Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Icy Blue Moon

Be upstanding and raise a glass
In this New Year
May only good things come to Pass

There will be a blue Moon on New Years Eve, this hasn't happened in 20 years and won't happen again again until 2028. chances are it will not be visible where I live, possibly a faint glow will be, again I am hopeful.
"The Full Cold Moon". the "Long Night Moon" that lights the way into a new decade today, may be hidden by clouds and precipitation, thus my name for it " The Icy Blue Moon."
I wanted to include some information about the "Blue Moon".

Once in a Blue Moon
by Borgna Brunner and Anne Marie Imbornoni
Blue Moon
Related Links

* Perpetual Calendar

Blue Moon Resources

* Blue Moon Page
* "What's a Blue Moon?" from Sky & Telescope

Blue Moons 2008–2012

May 2008
Third full moon in a season of four full moons
Dec. 2009
Second full moon in month
Nov. 2010
Third full moon in a season of four full moons
Aug. 2012
Second full moon in month

Although the full moon that occurred Tuesday, May 20, 2008, looked like an ordinary full moon, it was actually a bit extraordinary—a blue moon.
What is a Blue Moon?

There are in fact two definitions for a blue moon. According to the more recent definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days).
The Other Kind of Blue Moon

May 2008's blue moon qualified as such under an older definition, which is recorded in early issues of the Maine Farmer's Almanac. According to this definition, the blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Why would one want to identify the third full moon in a season of four full moons? The answer is complex, and has to do with the Christian ecclesiastical calendar.

Some years have an extra full moon—13 instead of 12. Since the identity of the moons was important in the ecclesiastical calendar (the Paschal Moon, for example, used to be crucial for determining the date of Easter), a year with a thirteenth moon skewed the calendar, since there were names for only 12 moons. By identifying the extra, thirteenth moon as a blue moon, the ecclesiastical calendar was able to stay on track.

For a fuller explanation see For more background information on the controversy over the two definitions of blue moon, see the Sky and Telescope article, "What's a Blue Moon?" In it they explain how the two different definitions of a blue moon came about—including their own role in introducing the second, modern definition.
A Star Rating for the Modern Blue Moon

Although Sky & Telescope calls the modern blue moon definition "trendy" and a "mistake," the fact that there is an older, preexisting (and more complicated) definition does not necessarily make it the more interesting or meaningful definition. Charting the "third full moon in four full moons" in a season isn't everyone's idea of an fascinating enterprise. The modern, "trendy" definition, however, points to an intriguing astronomical phenomenon—every so often two moons can manage to position themselves in the same month. Given that full moons occur once every 29.5 days, this is quite an accomplishment!
How Often Does a Blue Moon Occur?

Over the next 20 years there will be about 15 blue moons, with an almost equal number of both types of blue moons occurring. No blue moon of any kind will occur in the years 2011, 2014, and 2017.

The more recent phenomenon, where the blue moon is considered to be the second full moon in a calendar month, last occurred on May 31, 2007. Two full moons in one month may occur in any month out of the year except for February, which is shorter than the lunar cycle.

The other, older blue moon event, which happens when there are four full moons in a season, last occured in August 2005. Since this type of blue moon is reckoned according to the seasons, it can only occur in February, May, August, or November, about a month before the equinox or the solstice.
Twice in a Blue Moon

The rare phenomenon of two blue moons (using the more recent definitition) occurring in the same year happens approximately once every 19 years. 1999 was the last time a blue moon appeared twice, in January and March.

The months of the double blue moons are almost always January and March. That is because the short month that falls in between them, February, is a key ingredient in this once-every-19-year phenomenon. For January and March to each have two full moons, it's necessary for February to have none at all. Since February is usually 28 days long, and the average span between full moons is 29.5 days, if a full moon occurs at the end of January, it's possible for the next full moon to skip February entirely and fall in the beginning of March.
Once in a Blue Moon

"Blue moon" appears to have been a colloquial expression long before it developed its calendrical senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference to a blue moon comes from a proverb recorded in 1528:

If they say the moon is blue,
We must believe that it is true.

Saying the moon was blue was equivalent to saying the moon was made of green (or cream) cheese; it indicated an obvious absurdity. In the 19th century, the phrase until a blue moon developed, meaning "never." The phrase, once in a blue moon today has come to mean "every now and then" or "rarely"—whether it gained that meaning through association with the lunar event remains uncertain.

