLR, I try to present a mostly-breezy perspective, that serves mainly to uplift.  OTOH, times, they are a-changin'....and my post for today could be perceived as somewhat dark compared to other subjects and past posts.

Dave Pollard has a blog entitled "how to save the world."  A Canadian, Pollard is deeply philosophical and he explores topics in the realm of our collapsing society, environmentalism, human rights, to name only a few.  His post for today, April 27, 2011, I find compelling as he has neatly sewn together the strengths that evolution has preserved and enhanced in us--the genetics that have gotten us to where we are today; but which are also our ultimate genetically programmed weaknesses, as our society teeters on brinksmanship, and eventually will run amok. 

Reading this is a cerebral experience.  If you haven't got time, skip it altogether.

To read the post carefully the first time through, plan on 20 minutes.  For re-reads, double the time.  Put on your thinking caps, get a hot cup of tea or coffee,  and have a go... I believe (and trust) you are a readership who will appreciate this piece... for April 27, 2011.

Red sky in the morning......

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Audubon and His Legacy

Today is the 226th anniversary of the birth of John Audubon.  Born in Haiti, he was an ornothologist, a hunter, a painter and a naturalist who spent his life cataloging the birds of North America.  Wikipedia gives a sketch of his early life:

"From his earliest days, Audubon had an affinity for birds. "I felt an intimacy with them...bordering on frenzy [that] must accompany my steps through life." His father encouraged his interest in nature; "he would point out the elegant movement of the birds, and the beauty and softness of their plumage. He called my attention to their show of pleasure or sense of danger, their perfect forms and splendid attire. He would speak of their departure and return with the seasons." In France during the chaotic years of the French Revolution and its aftermath, Audubon grew up to be a handsome and gregarious young man. He played flute and violin, and learned to ride, fence, and dance. He was hearty and a great walker, and loved roaming in the woods, often returning with natural curiosities, including birds' eggs and nests, of which he made crude drawings. His father planned to make a seaman of his son. At twelve, Audubon went to military school and became a cabin boy. He quickly found out that he was susceptible to seasickness and not fond of mathematics or navigation. After failing the officer's qualification test, Audubon ended his incipient naval career. He was cheerfully back on solid ground and exploring the fields again, focusing on birds."

For additional insight into this incredible artist/naturalist go to Wikipedia's bio of him:    John James Audubon Biography

And, here are two more arrivals out here JOTOLR.  Directly below is the Indigo Bunting a bright jewel that spends the summer with us...

And here is the Baltimore Oriole which nests high above the ground with a swinging basket-like nest that resembles an elongated hammock.

We will be welcoming over 100 different species of neo-tropical arrivals this spring.  The Eastern Flyway of the Northern Hemisphere is alive with color!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Flame of Spring

I've always enjoyed the observation and cataloging of songbirds. Seldom does the guest list change as the avian parade unfolds, but each is new for the year, and warmly welcomed annually.   We have an incredible array of species that come to visit only for a short time.  It is mainly neo-tropical migrators that briefly decorate our arboreal crowns with their colored feathers brightened to mate-attraction condition!  

For me, the most fun is the challenge of homing in on the song rather than simply spotting the bird.  Indeed, yesterday, as I was returning from a short hike across the meadow, I heard a couple of songs that I knew I knew....hmmmmmm?  I kept wondering what it could be!  Familiar but not a year-round sort of sound.  New...or at least newly arrived. 

Ah!  It came to me that one was the Yellow-breasted Chat, with its cheery raspy hello.

But there was another softer sound that had me reaching for the source.

"Chip-brrrrrr!  Chip-brrrrrrrr"  Keeping an eye on the top of the Ash tree behind the house before going through the beautiful new screen doors that MM had just made and installed, I grabbed my binoculars and came out onto the porch, sneaking, hiding......

"Chip-brrrrrrrr!  Chip-brrrrrr...!"  I was in luck.  Whatever it was, was still there.  I peered out from below the  overhang and sighted a silhouette of a bird a bit smaller than a robin in the top of the Ash tree.  

"Chip-brrrrrr"  Then,  from a bit farther away came an answering, softer, "Chip-brrrrrr!"  Aaaah!  I knew what it was!  How exciting to track the sound! Through the binoculars, now focused on the canopy high overhead, zeroing in on the source, I was rewarded beyond measure:  The Scarlet Tanagers --often called Flame of Spring--have arrived, he with his neon red body and jet black wings, and she with her more subdued, but no less striking, olive-yellow.   Simply breathtaking. 

