Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the western side

There's my Annie in her window. It's her front-row seat for all the goings on here at Cold Antler. While I was snapping this photo she was locked on Winthrop, who was trying to engage some hens in a cheap thrill by the garage. I wish I knew what Annie thought of all the birds in the yard. She probably just thinks they look delicious.

Siberian Huskies are utter failures at being dependable farm hands. This is always forgiven because while they stink at chores—they are a force in front of the dog sled. I can't wait for the first real snow. I'll be out in lantern light whipping around these roads and we're not the only dog team around either. My neighbors Allen and Suzanne have five Sibes and mush as well. Sometimes I feel Sandgate was always waiting here for me. It's something I never forget to be grateful for.

I pulled the truck up through the notch* tonight and smiled. I live on the western side of the mountain, and every time I clear the pass I realized I just gain another hour of daylight. The sun sets below my mountain and the golden light seems to hide behind the hill. Every time I pull through and notice the new light I'm surprised and then profoundly glad. I watched a young doe race up the hill by Rupert Road and then turn around to look back at me in my loud Ford. The deer are all grayish now. Their summer coats look like they've been dancing in our woodsmoke. They now sport thick bristly mottled coats for the cold weather. They look like does in a badger fashion show. I wonder if the people at Project Runway know about me?

I kid. I'm a kidder.

So it has been decided: Chuck Klosterman gets the axe. Had I been on the fence at all tonight's episode in the coop would have put me in the stock pot camp for certain. Chuck flew across the coop from a resting position to spur me as my back was turned to feed the young pullets and John. I spun around to scream something I will not repeat here, and Cyrus, my male goose, screamed back at me for yelling in his monastery. (Which I think was both hypocritical and kind of bitchy). So I'm bleeding, Cyrus is wailing, Chuck is strutting around like an convict with a shiv, and I have yet to pick up one egg from the nest. I can't get to the eggs because Saro is laying again and sitting on a small clutch of her eggs as well as the chickens. If I get anywhere near her she hisses and Cyrus comes over to stand in my way.

Who knows? I might have a gosling on the farm soon? But this seems unlikely since Saro has approximately the same attention span for sitting on eggs as a Kool-Aid induced 4th grader would off her ADHD meds. Maybe when she's older...Toulouse geese live to be 40 so we're running out the clock on this one.

*The notch, for those new to the blog, is a 180-degree steep curve blasted through the mountain to get into West Sandgate. It's both loved and loathed by the locals and what makes a four-wheel drive car a necessity for anyone near my mailbox.

29 Comments:

Blogger Monty said...

I just found your site,it's interesting. Hang in there Jenna,you are doing what a growing number of folks would like to do but are afraid to try.It's hard work but the rewards are great and after the hard work people will look at the world in a differant light.Stars,Sun light,fire light,the beauty in nature and it's there for everyone that will just LOOK. From my 120 year old home in the foothills of North Carolina to your Vermont home. My hat is off to you.
P.S. Yea that Chuck has to go,lol:)

October 20, 2009 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Don't you thnk someone should right the ode to Chuck K? Shouldn't he become imortal in the songs of the Northern Kingdom? Will there be a poll of how to cook or what to serve with CK?

October 21, 2009 at 12:10 AM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

Poor Chuck... so misunderstood. Sniff. I was looking at your yesterdays post- all the vegans and vegetarians voting to axe chuck. And the one meat eater (me) voting to spare his miserable life.
Go figure. 82-1. Sorry Chuck. Looks bad for ya.

October 21, 2009 at 12:54 AM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

BTW I pick your blog as an "over the Top" Blog. Congrats.

October 21, 2009 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

Chuck has to go. An ode to chuck k. seems fitting.

October 21, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Jenna, did you see what Allen built for the back of his truck to haul Sibes?

October 21, 2009 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I did! I watched the progress as he got it ready for the NH event!

October 21, 2009 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Man, I think I'd have taken care of ole Chuck RIGHT THEN.

How sweet is Annie? :) One of my boys climbs up on the back of the sofa like a cat (he's 50 lbs) and watches "chicken TV" all day.