Like the Celtic New Year of Samhain, A blue Moon on New years is said to thin the veil between worlds.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Plans

Don't know why this didn't occur to me until now, but in a few days the first decade of a new millennium is over. I think that should be significant, remembering the near panic that gripped people at the opening of this millennium. The nightly news regaled us with rumors of impending doom, espoused by people who had bought tons of tinned food and now made their homes in desert caves.
As I have every year since the early 60's I sat up to watch the new year festivities in Times Square. Wondering if the power grid would fail, all the computer dependent services would come to a halt. and nothing happened, and as usuall in those days car horns blared, firecrackers were set off, old guy down over the hill fired his rifle. Nothing new happened, the lights didn't even flicker. So I finished my champagne and went to bed.
Now, ten years after, living in a very different world. The lack of optimism, lack of hope, the widespread fear, and rumor mongering that pass for opinions. more electronically connected we get the more alone we become, less and less real contact and , more virtual life and the list goes on.
Again there I hope to sit, watching the refurbished ball drop in Times Square, in the dark with my champagne.....and being hopeful.

Friday, December 25, 2009

a christnas card

It has not been the best of years for many of us, myself included.
I even thought about not celebrating Christmas at all, but then the words rang out from "Home Alone" " NO! NO! NO! this is the season of perpetual hope!!!!" So let there be hope and optimism, let the Little Things brighten your day until the Big Things come along.
Before I go back to 24 hours of a "Christmas Story" I wish my readers
A very happy Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snus tins, however you pronounce it

Duct tape is "the handyman's secret weapon" as Red Green would say.
Snuss tin, is the handiest storage know to man. The folks at Camel knew what they were doing when chose that is almost worth taking up chewing to have those little tins.
But it is much better if you know someone who chews and considers them, after the first 100 or so to excess.
So far I have used them to store. pennies, washers and screws that are for something around the house, but I can't remember what, those extra little lights on the Christmas light string, nuts. both edible and hardware. little batteries, heirloom seeds, trapping pinebugs, storing my collection of square cut nails, and beads dug from the garden, old military buttons, a couple of watches that need batteries, they hold enough new nails to male them worthwhile, thumbtacks and rubber-bands, pen nibs, erasers, some pretty beads, some ugly keys, fuses. well you get the idea.
They look so nice and tidy all stacked up there, five rows of seven tins each.
Only I didn't label them.

Monday, December 21, 2009

a daydream is a daydream

The shortest day of the year, and I am preparing Brussel sprouts for the freezer,
watching the flurries as I hold the last bits of summer sun and warmth in my hands, carefully trimming each sprout. Tomorrow the days start to get longer, even though the bulk of winter is ahead.
I watch the few bird picking at something in the lilacs and beyond them are the raspberries and currant, blueberries and the wooden box that shelters the now dormant asparagus crowns. It is so very quiet.
I can hear my thoughts, deep in this contemplation, or is it revelry I try to remember the scent of fresh raspberries and the heft of ripe pumpkins. The sweet and fresh taste of the first sugar pod peas, was that only a few months ago, because it seems like forever.
I can hear a faint clicking sound, branches, and I close my doesn't work....winter is winter and a day dream is a daydream.
Tomorrow the days start getting longer

Thursday, December 10, 2009

All weather in a day

Yes that is another flower picture, a different flower and about a month later as I discovered this one as I was adding to my ever growing display of Christmas lights. And then I found another one!
Though some may think that a dandelion is not a flower I disagree.
Imagine flowers in December, here in the snowbelt.
Not so odd as the past couple of days have been weatherwise. The weather has been the topic of the local news, there is always anticipation before a big storm, could it be that people actually enjoy watching foul weather? Tthe 5 o'clock news had team coverage of a storm that hadn't even started yet, and reporters stood in front of rows of snowplows and piles of anti-skid, interviewing country roadmasters, made uncomfortable by the attention. Nothing was happening yet, but it was on its way, downed power lines, and there were, trees blocking road ways, and there were, ice accumulating on everything, and it did; and of course the possibility of 3 to 6 inches of snow. Now this was exciting stuff, especially if you were one of the unfortunates who had to drive in it.

