Saturday, April 25, 2009

a cold antler morning

While the coffee is heating up on the stove, and the farm is waking up, I thought I'd check in. Two eggs I collected last night are frying in a pan, and right now I can hear Chuck Klosterman crowing outside. He's usually the middle man of the roosters. Always running from the cabin down to the stream and back to check on his girls. The other boys stay at their posts, but not Chuck. He owns that stretch.

The hive is lost. The bear came back the past three nights and not only destroyed my entire box, but took out my neighbor's Chris and Katie's hives as well. It was a bear rampage around here. And last night I took Jazz with me on my farm rounds. I just feel safer with a wolf at my side, even if all he would do is lunge and howl if a bear did show up. I am very happy to say the sheep, birds, bunnies and garden are all safe as houses.

The day should prove beautiful. The forecast calls for 80 degree weather, a first for the season, and I am chomping at the bit to get into that garden. So far the rhubarb, peas, salad greens and some early potatoes are already poking out between the straw-lined rows. Today I'll be planning the broccoli and onion garden and getting it ready for started plants next weekend. Soon every day will be spent among those leafy rows. To look from the raised beds and see a sheep trot by, watch a goose waddle into the coop, or see a robin land on the grass... all little things, but there's nothing bigger.

I like these weekends where the whole goal is to just work. I know I have things to prepare, and by nightfall I'll feel whipped from tha hand tools and long hours--but tonight I'll have that hammock and some ibuprofen and sway. And with a banjo in my lap and the Vermont stars above me everything solid a few feet below will feel better all the better when my bare feet finally decide to return to land.

Have a great weekend guys. Plant something. But first, enjoy some coffee. Which is what I'm going to do right now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am truely sorry to hear about your total lost. I'm sure your neighbors are feeling the same pain you are. Atleast all your livestock is safe. Here's hoping the bear does not return.

I've been following your blog for a week or so now and thought it was time to say hello! :)

My husband and I will be taking full advantage of the rumored 80 degree day, cleaning up our small plot of land that comes with our rented apartment and cutting up our first ever garden plot! :) There's nothing better than a day of hard work to make relaxing at night that much more satisfying. Enjoy!!

April 25, 2009 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bears suck,sorry bout your & your friends hives.
I love that you get the little things,living how we live is totally about the little things.I treasure them dearly..
Your killing me with the coffee;)I can just smell it when you write about it.We broke up a few years ago and I miss my lovah.Tea sucks...But it's all I have LOL
Have a dirty,sore,tired,sweaty,full-filling weekend.Those nights you fall into bed after working in the dirt are the best.

April 25, 2009 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I hope you find a solution to the bears and bees. I see honey sold at farmers' markets in VT, so I know they worked out something. Bears are common in Vermont.

I just went and filled up my trunk with free compost available in my city in upstate New York. Headed to my place in VT in a couple days, to use it there. I haven't found the free compost sites in VT yet, probably 'cuz people make their own.

Can't wait to plant!

April 25, 2009 at 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

enjoy the work and hammock...have a great weekend.

April 25, 2009 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous AmyKortuem said...

"all little things, but there's nothing bigger" -- This quote, words to live by. You've got it right, girl!

My little big things today? Crying with a Mom and Bride choosing wedding music today, as I played Canon in D on the harp. And probably crying later when I play at my drummer's wedding. Good life.

April 25, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Thistledog said...

There's not much you can do to fence out a bear... hopefully he/she does not become a neighborhood regular!

I'm with you about weekends devoted to work - sure relaxing and doing nothing is pleasurable, but no comparison to relaxing AFTER doing much of what needs done, and savoring the results.

Enjoy your weekend!

April 25, 2009 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger White Feather said...

All well said by you and your commenters. Sorry about the bears. It truly sucks.

I'm doing the same things today as you, though our smallish plots are ready to plant. We are putting everything in the ground today (we're a bit ahead of you, weather-wise, since we're about 500 miles southerly.) May the earth bless all endeavors and all the gardeners/farmers who are working at it.

April 25, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger White Feather said...

Husband was telling me about using some kind of pole (house jack or something similar) in 7, 8 or 10 ft. lengths. You can mount the hive on it and then raise it up and put a pin in it to keep it too high for the bears. You pull out the pin and lower it to work on the hives. Bears can't reach it or climb it and you can have it where you need it when you need to. Check it out or the future and good luck.

April 25, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger s said...

i also spent my saturday morning with freshly pressed coffee and farm fresh eggs (thanks to my aunt's flock of birds).

April 25, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Miss M.J. Ma'am said...

Have a good weekend; sorry to hear the bear came back. But glad everything else is safe! I hope to plant something this weekend, but the weather here isn't the best.But that hasn't stopped me before! Time for a cup of coffee!

April 25, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have an awesome weekend in the garden. It's gorgeous day. That is where I am heading...

April 25, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Carol G said...

Hope you have a great day and an even more rewarding evening. I hope you have a good friend to share your evening with too.

Why don't your dogs deter the bear from being around? Maybe you need an outdoor dog...

April 25, 2009 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

"the little things, there's nothing bigger is from Vanilla Sky, my favorite movie." Just making sure credit is given, where it's due...

April 25, 2009 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I love that one of your birds is named Chuck Klosterman.
I'm currently battling birds digging into the raised beds, stealing seeds, but I'll take that problem any day over a bear! What a shame.

April 25, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Rhonda Jean said...

I'd like to be sitting with you on your verandah after a day of hard work in the garden. There is nothing like singing to a banjo to forget about the minor miseries of life. I wish you abundant harvests.

April 25, 2009 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger White Feather said...

Alas, I didn't get as far as I thought today because it reached almost 90! I worked in short spurts and then got out of the heat before I had a stroke. We got in some started tomatoes, some seed potatoes and onion bulbs. We have everything all marked for 4 more veggies and then I've got some herbs and wildflowers to do. They are predicting 92 tomorrow here (Eastern Shore of MD) which I'm sure will HAVE to be a record high for April 26. Whew!

April 25, 2009 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Kalee said...

I love that you posted shoutouts to Chuck Klosterman (Sex,Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs had me ROLLING a few years ago!) and Vanilla Sky (one of my favs) in the same entry, Kudos! :) keep up the good work, I am a fairly new reader (and blogger) but I LOVE your blog already... We are near the same age and it is an amazing inspiration to read the tales of someone who is living what I can only talk about at the moment... I hope to someday join you as a homesteader, in the meantime, I'll live vicariously though your writing...
stop by my blog and say hi if you get a free moment sometime...

-Be Well, Kalee

April 26, 2009 at 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about your hives. White feather's idea about mounting the hive on a pole sounds like it might be the solution you need to outwit those pesky honey-loving critters.

April 27, 2009 at 3:31 AM  
Blogger Lorri said...

Thanks for writing so elegantly about the things I miss about living on a farm!

April 27, 2009 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Kitty Cat Bandit said...

Love the photo. It's so cozy.

April 27, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

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