We are so fortunate to have these beautiful creatures with us for th early summer.  They nest in our yard annually.  As for telling them apart from the cardinals....well....once you've seen a Scarlet Tanager, you'll never be confused again!  I tried to follow Barabara's (Folkways Notebook) wonderful instructions for embedding a video from You Tube, but haven't quite got the hang of it yet.  So here is the link:Scarlet Tanager and Listenable Song  and just in case .... here's the full URL:


You will hear the characteristic "chip-burrrrrr" toward the end of the video.  It's quite distinguishing.  Nothing sounds even similar except when the male sounds like a robin with another call.  They are so illusive, though, that it's difficult to spot them at any time except when they first arrive.

I was surprised to learn that the male is only in its neon red dress for the duration of the mating season, whereupon it molts and turns into the same olive yellow as his mate.  The in-between colors has him mottled between a fading red and olive-yellow, which to me would be a perfect camoflouge amidst the dappled sunlight of summer.

Do take a moment to check out the website and experience the thrill this bird evokes!  Indeed, it's unmistakable plummage says, Flame of Spring.  And, joy of joys, we out here JOTOLR will have them as our guests for the next couple of months, high over head, but right in our own back yard!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Video Outage...

Surprise, surprise.....!  We were hit by a Netflix "outage" last night.  It lasted -- I would estimate--about an hour or so.  I suspect-- though I do not know for sure-- that it was somehow connected with Amazon's Cloud Computing debacle last night...and Heroku, user of Cloud Computing services--and ultimately affected users out here,  JOTOLR.  It was a rather massive failure, from what I can gather,  and techies are concerned this morning about the future of Cloud Computing, still in its infancy.  It wasn't NetFlix that failed.  It was (again, if I understand correctly) Amazon, which then failed Heroku which then failed our Roku and our "romance" with the Monarch of the Glen series...interesting cascade...
For the story go to:  Cloud Computing Failure

While researching that issue this morning, I came across another piece I found compelling, especially as we forge ahead while (we hope) trying to reduce our footprint on the Earth.  It's worth a skim-read on this Earth Day.  The title is somewhat surprising.  I know I think of Apple as being very Earth-conscious, almost the "greenest of the greens."  And in many ways, it is.  But there are "hidden issues" that tell another story.  You might find this interesting...

Apple Has Dirtiest Data

The Twelfth of Never

Of all the tragedies resulting from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, perhaps the most enduring--other than loss of lives--is garbage.  All kinds of garbage.  My mind can hardly take it all in....imagine for a moment, all the things--stuff-- of households, businesses, manufacturing...all strewn over the landscape of an island in the Pacific Ocean... Not to mention the radiation?  Where will it wind up?  IS there such a thing as "clean-up" or "breakdown" of the incredible destruction now blighting life itself in this tiny country?  

What can be done about Japan's garbage problem?   When it rains in northeastern Japan, it's raining through the garbage...and going where?  Where, even after scraping up the trash into mounds to be hauled somewhere, where can it be moved TO and what lingers in the soil?  The fishing industry in that part of the world?  How will it be affected?  How can this relatively small piece of land cope with the refuse of a natural disaster of this magnitude?  

These questions and more haunt me as I plant my new blackberries and enjoy my asparagus...When is the "industrialized" world going to realize the importance of the need for serious re-thinking of our "waste?"   I honestly believe we are beyond "recycling."  We are red-lining on simply having too much stuff.  We don't need more stuff.  But that's anti-consumerism, anti-free enterprise, anti-capitalism, right?  RIGHT!  in capital letters. 

And just to remind you, on this Earth Day, here's the time it takes for each piece of trash to so-called "break down:" (the Twelfth of Never...)

Glass bottle 1 million years

Monofilament fishing line: 600 years

Plastic beverage bottles: 450 years

Disposable diapers: 450 years

Aluminum can: 80-200 years

Boot sole: 50-80 years

Styrofoam cup: 50 years

Tin can: 50 years

Leather: 50 years

Nylon fabric: 30-40 years

Plastic film canister: 20-30 years

Plastic bag: 10-20 years (???)