Get out the flashlights , and an extra blanket, then wait! At 10:15 PM the ground was still clear, had the forecasters been in error? Buy 10:21 there was a coating of snow, and then the unmistakable sound, like hail but not quite. of freezing rain, the winds were getting louder and stronger and reckoning that the power would soon be off and I would be plunged into darkness sleep was a good idea.
I woke to no power and a dull sky and light rain. Not much if any ice, and it was getting warmer, by noon it was shirtsleeve weather, to me anyhow, even though there was still snow on the ground, the sky cleared and the sun was out. I could hear a low rumble and the sky became dark, there it was right on time, just as promised, a thunderstorm!!!
The sun came out again, but there was a chill in the air, and soon, it was winter again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

2:30AM Dec. 2, 2009

December is truly graced by having 2 full moons this year.
This the first moon, is called the Oak moon, Cold Moon, Long night's Moon, Yule Moon, Moon before Yule, among other names, our Victorian ancestors called it the Flowerless moon, please don't tell that to my flowering cacti.
The names are so tranquil and gentle, suggesting a well earned rest, before the hard work of keeping from freezing or starving during the coming depth of winter. The canning is done and the shelves lined with 'summer in jars", the potato and onion bins full and the apples are safely packed away. firewood is piled to the eves. Yes, all appears ready, time to sit back and take a moment to admire the fruits of your labor, and to reward oneself with a long winters nap.

photo by a friend

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The mouse that made me Roar

A mouse in the house is nothing new, especially if you live near the woods and/ or fields. My house has been targeted by the mouse from HELL!
He or she cleans the traps without setting them off, leaves me little presents, and scoots merrily across the floor, taunting me.
You see the problem with mice is how cute they are, and they are cute, especially when they are caught in a trap. Whoops! sorry did I say that?? Anyway, I really thought they were cute when I was a youngster, and would put out snacks for them, until got caught doing it.

At one time a mouse chewed a hole in a potato sack, my parents set traps for the little cutie and one of the traps was set next to the sack of potatoes. Late that night we heard my mother shriek,we rushed to see what was the matter, as she was not in the least afraid of mice, we found her laughing uncontrollably, she couldn't speak, but she pointed to the trophy in the trap, it was a potato.

This morning as I was preparing some of my infamous red potato salad, I dropped a potato and it rolled under the counter, setting off a trap. It took awhile, but I stopped laughing long enough to write this.

May-be it is a sign, tonight may-be I will catch that mouse.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a book

When I hear someone say that a book changed their lives, I feel the need to tell that that any book , if you read it and pay attention to what you are reading changes your life.

For a long time now I have wanted to write about the book Yes, it is a childrens book, I was watching "Reading Rainbow" with my then very young son, and it was the featured book of the day, read by none other than Lorne Greene, his deep and expressive voice
blending with the gentle story of The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall. The book was an expansion of a poem that first appeared in the New Yorker on October 3, 1977.

Ox Cart Man

by Donald Hall
In October of the year,
he counts potatoes dug from the brown field,
counting the seed, counting
the cellar’s portion out,
and bags the rest on the cart’s floor.

He packs wool sheared in April, honey
in combs, linen, leather
tanned from deerhide,
and vinegar in a barrel
hooped by hand at the forge’s fire.

He walks by his ox’s head, ten days
to Portsmouth Market, and sells potatoes,
and the bag that carried potatoes,
flaxseed, birch brooms, maple sugar, goose
feathers, yarn.

When the cart is empty he sells the cart.
When the cart is sold he sells the ox,
harness and yoke, and walks
home, his pockets heavy
with the year’s coin for salt and taxes,

and at home by fire’s light in November cold
stitches new harness
for next year’s ox in the barn,
and carves the yoke, and saws planks
building the cart again.

In 1979 The Ox Cart Man by Donald Hall and illustrated by Barbara Cooney was published, and in won the 1980 Caldecott Medal.
I was watched in total delight, thinking with so few words how someone had described the year and the spirit of a family working to establish themselves. Is this story for the adult who reads it as well, possibly even more so?
the book followed that family through the years activities, and ends in the late fall with the return of the Ox-cart Man, from market where he sold what he and his family had gathered, grown or made, the purchased what he needed and could not make and walked home The journey was a 10 day walk, each way.
Not to be overly romantic about the "olden days" , I have a deep appreciation of indoor plumbing, electric service and grocery stores, and central heating. The changing seasons have lost some of their meaning, we no longer need to, spend out winters inside looking out, dreaming of spring, mending harnesses and making cloth, knitting mittens or whittling brooms.
And it is no longer necessary to spend out summer and fall making preparation to survive the winter, making candles and splitting wood, maintaining livestock and tending a garden.
I feel that the changing seasons are part of making a life, if no longer part of making a living.
That the richness making something or growing vegetables, gives us roots we can carry with us where ever we may end up..

