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Posts tagged “spring

Old Friends





Hard to believe this was taken only four springs ago. Where does the time go? I still miss Tia and the Bean every day. It’s hard to get used to looking at Dharla and Bullet down in the pasture and seeing only two horses. And every time I see a picture of a grey Arab I feel a little stab of sadness. I wonder if I’ll always feel the small hole in my heart that opened when I lost Tia? I’ve had dogs all my life and I’ve never felt their loss years after they’ve passed on. Good dogs, too. But with every new dog that comes into my life the pain of losing the previous dog lessens, and eventually gives way to happy memories. I’ve not found this to be so with my horses, and I’m not sure why.

Bye Bye Bunny




Gus has grown up. I seriously doubt he’ll get any bigger, though I suspect he’ll continue to fill out. But for now he’s just a lean, mean bunny killing machine. That’s right, he finds and kills baby bunnies. Now before you go all ewwwww or awwwww on me, I should remind you why we got Gus. To kill yard, farm and garden varmints. Bunnies are a menace to your yard and garden. They do immeasurable damage and make off with the cream of my crop every summer. Yes, I could fence my garden off, but that creates more cost, time and effort than I’m willing to spend. Besides, a fence is unsightly. And dead bunnies aren’t, you ask?  Well yeah, they are. And every time one bites the dust I feel a little heart pang for it and the short life it led. But I also did a little research and found out that the average female wild bunny has something like 8 or 9 litters per summer and out of the 65 or so babies they produce each year, something like 4 or 5 are expected to reach a year old. Yeah, those are not good odds. So basically, the rest are destined to be little more than a cog on the wheel of the food chain anyway. Gus is just helping speed up the process. Besides, Gus kills them in an instant, which I’d much prefer to them being swallowed (alive) by a black snake. And boy, do we have a TON of snakes. And hawks. And owls. I listened to an owl eat a nest of baby bunnies one night.  The next day I went down to the spot where the nest had been and there was nothing left but an odd discarded leg (or three) and a few tufts of fur. That was much worse than knowing Gus might kill an occasional baby bunny every now and then.

Pleased to Meet Ya …. Not?



I’ve been riding a lot this spring. As usual, mostly alone. Yesterday Dharla and I were on our way home from a long ride along Salmon River when four women approached on horseback at a fast canter. Right before they got to us they slowed to a speedy walk/trot, then passed with hardly a nod or a “Hello.” I found that odd, given most equestrians stop and chat a bit; ask where you’re from or what part of the trail system you’ve been riding. When people learn I know the area well and have years of experience riding the local trails, many want to exchange a phone number or try to make arrangements to get together for a ride in the future. We have a huge assortment of trails in our area, but it can be somewhat daunting to ride out on them if you’re not at all familiar with the system. So it was a little strange when these women blasted up to me, passed with nary a word, then blasted off. I dunno. Maybe they were late for something? Either way, it was a great opportunity for me to see how Dharla would respond to this kind of situation, and she did me proud. Maybe it was because we were headed for home and my horse knew that, but she wasn’t phased at all by the sight of four large horses charging up to her, then immediately moving on. I was so pleased. While there are times when Dharla can seem overly sensitive to situations or circumstances, this just goes to show that she does have a lot of common sense.






As of yesterday I still had small mounds of dirty snow tucked in spots around my yard. But a sudden spring shower came barreling through in the late afternoon and melted the last remaining signs of winter. And in it’s place, spring has sprung. Every April I’m amazed and impressed by the resiliency of perennials. The ground slowly softens, heaves, and coughs up the first threads of green. Everywhere I look I see signs of new life. It’s like being five years old, waking up on Christmas morning and excitedly anticipating a plethora of new presents! I love spring; so full of hope and possibility.

I got out on my horse yesterday for the first time since last fall. I was literally craving an opportunity to ride. I got a late start and didn’t go as far as I’d hoped, but that turned out to be a good thing because I nearly got caught in our first thunder storm of the season! Yee-ha! Life is never dull!




Donogh and Mikes By Lúnasa from The Merry Sisters Of Fate

Well, I’ve been crazy busy. Plus, the weather’s been bad, the lighting’s been bad and my eye is no better than it was six weeks ago. The husband is sick, I think I’ve caught his crud, but the critters are all good and the barn finally got started this morning!

I’ve been working hard in the garden, but when the fog started to burn off  this morning I decided to put my tools down and grab my camera. Macro is a good fit for someone with bad eyesight because I can set my camera on live view and use the tripod and remote. There were a couple of great webs that I tried to shoot, but there was an almost imperceptible breath of air that foiled my attempts. Even some of the flower shots were tricky because it doesn’t take much of an air current to make the heavy blossoms sway. Especially when they’re wet from an overnight drizzle. Still, that makes for some super shooting conditions, so I had to try.

I’m pretty stoked about the barn. I’ve been picturing this barn mentally for about ten years or more and I can’t believe it’s actually going to be a reality. It’s like having a long-term dream come true!




There is a Time by Solas from the CD For Love and Laughter





The Irises  in my garden are starting to reach for the sky.