Cigarette filter: 1-5 years

Wool sock: 1-5 years

Plywood: 1-3 years

Waxed milk carton: 3 months

Apple core: 2 months

Newspaper: 6 weeks

Orange or banana peel : 2-5 weeks

Paper towel: 2-4 weeks

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sturdy As They Go

I love these beautiful creatures!  Don't you?  They seem so fragile, but watching them yesterday, hovering over the creeping flox and flitting through the limbs of shrubs in what must have been 35 mph winds, they seemed to hold their own easily, leaving me to consider the word "sturdy" as opposed to "delicate."  After all, I remind myself, they over-wintered here.  Not to mention the fact that this butterfly is present throughout the entire Palearctic region, ranging from Russia to China and Japan, (including the Himalayas and Taiwan), and across into Alaska, Canada, and the United States. 

They may appear as if they would be unable to withstand even minor amounts of battering.  In fact, if you look closely at my image taken yesterday you will notice a couple of tiny rips on the outer edge of the butterfly's left wing.  Even so, it didn't in the least deter the creature's relentless search for nectar on a sunny, windy spring day. They do not migrate as do the Monarch Butterflies, but stay year 'round and produce up to three generations over spring and summer. So it will be visible throughout the coming months winging its splendored way through the tree tops from now until late fall.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Take Time to Smell the Lilacs

Nothing to me says "nostalgia" as do the lilacs when they bloom each year.  We have two huge bushes right outside the bedroom window.  Ahhhhhhhhh.....! The fragrance is everything one could wish for in a nose-gulp of air! A sweet, almost edible scent, exquisite catalyst of memories, a lingering longevity that makes me want to stay anchored beneath the bushes, until they end its glorious display.  But here's a new twist:

Did you know that if you can smell the lilac as it blooms, you're probably safe from Alzheimer's Disease?  It's true.  The lilac has been identified as a "predictor" of AD.  If you can't smell the lilac (or any one of nine other scents) you may have AD in your future--or so say scientists.  The complete article is in a slighted dated (2004) issue of Science Daily:


In a nutshell, here's what it says:  "Inability to identify 10 specific odors (derived from the broader study) proved to be the best predictors for Alzheimer's Disease: these are strawberry, smoke, soap, menthol, clove, pineapple, natural gas, lilac, lemon and leather."

You know, I always say...of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.  So it was with great relief that I passed by the lilacs this morning without even looking at them....but I knew they were there!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Last night, just as we were going to bed, MM went out to take a last look-around--or more like a "listen-around" to assure us that all was well, something farmers do, just to "make certain" especially on a night when the full moon could have "implications." 

April's full moon is rather benign, though.  No howling wolves or ghosts.  Called the Full Pink Moon, the name comes from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is--apparently-- one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, (I got 15 eggs yesterday) and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.  I can relate to all of those.

At any rate, MM, having gone out, suddenly reappeared with loud instructions to "Get your camera, and hurry.  HURRY!"  I ascended the stairway as quickly as I could, coming back from the edge of dreamland....discovering forthwith, (as with all emergency photos we are commanded to make) that I was ill-prepared:  the card that stores images, was still in the reader, I had the wrong lens for the project on the camera which necessitated my changing it...all the while I am hearing an escalating pitch of voice below:  "HURRY!!" (as if I wasn't trying!)

I managed a quiet, "I'm doing the best I can..." remark, which did calm things down a bit.

When I finally made it outside, MM directed my attention to this orange (not pink!) pumpkin-in-the sky.  Naturally the focusing on the tele-lens was irritating and stubbornly refused to kick in.  So, by braille, I managed to find the focus button and flipped off the auto onto manual, stumbled around in the dark until I located a sturdy platform (the tractor) to double as a tripod, and set about trying to find a meaningful image.

By that time the moon had managed to race above the refraction zone which made the size a little less spectacular that it was originally when MM saw it, poised just above the horizon and huge.  Nonetheless, the color alone made the shot somewhat worthwhile...but I do apologize for the less-than-stellar result!  I just wasn't ready!

 I look forward to May's full moon Full Flower Moon.  In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. It's also called the Corn Planting moon, which seems about right. Maybe next month I'll be a little better organized.