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I don't know

Do you find these words scary, if the TV commentator is to be believed we do, we must have answers.
Do we fear the unknown, and that makes any answer better than the simple truth in "I don't know."
I have made up my mind to say "I don't know" more often. It may indeed be more important to know or to have and answer than what the content of that answer is.
I don't know.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Remind me

Remind me even though I don't need reminding that the snow and wind of winter is just a few weeks away, remind me instead of the way the first warm rays of sun signal the end of winter, remind me of the lengthening days, and the promise of warm breezes and flowers.

And there , a tiny buttercup, in Novembers bright but cold sun.

Saturday, November 7, 2009



by Thomas Hood

No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--

No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--

No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!

No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--

No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I miss you

The sun is shinning, there are only a few clouds in the sky, it feels summer is turning to fall.
On this day 92 years ago my father was born, he left us behind about 2 and a half years ago.
Today, is a day very much like his last birthday.
A good day for a walk along the old trails and and to remember the greatest gift my father gave me, a love for the boundless joy that can be found in the simple things, the knowledge that just because your grow older you don't have to give up the simple joys, like kite flying and willow whistles, Halloween and finding woolybear caterpillars.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Forty years ago 'bout now

The summer of 1969, when man first walked upon the the moon, and uttered those long forgotten words, "it's like fine dust, i can kick it with my toe" to the best of my recollection, the first words really said by a man on the moon.
There were a few personal firsts that year.
And then there was Woodstock.
Woodstock then as now was a state of being. A state of mind, intensely personal and closely held by some.
I wonder in the pages of history which will have had the more sustained and sustaining effect. Woodstock or the first man on the moon?
the pictures are from the website, they make peace signs etc, from the fence that once attemped to surround the un-surroundable Nation of Woodstock.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The perfect re-gift

to regift or not to regift, that is a good question. The stigma of regifting is such that no one would ever want to be caught regifting.
-the sea gave these shells to the finder
-the finder gave them to someone
-that someone gifted them to someone else
-who regifted them to me
and I am delighted.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Green Bread Moon

"If moon was cookie
me think me would be
Happiest monster that you ever see.

me ride in a rocket
all throughout the nigh
me ride in a rocket
to go take a bite"
--Cookie Monster

The moon, full and glorious after a long spell of rainy weather.
And it does look like a huge cookie!
A wheel of cheese.
a pancake.
A moon pie.
and while we are on the topic of food if I were naming this full moon, I would call it the green bread moon.
I can remember being told that the moon was made of green cheese, probably why I never like cheese. In my experience even the well petrified grocery store bread is no match for early July's usual heat and humidity and will grow a lovely blueishgreen beard.

Jul. 7, 5:21 a.m. EDT -- Full Buck Moon, when the new antlers of buck deer push out from their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, thunderstorms being now most frequent. Sometimes this is also called the Full Hay Moon. Since the moon arrives at apogee less than 13 hours later, this will also be smallest full moon of 2009. In terms of apparent size, it will appear 12-percent smaller than the full moon of Jan. 10

Colonial American: Summer Moon
American Indian (Cherokee) Ripe Corn Moon
American Indian (Choctaw) Crane Moon
American Indian (Dakotah Sioux Moon of the Middle Summer
Celtic: Moon of Claiming
English Medieval Mead Moon
Neo Pagan Rose Moon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Longest Day of the year, so I'm posting

The longest day of the year cannot be allowed to pass without a post, it has been a cold and rainy day, feels much more like September 21st than June21st.

But I did want to share this quote so now seems as good a time as any.

"Nature is never in a hurry, but everything gets done."