A Little Green


Little Green by Joni Mitchell from the album Blue


In a few short weeks my nephew will graduate from high school. Right now he’s all wrapped up in the complex dynamics of  his peer group, a few who will be moving on to college in the vicinity of where he’s chosen to go. But soon after making heartfelt pledges to always stay in touch, the vast majority of them will splinter off and go their separate ways, never to be seen again. And so this photo and song are for an old high school friend, because we should have kept in touch.

Janet wasn’t a childhood friend, in fact, I didn’t even befriend her until my senior year. Barely three weeks into my final year of school I lost my high school sweetheart and first serious boyfriend in a tragic automobile accident. Already somewhat of a fringe person, I felt lonely, isolated and completely unprepared to navigate the  grief process. So I don’t recall how Janet first came up on my radar screen, but I’m fairly certain it had something to do with music. Music was my lifeline. I was enrolled in several music theory classes and sang in the highly revered select choir. It’s quite possible given Janet’s love for the same, that we met in music class. Or rather, that I simply snapped out of my funk one day and there she was.

Janet was quite possibly the most beautiful and serene person I’d ever met to date. She had an ethereal quality that was both calming and soothing. Her voice was soft and breathy, a natural fit with her tall, willowy shape. Even her laugh was as gentle as a breeze. I learned later that Janet had a strong spiritual upbringing, but at the time I didn’t understand the filter that would have on everything she did and said. I do know I never heard her speak a harsh or unkind word to anyone, ever. What I do remember is that one day Janet was just suddenly there … in my life.

Janet played a mean acoustic guitar. I understand now that her impetus for playing probably got it’s roots from her involvement with church. Back then, church youth groups were very folksy. Flower Power was still very much in vogue. So if a kid brought up in the church wanted to rebel a bit and spread their creative wings, they got involved in a youth music group. (Today, this kind of group is called a Worship Team) I remember Janet came over to my house one day and brought her guitar. We escaped up to my bedroom, where I sat on the floor as she perched on the edge of the bed and strummed. I enjoyed listening to her play, but I didn’t know any of her music since most of it was stuff she played with her youth group. So I did the most logical thing I could think of doing: I broke out my Joni Mitchell albums! Janet was immediately captivated. She borrowed my alum Blue and started working on the songs at home. The next time we got together we both sang along as she played and it was clear by the rapturous look on her face that Janet had found her Holy Grail.

When we’re children, teenagers even, we think we know so much about the world around us. But we don’t. We’re unable to see our friends and ourselves with any sort of clarity because we lack the life experience we need to measure them. I know now that Janet was a very sheltered, naive girl who probably grew up in a family with parents who had certain expectations for her life. But then I came along and threw open the door to a whole new world she’d never known, and everything changed for her. Another drawback of being a teenager is that we’re so self-absorbed and focused on our own stuff that we don’t really know what’s going on with our friends. And that was very true of my friendship with Janet; what looked OK on the outside was not a bed of roses on the inside.

Janet had struggles I didn’t know a thing about until one day I got a collect phone call from her. She’d ‘run away’ from home and was living at the Y in the city. Would I come visit? I did, and what I saw was very sobering. I lost touch with Janet shortly after that visit. Apparently her stay at the Y was only a temporary layover and she left, destination unknown. I don’t know if she had somewhere else to go live, but my next contact with her was a letter postmarked California. She told me she’d met someone and was in love. He was a songwriter and a poet and her dream was that they were going to make beautiful music together, be singers and poets, Bohemian beatniks. Peace, love, groovy. I was happy for her, considering all her sadness and struggle. She sounded so up, so excited about her life.

A season or two passed, then in the last letter I got from Janet she told me she’d had a baby. Her love child, a boy, was born with Down’s Syndrome. It was 1977, she was maybe all of 19 or 20 and living in a van in California. Two decades passed before I heard from Janet again. By then she and her husband had relocated to the area where we grew up. She tracked me down and called and brought me up to speed on her life. There were many changes. She’d gone through an amicable divorce shortly after having relocated and given birth to a baby girl (In her late 30’s!). She was still playing guitar and writing music. We talked in vague terms about getting together when I went home for a visit later that summer, but even as I spoke the words I knew our plans would never materialize. I was going through a really rough patch in my own life and I didn’t have the wherewithal to rekindle an old friendship.

A few years later I went home to attend a class reunion with the hope that Janet might go. I’d heard rumors she was still in the area, but she never showed up. In the years since I’ve tried several times to track Janet down. I want to apologize for dropping the ball, but I can’t seem to find her anywhere. I think of her often, especially in the spring. And every time I listen to Joni Mitchell I get a lump in my throat when I picture Janet; still seventeen, still picking and singing, her clear voice high and free.

Fiddle Dance


(In The House of Tom Bombadil by Nickle Creek, from the CD: Nickle Creek)


It’s time for the spring dance of the fiddleheads!







I’m having a heck of a time trying to figure out how to share some music. For now, I guess the very bland play bar will have to do. The song is Una Mattina by Ludovico Einaudi. I would be lucky to play half this well some day!