HONEY ROCK DAWN

It’s Almost Time….

helpingherwalk

….for babies!

{{Daisy and Fiona, 2011}}

Sneaking Up On Cows

I took Chloe out at 6 this morning (Charlie will stay in bed till 8am if he has his way, which he does). It was well before sunrise but the full moon was still high and bright. All the snow has melted and all the mud has dried (here, “mud” is it’s own major season between “snow” and “grass”), and the bare ground shimmered with frost.

I saw Daisy as soon as I stepped outside, her white coat a glowing aura in the moonlight. She was asleep, curled up like a swan, her legs tucked under her and her head resting on her shoulder. The other cows were grouped behind her, as if she was the guard stationed to protect them through the night. And now that dawn was near, they were awake and she was asleep.

It’s very hard to sneak up on a cow. They are better watch dogs than most dogs. I walked softly toward Daisy and she didn’t stir. I got close enough to hear her deep, steady sleep-breathing and she didn’t wake. I crouched next to her flank with just a few inches between us and she didn’t even open one eye.

I moved past her to Fiona, who I could see was awake, and it was my whispered, “good morning, Fifi” that woke Daisy. She popped her head up and blinked at me, so I went back over to her to stroke her soft cheeks and kiss her broad forehead.

Monday Meditation

monday meditation

Proof

I feel I’ve been swimming the Atlantic for the last two years, and didn’t even realize it till now – now that I’m out of the water, sitting on a dock, eating a sandwich, the salt water sun-drying on my face. Ahhh… exhale and smile. Some snippets: The Fustercluck – the punk band of chicks we got this spring that are now full grown chickens – were living in the chicken house with the rest of the chickens, but that crazy gang of punks have moved into the barn! They roost on the high crossbeams. Just that bunch. The rest of the chickens still sleep in the chicken house (with a few dozen sparrows, a family of partridges, and unknown numbers of wild bunnies).

It’s hilarious but frustrating – the chicken house is far warmer than the barn, which is not yet insulated nor doored. But they’re an independent band and will not be deterred. They still wander over to the chicken house during the day to eat and lay eggs in the nesting boxes, and the other chickens love to hang out in the barn during the day. I still owe a full barn reveal; Mike had put the tin on the roof back in September while l was in Seattle, and when I got back, I was waiting in vain for it to rain, to wash all the dust off the pretty blue roof before photographing it (this fall was so dry). It never rained; instead, it went from dry and dusty to snow-covered and you STILL can’t see the pretty blue roof!

Speaking of so much snow…. one day last week, I was walking back to the house after being out with the cows and Daisy was following me, as she will often do, thinking that she might get some special treats if she’s pushy and demanding. The heaps of snow must have obscured the contrast of the stairs to the deck, because as I climbed them, she followed me right up and onto the deck! I heard her hooves on the boards behind me and turned around and was like, ‘oh shit….’ and at that moment, Daisy realized she was up in the air and she was like, ‘OH SHIT!’  She panic pooped and spun in circles and I was praying I could help her get down before she broke through the deck. Thankfully, she trusted me enough to follow me back down the stairs, sloooowly at first and then taking the last few in one leap. Crazy Daisy! She got her bucket of alfalfa pellets after all, to help calm her down with her feet on solid ground. And now I shovel and sweep the stairs between *every* dusting of snow.

Also last week, I was testing something out in the Shop, pretending to be a customer, and realized (with horror) that the checkout process through Paypal was clunky, difficult, and annoying. I have changed it entirely. Paypal is still available for those with Paypal accounts who like one-click ordering (that part is handy), but a new, improved, completely secure, non-paypal credit card system is now up and running. It’s very sleek and easy and I’m so sorry I didn’t realize and address this issue sooner. If anyone has not gotten a 2015 Charlie Calendar because of the Paypal pain, I’ve fixed it for you, and in the nick of time – you’ll only miss a few days of January if you order yours now!

Speaking of the shop, I want to thank you deeply for your support and enthusiasm this fall and winter. I had the shop pretty much shuttered all spring and summer, and this blog was very quiet, too. When l finally revved up for for holiday and calendar season, I didn’t know if anyone had kept their patience with me. I’m so grateful for your presence and support, and I love sharing my work with you. I have some exciting and beautiful ideas for this coming year. I’m excited to emerge from the murky, mysterious ocean.

Mike found this fossil before all the snow arrived and gave it to me. Neither of us could immediately determine what the fossil was… until it dawned on me. It’s a fossil of angel wings.
Happy new year to all of you out there.

angel wing fossil

Leila Francesca

leila francesca

It has been really hard to get proper pictures of Leila! Part of this is the weather – photography takes the back seat when it is 107°F at 10am and there are a day’s worth of chores (and milking!) to cram into the few cool hours at dawn and dusk.

And part of this is Leila – she is far too excited about being in a body to keep that body still for a photograph! She shows off with a few rounds of little bucks, all four feet leaving the ground at once, then races up to nuzzle my face and neck – she is like a little puppy! Our new favorite trick is for me to sit on the ground and scritch her chest between her front legs; she will then reach over my shoulder and scritch my back with her baby teeth.

When I step away, hoping to fit her into the camera frame, she dashes over.
Most of my photos look like this:

LFrunning

Daisy is so in love.
Thank you for the suggestion of a middle name.
I’m off to milk!

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