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Do spacemen pass dead souls on their way to the moon?ei

The moon, waxing gibbous" was glorious last night, it made the prisms in the window twinkle and cast soft purple shadows across the floor. The June moon, has had many names , my favorite is the planting moon, it has also been called the honey moon, because of it's color, the color of buckwheat honey, my favorite honey.

Colonial American - Rose Moon
Chinese - Lotus Moon
Cherokee - Green Corn Moon
Choctaw - Windy Moon
Dakota Sioux - Moon When June Berries Are Ripe
Celtic - Moon of Horses
English Medieval - Dyan Moon
Neo Pagan - Planting Moon

It has been argued that the early Celts believed that the moon was the home of the dead.
And the line from a Simon and Garfunkel song keeps crossing my mind, "do spacemen pass dead souls on their way to the moon?"?

Friday, June 5, 2009

the parlor

I fancy this picture was taken in the parlor , this ancient woman with her Bible, seated contentedly among her treasures. The beautiful things she so carefully tended, for one only went into the parlor on special occasions, or to dust it.
We had a parlor in the house I "grew up" in, and woe be to anyone who got caught lounging around on the very comfy sofa, and it was the most serious crime to be caught with any sort of food in the parlor, even on Christmas, even if you were a guest.
My home has a parlor, you can snooze on the very comfy sofa, read listen to music, look at the accumulated treasures, but no food or drink, even if you are a guest and even if it is Christmas,

Friday, May 29, 2009

At last , a naked truth

Amazing how over time one forgets things, well this one forgets things.
For years my son would greet any UPS employee with the question "How's Santa?"
The mystified UPS man would usually answer something like "fine".
Now you might well ask why he would ask the UPS man/woman that question, I certainly would, and inquiring UPS employees who have remembered it for years have asked.

The answer is. I informed my usually naked son that the UPS man worked for Santa, and if he saw him naked that Santa would bring him only clothes for Christmas. Worked!!! even on a 3 year old.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Its Magic

It was cold last night, really cold, the kind of cold that makes me think about putting socks on. I loath socks, better to build a fire again after a very long season of fires I had hoped was over.
The first fire in the fall is a magical experience, as if I were discovering it's warmth and light for the first time, the sweet scent of woodsmoke, before a long nights slumber.
By the time February gets here, the fire is still warm and comforting as the wind howls in the chimney and the snow piles up, I am wondering if I will ever see green leaves again. It has become second nature to tend it there is no more day dreaming as I gaze into the flames, I see no dragons and castles and viking ships, or sounth sea beaches, just ashes to empty.
With the lilacs in full bloom, and the tomato plants shivering in the summer kitchen, there is no
reason not to think that this will be the last really cold night. I can enjoy my coffee and may-be even read, no it's much more fun to day dream.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Whilst I was surveying the work that needed doing in my flower beds, ambition having overtaken me, again. I heard a voice behind me say " If its a good lilac year, its gonna be a good garden year."
I stood up and waved, not sure who this person was, and not wanting to be rude. He continued walking down the highway, which is what you do in a town with no sidewalks.

It might be true, there was no frost to kill the developing apple blossoms, perhaps the beechnuts and other fruiting plants would benefit also. But the lilacs are Amazing. Last years early snow caught them with leaves still on, many of the ancient branches broke under the weight, but those that remain are covered with blooms, even the white ones which are usually sparse with their bloom are covered.
The aroma is rich and hangs in the air like a gentle dream, it surrounds me and carries me off to someplace lost in time, a still and quiet place, just me and the bees.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I have been out standing my field. Nest to my Rototiller, the fabulous Tilly. Tilly was doing most of the work and I was doing most of the thinking. seemed fair.
This months moon post is a bit late, the full moon having come and gone, mostly shrouded in clouds when visible at all. Clouds sailing past the moon, one of the most beautiful sights in Nature brought back thoughts of one of the most beautiful love poems.

