Tag Archives: vermont

A new baby lamb on a cold Vermont morning

It was down to 10 below last night and just about as cold the night before. For reasons known only to the ewes they seem to prefer the really cold nights to have their lambs. Our latest lamb was up , cleaned off and nursing by the time I discovered him in our lower barn. I moved him and his mother up to our more enclosed upper barn , which also houses the chickens so the new family would

be out of the wind and have a heat lamp. Junior is doing well these are a few pics from this morning.

Snow Tracks, and Owls in the north woods of Vermont

Walking down to my lower field this morning I discovered a set of tracks in the freshly fallen snow. At first I could not identify them. The snow was still falling and they were partially obscured, not really something to photograph and I assumed they were perhaps a weasel. After I put out the hay and grain for the sheep and pony I looked closer and realized that the tracks did not continue. They started at one spot and ended at another. That rules out a lot of animals. Also, came during the night. So looking closer I could see some of the wing marks. I enjoy solving the small puzzles  on the farm, an owl had flown down almost caught a mouse or mole, done a little exploring then lifted of into the night.

Barred Owl on a winter afternoon in Vermont

In walking my lower fields in the winter I occasionally come across the signs of the night time hunting activities of these owls as they catch their prey under the snow. As I was returning up my hill off in the distance I spotted my night visitor.

Barred Owl in February snow storm in Vermont

A barred owl off in the distance watching me. It is nice to see these birds in the woods and the fields. I look forward to hearing their hoots as they start their courtship this spring.

Baltimore Orioles and other visitors to our Northern Woods

IBaltimore Oriolen sorting thru images I came upon a picture of a Baltimore Oriole that visited with us last spring, in early May. I was quite taken with this beautiful visitor from the southern lands. I am an avid watcher of the birds around our farm. Now, in late February, we mostly have chickadees and the woodpeckers, but soon others will start to arrive. I have heard that robins are around.

And here is a picture from some other visitors soon to return.

Canada Geese and the Beaver Dam

Canada Geese and the Beaver Dam

I am  looking forward to all the birds as they return to our part of this amazing world of diversity and beauty.  Another one of my favorites is the hummingbirds that start buzzing around when the flowers appear.

Hummingbird with the garden flox

Amazing flyers, especially when two males are squabbling over territorial boundaries.

I am very sobered by reading the article about the loss of habitat and the changing climate conditions that are threatening these amazing fellow species. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216094724.htm

“Birds are perfect canaries in the coal mine — it’s hard to avoid that metaphor — for showing the effects of global change on the world’s ecosystems and the people who depend on those ecosystems”.

 

Thinking of Spring

Sitting here in Vermont, it is feeling as if mud season will be upon us any day now.  The sap is starting to run, time to start sugaring season. I have many images of both mud and sugar to share with you so stay tuned.

Today , before I start another project I was looking through some images from last years spring, preparing them for stock and fine art usage and came upon this group of images from the annual visit of the Canada Geese to the beaver pond that borders our property. In the background is the neighbor’s Scottish Highlander. Very interesting fellow.

spending my day in the company of dogs

On these winter days of late February in Vermont, with the dearth of snow, I have found more time to sit and reflect. Consequently sharing my thoughts in this blog. I have decided to use this as a way to show my day-to-day life. The daily part is shared by “the boys”, our pack of dogs.

I will start with an introduction to Cyrano. He is 3, from Tennessee and is a golden retriever/hound of  humble and unknown origin.  As a matter for the historical record, I too was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, hence my ability to spell it.  Although, my roots are really in Virginia(a good topic for a future post).

I live on a small farm in Vermont with my wife Jennifer and daughter Gabrielle. My writing is about life in the country, taking care of the livestock , the poultry(a mixed bag of chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys) that are kept as a self-sustaining year around flock , our gardens, fields and the woods. The boys always accompany me as I do farm tasks, so they are frequently captured in my images.

Continuing with Cyrano, he is a rescue pup, who was saved the day before his demise, and shipped to Pennsylvania. Living in the pound is a difficult way to start one’s life.  Cyrano has risen above the start and is a good and loyal boy obsessed with his balls, and did I say, quite fast? We picked him up on our annual journey down to  the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where I grew up, for Thanksgiving.

Later, I will introduce Quinn, our Golden Doodle and Laddie,our Scottish Border Collie. I know many of you have been following the  pictures of the pups on Facebook as they grow and play. I would like to use this space to further explore the small details of my life on the farm. I look forward to exploring the transitions of the seasons, the weather, the gardens and animals from my world in a lovely part of Vermont.

golden retriever plays with a goose

Golden Retriever running

Cyrano, side portrait, winter 2011-12

Into the sun

When I was growing up one of the first photo tips that was given to me, was to never photograph directly into the sun. I suspect this fomented a certain rebellion within my being. It impressed me to such a degree that I can still remember it all these years later. I also remember my kindergarten teacher telling me that my coloring technique was not correct. I had gone outside the lines and had not kept my coloring lines orderly. I really tried to toe the line, but when the spirit of coloring possessed me it was very hard to keep my colors separate, within the lines and orderly.

So perhaps it is these early reprimands and directions towards a more orderly drawing technique and the correct way to take pictures that helped create my personal

style. I find I am always photographing directly into the sun. To me that is where some of the more interesting light occur.

The last light of a winter’s day

One of my absolutely favorite times to photograph is with the last rays of sunlight as it illuminates the darkening land and animals. I like to take my dogs for a sunset walk. There is something very special about the last light of the day as it filters thru the atmosphere, so much more pleasing to my eye, than the starker, harsher light of the midday. Quinn is our Golden Doodle , Cyrano is a Tennessee Rescue dog, mostly Golden Retriever and Laddie Mackay , is a very lively Scottish border Collie, what a trio of different personalities are emerging as they grow.