BTW, the dark markings in the image are the tops of pine trees.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Clean Sweep

I end the week with a clean chicken house.  Yea!  MM and I hauled out a year's worth of chicken poop yesterday--probably seven loads of the garden cart, all told!  It went on the garden in big, flailing arcs of the grain scoop.  Thank goodness it wasn't real windy!  I know this will sound odd, but for some reason, this represents a treasure, as far as I'm concerned.  Free fertilizer...well, not entirely free, but certainly a by-product!  Makes me feel wealthy!
 This morning, I put in a fresh bale of hay and the chickens kept running in and out apparently amazed at this refurbishent.  They must have been grateful because I've gotten more than a dozen eggs today.  And there's been a chicken of one stripe or another in the nest boxes all day long --almost as if they couldn't believe their good fortune.

 I'm sure they appreciate a clean house, just like I do!

Thank you everyone for your visits this past week!  I've loved hearing from you.  It's been pretty busy out here JOTOLR.  For you, too, I know!  Spring does that, doesn't it!  I keep ordering plants and planting madly.  Thanks for all your lovely comments!  I've enjoyed every one.  Hope you have a delightful and restorative weekend!
See you Monday!

Early Retirement

Well, today is the day.  We knew it would come, soon or later, but probably preferred later rather than sooner. 

Marigold decided to take early retirement a couple of days ago. 

She basically took the initiative and decided by herself not to come in to be milked.  ANd, she has refused steadfastly.  Mind you, she didn't have a whole lot of milk and will dry up easily.  

But now, until we find a FERTILE bull, we're out of the milk business for the time being.   We had a bull here shortly after  Marigold calved.  The bull was here for three heat cycles, but neither cow bred.  So we are currently the proud owners of two unbred cows:  Marigold and Honeysuckle and neither is in the motherhood framework short of nine months, now. 

And, just between you and me?  I am glad of the rest.  Feel like I am foot-loose and fancy-free!  Not that I have any spectacular plans, but twice a day, making sure we're here...and what's more, MAKING all the dairy products and staying ahead of them....well, I'm glad of the vacation.  And, I guess that makes two of us, if Marigold gets to vote!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Vibrance of Spring

The colors of spring defy description, don't they!  I stumble around, trying to paint a scene with adjectives worthy of the space.  But all words seem, themselves, to pale against the chartreuse of the new leaves and the scarlets, the violets, the hot pinks, the intense blues of the flowers... 

Winter is finally shedding its bleak, often monochrome garb here, and spring is shouting its arrival.   Whether it be an impending storm as in the image above--taken this morning as I was heading out to milk Marigold--with the vibrant greens of grass paired with the ominous slate blue of the sky....
or a surprise tulip, forgotten, but oh so welcome --all by itself, which I discovered in the middle of my yard yesterday...!

...or the vast numbers of laughing violets that have volunteered everywhere and daily forgive me for my inability to find footing without trampling them...I remember to stoop down for a closer look at the incredible colors, and put my nose right into this Happy Spring drinking in the fragrances of life awakening!  The hyacinths are divine; and the Narcissus is candy-sweet; I spend time listening, too.  With the drumming of the pileated woodpecker echoing throughout our woods all day yesterday I fully expected to hear the sound of a crashing tree.  Other birds are declaring territory now.  I literally ran into a dove yesterday inside the chicken coop--twice--that has apparently decided that the seedy interior would make an ideal nesting spot.

I recognize all the returning avian friends.  Soon the many varieties of warblers will return:  the Cerulian, the Prothonotary, the Yellow-Rumped, the Blackburnian...and so many more too numerous to name!  The Scarlet Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, the Wood Thrush, the Great Crested Flycatchers...and soon the songs that ring throughout the woods, will be a mixture of those birds that stayed and over-wintered and those that have returned from afar.  Being on the migratory route puts a whole new dimension on birdwatching and bird listening out here JOTOLR.

What a beautiful time of year it is!  Everything is in bloom or getting ready to bloom, nesting or getting ready to nest!  Indeed, it's our Appalachian Spring in full swing!   

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Round Tuit Method

Linda, Vicki, Julia and Barbara!  I believe I have given up the idea of planting by the signs.  Seems I lose some of the instructions in translation and by the time I GET the time to try to figure it out, I've missed the day for planting!  Too confusing.  And too many opinions and so-deemed "methods." I think, instead, I will go by the Round Tu-It Method:

Waiting to Exhale......