October 21, 2009 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Jenna,

When I was a child we always had chickens. Well once when I was about 6 a rooster ran across the yard and spurred me-I still have the scar 41 years later...my dad saw what happened and rung his neck immediately! Chuck needs to go. For you and the farm.

October 21, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

Those mountains can be dark -we used to live in Kentucky I remember well. The cabin you live in looks so pretty.
vickie

October 21, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Maybe you should let Annie have a go with Chuck. Delicious.....

October 21, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

Jenna-
looks like Robj98168 might me interested in Chuck. If he's the only one thinking Chuck should live, then maybe he is willing to make an offer on him!!
Oh, but Rob..I eat meat..and I'd have gotten rid of Chuck one way or another. Not something I want to deal with every day.

October 21, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I missed out on the "voting Chuck off the farm" episode. I'd have gone with the majority. There is no room for a terrorist of any sort on a farm.

Annie looks so cool looking out her window watching farm TV. What is Jazz's interest?

October 21, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Jen Chandler said...

The pictures you post are post card worthy! Beautiful cabin picture and I love Annie in the window.

Jen

October 21, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger motheralice said...

Well, I didn't vote, but I'm all for ending Chuck. Does Annie like chicken? Hmm...

October 21, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Frenchie said...

Is the pumpkin on your porch one that got crossed pollinated or did it just not ripen in time? I like the color.

October 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Anybody here watch Firefly? All I can think of is the Ballad of Jayne.

Chuck, the bird they called Chuck...

October 21, 2009 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

It didn't ripen on time...

and many people here are whedon fans, me very much so!

I heart Mal.

October 21, 2009 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

If I had to deal with Chuck every day like you do, I'd dread coming home. Can he put in a separate cage or dog carrier while he awaits his fate? Kind of like a "time-out" for bad behavior.

@Rachel B. - I agree, an ode to Chuck K is a great idea. We've had enough inspiration to write a good one. It could become part of the CAF forum.

October 21, 2009 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger LilacCottageGoats said...

My dog dose that too. When she can't come outside with me. Great pictures. I see that a lot of your leave are down. Our are just at there peck of color now. They are beautiful this year.
Kelly

October 21, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Moose Nuggets said...

Oh jeez! I almost woke up my kids, laughing at this post.
Ah.... Chuck has sealed his fate. Hope his last cluck around the barnyard is a good one.

October 21, 2009 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger ammamcp said...

I agree, no room on the farm for one who draws blood intentionally, more than once...has anyone worked up an ode yet?

October 21, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Al said...

When I say rooster, you can't crow
When I say get, you better go
Cause Baby (I'm a telling you baby)
I'm the boss of this here house

lyrics from "I'm The Boss of This Here House"

Alli
Saratoga Springs

October 21, 2009 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Awesome looking picture of the cabin and Annie.
As for Chuck, I sure hope he taste's good with the vegetables from your farm.

October 22, 2009 at 12:19 AM  
Blogger Norts said...

New fan of the site here. Been having a good time catching up with all the old entries.

As for Chucks fate... Here's Alton Browns delicious recipe for Coq au Vin.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/coq-au-vin-recipe/index.html

Sorry Chuck! I know that we’re fellow Minnesotans and all... But, as a goodwill ambassador of our state, you have failed! Now let see how you perform at your next task – stewing rooster.

October 22, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I heart Jayne.

October 22, 2009 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

We had one like your Chuck too - he was called Grotty Cock (he was named after a cockerel with similar tendencies belonging tosome Yorkshire friends). Grotty Cock was very territorial and made worse when my then-8yr old son pretended to be a cockerel up in the woods. Well, that DID IT - he chased my son down the field, raking him with his spurs (holes in his welly boots no less) and then used to wait by the gate to attack my son from the school bus. I'm afraid he soon met his maker . . .

October 23, 2009 at 4:32 AM  
Blogger omnicharm said...

Great photo! You could have quite a nice collection of CAF postcards or greeting cards with the pics you've posted over time.

October 23, 2009 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

She's definitely thinking "lunch" about the hens! We have a bird dog but not trained to hunt, just the family pet who likes to go for walks & chase tennis balls (and squirrels). And she certainly thinks any bird she can catch should be lunch, though we never let her eat them. Sigh. But she's 10 now, so I don't worry about changing it.

October 31, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

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