The Highwayman a poem by Alfred Noyes

The Highwayman

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding
Riding riding
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He’d a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He’d a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle
His rapier hilt a-twinkle
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter
Bess, the landlord’s daughter
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o’er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching
Marching marching
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
"Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding
Riding riding
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight
Her musket shattered the moonlight
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy’s ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding
Riding riding
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter
Bess, the landlord’s daughter
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair

The Highwayman
Alfred Noyes

Among the many names for Mays full moon are Milk Moon,Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Corn Moon, Hare's Moon to which i would like to add Asparagus moon, this being the time when
my favorite vegetable erupts from the ground. I have a small raised bed in which dwell my asparagus plants, along with some stray garlic, chives and a dash of sorrel. It must have been 25 years ago, that The Old farmer and i planted our asparagus seeds, and they grew. His plants are still there, and will I hope return to their wild ways and not be mowed down buy the next owner of his land.
Even Tilly thought it was strange not to hear his familiar greeting, "We need rain, farmer." It was a little lonely out there she remarked with only the wind to keep us company.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, someone had to give the Moon these names, so I am now going to add to the list, Asparagus Moon.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Forgotten daffodils

I was driving home through the woods and seeing forgotten daffodils, and jonquils, blooming there, near what remains of some steps, I stopped and walked along what might have been a sidewalk, certainly something made of cement between a row of Norway Spruce, to find a cellar, and there a bottle that once held root beer extract, almost as if it had been left there for me. There had been a town there years ago, I was told it had a barbershop and a candy shop, two stables and a hotel, a railroad station and a general store, boarding house, churches and saloon. All that remains are the daffodil, rhubarb, forsythia and apple trees. It is possible to find, horseradish, iris and many other plants growing wild and a few foundation stones. In some spots, there will be apple trees in a clump, still producing usable apples, some of these mark the sights of old logging camps, where the cook just tossed out the peels and cores and apple trees grew, or so the story goes.

Bubbling over with curiosity I keep walking imagining what it must have been like to live here in the time when this little town was still a town. Walking between rows of pine trees which opened onto a wild tangle of roses, ivy, and shrubs, but most amazingly, asparagus, which I know grows wild, but I don't think this is...and of course rhubarb, for pies and jam, and just stewed one of the first things to come from the garden.Tart and tasty with a generous amount of sugar what a treat it must have been. I stopped awhile to rebuild the scene in my mind. To stop and think of the continuity of long the house had been gone, I can't say but standing there I felt the pride and satisfaction the gardener must have taken in his/her work so many years ago.
The forgotten daffodils, and jonquils, blooming there, near some steps.
In a few weeks time the woods will again hide this place.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter picnic

I love this little card, it is how I like to celebrate easter, simply,sweetly,and outdoors.
Welcome Spring, welcome Easter.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April Moon

Woodsmoke will be crossing the moon. Clear and cold and a perfect night for a bonfire and moondance a blue moondance that is. Another name for tonight's moon is the Pink Moon, because the atmosphere can give the April moon and pinkish glow. this years weather has been harsh and we are treated to only glimpses of recent full moons.
But I will be watching for the it to rise about the horizon, and play hide and seek with the trees until it at last crests the treeline and reflects down on me, as I stand there is awe, feeling very small, but lucky to take my place in the continuum of time

Colonial American - Planter’s Moon
Chinese - Peony Moon
Cherokee - Flower Moon
Choctaw - Wildcat Moon
Dakotah Sioux - Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation
Celtic - Growing Moon
English Medeval - Seed Moon
Neo Pagan - Awakening Moon

Monday, April 6, 2009

and so it begins,again

Even though there are still the occasional snowflakes in the air, it is spring, and today's wind and snow will give way to warming sun.
Among the pleasures of spring, are leeks, some people call them ramps, either you love them or you hate them. I love them.
Garlic breath has nothing on leek breath, there are those people who choose to make restrictions about their employees eating the odoriferous bulb. Unfair, I say, but that is another entry.

As the woods begins to green up it is time to go into the woods in search of the much sought after leeks, first with my father and grandfather, and now with my own family, as I hope someday my son will take his family. In years long past we searched for watercress,though this is no longer a good idea with the widespread contamination of once clean streams.

Traveling down dirt roads to look for the emerging prize, the first sprouts being the most pungent, and of course for the" braggin rights" to have found the first tempting morsels. c
Constantly scanning the hillside our shovels over our shoulders, we embraced the warmth and songs of retuning birds. Once we found a spot we set to work digging them out of the leaf litter, filling our bags or baskets. The entire plant is edible, the leaves can be used in omelets ,meatloaf , and are much less pungent than the bulb, though both parts are tamed by cooking.