Peach Blossom

Peach Fruit

This is the time of year out here JOTOLR when we hold our collective breath awaiting the day when we can say for sure--or almost for sure--that we'll have fruit this year.  We're at an elevation that allows late--as in VERY late--frosts and freezes to niggle their way into our production schedules. 


We eat seasonally.  Meaning:  we don't consume grapes from Chile, or strawberries from California; or apples from everywhere else.  We wait for our own to ripen in the fall, whereupon we gorge ourselves on the crisp, succulent fresh fruit of our own trees, and then bottle that which we're unable to consume fresh, for enjoyment over the long winter.  We have around ten apple trees, each a different variety so we can expect varying ripening times; the same goes for our plums, peaches, pears; we also have one nectarine, two apricots which have never--in fifteen years--made it through the late killing frosts; plus strawberries and thornless blackberries.

The Pears

But a frost--even a freeze--can come as late as the last week in May here.  So we still have a few weeks to go before we can declare the fruit safe.  Then, of course, too, is the possibility of hail throughout the long summer, when thunderstorms can take on a very angry and destructive face, and wreak havoc on the soft fruits--plums, peaches, and nectarine.

The Plums

Of course, the shriveling blossoms on the plum tree below indicate that we at least have the start of a fruit crop, indicates, too, that the weather during the oh-so-brief  pollinating season, was warm enough and sustained enough to make sure the bees, the mason bees, the bumblebees...and all such likely friends of the farmer, had both the needed time and temperature to gather nectar and pollen and --not least--pollinate the blossoms.  An intricate dance to be sure.  There have been times when sun and warmth has been lacking, resulting in a "poor" fruit crop; one recent year, ice storms broke limbs, and killed several of our fruit trees, and left us with no fruit at all for one year.  We relied on our holdover canned fruit from the previous year.  That is why we usually put up more than we can consume in one winter.  And, we never take our fruit for granted.

Plum Fruit in the making...

So, we wait....and we blossoms first emerge, endure frosts and freezes, and finally (we hope) reveal the tiny orbs on the plums, the peaches, the pears, the nectarines, the apples, the strawberries -- declaring that winter has finally fled, and we have a positive fruit set.  So far this year, so good.  Six weeks to go before we can declare absolute success....waiting to exhale.

The Apples

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring is Bustin' Out All Over!

It was outside all the live-long day today!  I weeded 200 foot of strawberries and fertilized them!  Whoopee!!  So the easy way to post a blog in a hurry?  Share with you some photos I just grabbed around the house today (plus one from the other night!)

Creeping Flox close up
Lavender blue....Dilly, Dilly........

Yes, this early!  Already!!!  In the picnic shelter.  She's been busy!!

First harvest, today! Yum!

Bleeding Heart

First creek bath of the season!  Whoopeeeee!

Man, this is FUN!

Storm clouds in the evening a couple nights ago...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Great Expectations

Flower-planting time on Sunday.  And on Monday, too!  Why not tomorrow, you ask?  Or today?  Right?  Oh, no!  Far be it from me to cross swords with the Farmer's Almanac. 

You you only want to plant root crops;  same thing tomorrow, Saturday.  But on Sunday...well, that's a different kettle of fish!  I can plant flowers all day, say the signs.  The moon is right because it will be rising; and it is in Gemini, which is an air sign and flowers seem to like the air signs of Gemini, Aquarius and Libra, good for blooming flowers and herbs.

Do you plant by the signs?  Or taking this a bit further, do you plant by the moon signs or the zodiac?  Truthfully, MM and I have never done much to follow the signs as we seed our garden, but natives in our neck of the woods swear that doing otherwise is committing the gardening equivalent of hari-kari.  We had one lady last year come to buy greens (which did very well despite our not seeding them by the signs) who strictly adheres to the signs for almost everthing--including butchering, setting eggs, and even propitious (or not) days for doing almost everything! 

On the other hand, MM and I have undoubtedly killed thousands of seeds by our callousness and ignorance. 

