Monday, June 20, 2022

Blur - To the End (Live at Alexandra Palace 1994)

 

 I love this song. I've been listening to the Parklife album today, and Blur is one of those bands I so wish I had seen.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Whippoorwills

When we first moved to Windy Poplars Farm in 1981, we heard whippoorwills. This continued for a few years, and then we didn't hear them. I looked back in my emails, and found a few correspondences with the state Audubon Society. In 2002, I found an email I had sent, saying we hadn't heard them in maybe 15 years. The response was essentially that they didn't know. Some had thought change of habitat or decline in moths, but no one knew for sure. I also found an article from a state newspaper around the same time despairing the fact that they just weren't around.  A few years later, we drove north an hour or so, and participated in an Audubon study to see if we heard any whippoorwills. We drove around to several promising spots, but heard nothing. Flash ahead to 2013, and they were here. Again in 2018, they appeared. When I wrote to Audubon, they said there were several people who had also heard them! I have a note that I heard it in 2019. And then an Audubon publication from last year says they are doing well in certain areas of the state. I can certainly attest to that this year! Without fail, for weeks now the whippoorwill has appeared just outside the house. It has been on the roof, in the lilac, and on the terrace. It comes at dusk and dawn. It feels like such an honor. I do have a movie of it, but I haven't been able to put any of my videos on the blog for a long time. You may hear their sound here.
photograph from Cornell Labs.

There is a terrific new article in The Old Farmer's Almanac, here. They quoted Thoreau:

It could mean many things, according to the wealth of myth surrounding this night flyer. The note of the whippoorwill borne over the fields is the voice with which the woods and moonlight woo me.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-62)

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Today's poem by James Russell Lowell


 
To The Dandelion 
by James Russell Lowell
(February 22, 1819-August 12, 1891)


Dear common flower, that grow'st beside the way,
Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,
First pledge of blithesome May,
Which children pluck, and, full of pride uphold,
High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoyed that they
An Eldorado in the grass have found,
Which not the rich earth's ample round
May match in wealth, thou art more dear to me
Than all the prouder summer-blooms may be.

Gold such as thine ne'er drew the Spanish prow
Through the primeval hush of Indian seas,
Nor wrinkled the lean brow
Of age, to rob the lover's heart of ease;
'Tis the Spring's largess, which she scatters now
To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand,
Though most hearts never understand
To take it at God's value, but pass by
The offered wealth with unrewarded eye.

Thou art my tropics and mine Italy;
To look at thee unlocks a warmer clime;
The eyes thou givest me
Are in the heart, and heed not space or time:
Not in mid June the golden-cuirassed bee
Feels a more summer-like warm ravishment
In the white lily's breezy tent,
His fragrant Sybaris, than I, when first
From the dark green thy yellow circles burst.

Then think I of deep shadows on the grass,
Of meadows where in sun the cattle graze,
Where, as the breezes pass,
The gleaming rushes lean a thousand ways,
Of leaves that slumber in a cloudy mass,
Or whiten in the wind, of waters blue
That from the distance sparkle through
Some woodland gap, and of a sky above,
Where one white cloud like a stray lamb doth move.

My childhood's earliest thoughts are linked with thee;
The sight of thee calls back the robin's song,
Who, from the dark old tree
Beside the door, sang clearly all day long,
And I, secure in childish piety,
Listened as if I heard an angel sing
With news from heaven, which he could bring
Fresh every day to my untainted ears
When birds and flowers and I were happy peers.

How like a prodigal doth nature seem,
When thou, for all thy gold, so common art!
Thou teachest me to deem
More sacredly of every human heart,
Since each reflects in joy its scanty gleam
Of heaven, and could some wondrous secret show,
Did we but pay the love we owe,
And with a child's undoubting wisdom look
On all these living pages of God's book.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Horse Race

I don't believe that there is any sport on earth that tops the Triple Crown horse races. I won't spoil it for you, but if you haven't seen the Kentucky Derby race this year, you can watch it on you tube. I don't think that I have ever seen a more exciting race in my life. I feel lucky to be alive!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

The Kinks - "Waterloo Sunset"

The Kinks page I follow on Instagram says that today is the 55th anniversary of the achingly lovely "Waterloo Sunset". In the video, they are performing on a German TV show in June of 1967. The music critic Robert Christgau once said that it is "the most beautiful song in the English language"!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

First flowers in the spring flower CSA

 This year we ordered another spring flower CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) from the woman who lives in our town. You may read about her from last year, here. She just recently had a baby girl, and is still doing as much as she can on the flower farm, with the help of her husband. She is skipping the farmers' market this year, and "just" doing the weddings which are lined up! Wonder woman, indeed.

Anyhow, the first spring CSA bouquet was available today. Almost all tulips, and three poppies. 



And a few minutes later, they opened!

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Kitchen life

 I feel there is a kind of perfection in starting the vegetable and flower plants in the kitchen. After all, this is the room where most of them will end up - as flowers on the windowsill or vegetables being cooked and eaten.  

We put a drop cloth on the kitchen table when we are planting seeds, or transplanting when they have grown too large for their pots. The big lights are set up in front of a south-facing window with a heat register underneath, and the woodstove a few steps away. This heat has been just perfect for the growing plants. We also have smaller lights on two counters. The kitchen is pretty much "remodeled" for these weeks, but it makes me happy just walking in and seeing all the green. 

Here are some pictures. They aren't awfully good photographs with all that fluorescent light, but I took a few with the lights off as well.