Sun Setting On Our Field, by Rainer

Did the rose
Ever open its heart

And give this world
All its

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its

We all remain




Monday, February 20, 2012

Shot-Through Winter=Spring

The Rainer-hog peeked out of a new hole he had just dug and declared 6 more weeks of winter.

But spring is coming faster than we can account for the winter. It has been warm. Raspberries, willows, alder, garlic, fava beans, plum trees, borage, daffodils are all green and blossoming.

See the bee in the borage above?

Below is honeysuckle over artichokes.

Above, willow. Below, garlic.

Silhouettes of ecium with green tops and last year's dried flower stalks, tall as telephone wires.

Can't remember the name but this bush is a bright spot.

Some raspberries are bare, but some are like this:

Something is eating all the fava leaves from around the edges. Not sure what. . .


Rainer's frog haven on the back deck.

Most of last year's one hundred and six eggs completed their water cycle and left the tank, but several are still growing so slowly.

Rainer notes: "Every night as we go to sleep the frogs start croaking. At first there was just one frog, then two. A duo of frog musicians that entertain us with night time music. I always yell, 'Encore!'"

These are some of our wonderful new neighbors. We get fresh eggs from the other side of our fence. We feel less motivated to get our own chickens.


The very latest, a winter family project: a little free library to sit by the street. Built by dad, stocked by mom, painted by kids and parents. Neighbors are really using it. It is so fun.

Rainer says the words on the side are a quote from a Bloom County cartoon. He donated a copy of Berke Breathed's "Tales Too Ticklish To Tell" to the little library's first batch of books. I made him use the proper "We've" got books before I understood it was from a cartoon in that book spoofing a library that advertised itself with an improper "We got books" sign.

LinkWe loaded it with thrift store books and donations from friends.

We learned of this idea from a recent article about other little libraries.

Another thing happened over the winter that inspired us to make a symbolic stand for free speech.
We will keep stocking this library, which is one more place in the world where ideas and the people who have them can't be bulldozed and thrown in the trash.


R.I.P. Bunnies

Rabbits have surprised us as the hardest-to-keep pets. Predators took two sets of bunnies from us this winter. Wildness happens. And of course it has been a lesson in how to keep animals safe. To the skunk: we understand you, and your dexterity with locks is amazing. To the two boxer dogs from a nearby yard: Animal Control has your number. But if our neighbor with the gun gets to you first for harming her cat, that's beyond us.

In the end (of our blog post), there is poetic justice. Below is a picture of the offensive skunk stuck at the bottom of Rainer's hole after a night of mayhem. Neighbor Keith, who has a Ph.D. in wildlife studies, used his years of book learning, and courage, and common sense, and carefully put a board down there so the skunk could get out. Skunky spent a confusing day in the hole and left later under cover of darkness.

Happy Spring to all! Stay safe!