In trying to bone up on planting by the signs lately, I've met the Farmer's Almanac.  Do I understand it?  Nope.  I'm hopeless.  OTOH, I did come across a website that might be called a recipe with a daily dose of sign-language.  On the left side of the webpage is a listing of fours days' worth of instructive elements for deciphering the mystical directions.  Well worth a stop if you are seeking guidance through the murky world of ancient garden wisdom. Go to:

And that about does it for the week my lovely friends!  It was a windy, windy week!  And not just that element of Nature out here JOTOLR.  Indeed, it's been pretty windy in Congress, too.  Blithering idiots.  All of them.  As I wrote on somebody's blog comments this a.m. it's time to start sharpening the guillotine! 

Have a good weekend everyone!  And thanks so much for your generous company!
See you Monday.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Cleaning Attack

Above is MM painting the privy.  We decided to put it back into service this year.  Still have to get some clear roofing to replace the ancient and rusted corrugated steel. 
And, we're putting some bright yellow on the inside walls and adding some much needed flooring.  Also some Snake Repellant!  :-))  I'll share pictures when we're done. 

And this is Elora and MM, cleaning MM's shop.  And I wish you could've seen it before we started.    You'll just have to use your imagination.   Suffice it to say that when I turned the shop blower on,  the cloud of dust was so dense I could not see out the door ten feet from me.  But it's clean now!  And MM was so grateful--truly--to now have a somewhat neater  place for woodworking and enjoying his "toys."

I guess you could say that out here, JOTOLR, we've had an "Attack of Spring Cleaning!"  We have both been whirlwinds of ceaseless activity these past few days.  Thank goodness for taxes today or we would be still at it this morning.  Instead, we're taking a break in deference to the approach of the dreaded April 15th tax deadline.  Gives us old people a chance to rest our bones for a day, never mind the procrastination.

We've also gotten a bunch of stuff gathered together for our semi-annual trip to the landfill.  I know, I know it's that dreaded trash problem, again...but we do better than most.  We can confine six months of trash (whittled down to things we absolutely cannot find a use for)(and yes, Vicki, weren't the old-timers resourceful at using up "stuff"!) to an 8-ft X 8-ft area on the porch.    That's not too bad.  Especially within the mantra of "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

We've also been planting shrubs, and trees, doing some last-minute pruning, and, of course, making more lists!

Thanks to Barbara and a post she put up months ago on Folkways Notebook we have ensured our guests will no longer bang their heads on low-hanging supports at our picnic shelter.  Thank you, Barbara!!

By the end of the day, at this pace, we are both exhausted and welcome the last chore of the day:  milking Marigold.   Work is, indeed, its own reward,  and there is great satisfaction in seeing the sun set on simple jobs well done.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Only On Loan

Those of us who live on old farmsteads often have the opportunity, as I do,  to discover the discards of past owners, located in middens, or maybe more accurately, garbage dumps, of former inhabitants.  We have several out here JOTOLR.  It used to be customary (before those "waste managment" trucks appeared in our driveways to whisk refuse away to be concentrated in something now known as "landfills") for families to find a dry creek bottom, hollowed out even more by the occasional burst of water from a thunderstorm gone frog-strangler--and fill it with whatever trash could not be put to use somehow 

On our farm, we have several of these "landfills" and--rather than finding them offensive--I rather like them, as they offer a modest window on local history:  old glass bottles--including wine, whiskey, soda bottles with mystifying brand names I've never heard of, milk bottles, canning jars; oddments of metal, bits and pieces of failed farm machinery; miscellaneous enamelware discards with a rime of rust around the edges...all sorts of interesting artifacts that invite me to ponder the prior inhabitants of what is, for the moment, my domain.  It reminds me that we never own the land.  We only borrow it for awhile.

Some pieces offer homes to wayward insects and rodents.  Others create model terrariums--lovely "found" hothouses beneath a blanket of spent leaves.

We even have a cemetery with a proper headstone for at least one resident.  I walk out to it frequently to capture the sunsets I post here from time to time and never fail to speak a few words to Hannah, who passed in the mid-1800's.  The stone--probably put there by heirs much later--is quite grand, actually.  OTOH, I do need to add a "tidy-up" of the area around the stone to my spring list!  I think it's  appropriate (don't you?) that it is sunsets rather than sunrises, that I follow out to that promontory!

The only legacy of Hannah's having lived upon this land, (other than the stone) contrary to other relics I find elsewhere on our homestead, is the carpet of Periwinkles smiling up at me from the forest floor, a beautiful blue reminder that the earth is only on loan to us, to borrow gently and with respect.