Leek season lasts for several weeks, until the plant reaches maturity
and sends up and pretty blue flower. and so it begins,again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Ah, it did seem like the perfect day to wander down the trail, so I did.
The ground was still very wet and walking was more like picking ones way through the puddles, some still with a crust of ice on them. The brilliant sun did little to ease the chill, but I had entered an enchanted place, a world where everything was a curiosity.
I began to see why the crafters of fairy tales choose mossy stumps and gnarled tree roots as the home of sprites and trolls. here to might be the homes of Junies, who would follow the lanterns of travelers, and all manner of ancient
folk who inhabited those long agos and far aways
of storytellers. It was so quiet, and I remember listening to the stories told to me
buy my father and grandfather when I they took
me for walks in the wood, stories of deer and rabbit hunts, ghost stories and tales of the tommyknockers who warned the miners of impending cave-ins in trade for gifts of cookies, cake and Sam Thompson Rye.
I miss most the stories about the men and their teams of draft horses who brought the logs out of the woods in the day when trees stumps "were big enough for a team of horses to stand on."
Tale of the people who lived and thrived in these woods long before my European ancestors arrived,still echo in my heart.
Quiet I am the only one here, and I can think of the first days of spring and summers sweet promise, I feel like I have grown wings, like I can see for miles, and like I have landed in the place that is right for me. Surrounded by the simple beauty of ordinary things.

I wonder who will emerge from this tree stump if I rap on their door? An deer mouse under a spell, or a troll who brews ale? A sprite, with their childlike wonder , mischief in their soul and the perspective of the timelessness. Probably not.
In that time before science, and realism and all the other "isms" when imaginations were free to roam, instead of being used to solve problems . Imagination explained the imponderables and the unexplainable. The stuff of the legends, that hold all the great truths of our lives, may-be best understood by the child in us.
Still to be looking with different eyes and thinking with the assurance that there is often more than meets the eye, letting your imagination weave the threads of wind and rustling leaves into a world where treeroots hide explanations and dreams, and the ice on puddles hold not only last years leaves, but out fascination.
All in the moments between here and there. And the opening and closing of doors.

I wonder if anyone is home.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The earth is slowly melting out of it's snowy blanket, the ground is still frozen, the pounding rain runs off or forms muddy puddles, the remains of last year plants caught by the early snows are tangled mats of what will soon be compost.
Each morning when I get up and look outside to see the snow receeding, until one morning, there they were the first blooms of spring. I rescued these from the yard of a house that was going to be torn down.
And I have been rewarded every year since.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

a thin white gold band

It was a very shinny washer, very shinny indeed, and it had some odd wear patterns on it. As I looked at it further, and then took it out into the light, I realized I was holding a wedding ring, a thin white gold band, with a lifetime of wear.
A wedding ring is a powerful symbol, and I wondered how a woman's wedding ring got into a box of junk bought at auction.Trying to trace it's owner was , I was told, impossible and that it could have been in that box for over 10 years.

Monday, March 2, 2009

and it's really cold

I love this old photo, I'm quite sure that it was taken in March, mostly because I say so.
March, and I can feel the sap rising and the sun is warm on my face, even thought today is in the single digits the sun gleams and as my Dad would say, "Cheer-up! Brighter days are coming!"
The prickly pear cactus is melting out of it's snowdrift, amazing that it will survive at all in this climate, even blooming most years.
The crystals that hang in the windows don't send out as many rainbows. Easily the best thing about winter was watching those rainbows dance across the walls caused by the low angle of the winter sun.
Even though winter is far from over, it is that first take that giddy knowledge, that one will soon be free of heavy clothing , snow shovel and ice scrapers.
And I like that.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One moment in time

Photography fascinates me, I have a number of cameras and am only without one when the best photographic subjects appear. As a child I would sit for hours, looking at old photo albums, curious about every detail, and delighted when I recognized a familiar person or object. I would and still do think about the people who's lives were captured for one moment in time. Ever changing time.
These are powerful little pieces of paper, they hold not only and accurate record of the physical world, but they are windows for our curiosity and imagination.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

snowglobes and daydreams

Snowglobes are beautiful, and today I feel like I am living in one.
Winter is my least favorite season, because of the recent thaw a few patched of green grass were visible, seed catalogs arrive, and mentions are made of spring in the media...... I am not a happy camper, there was fresh snow on the ground when I woke. I was wondering if this is how a bear feels when they emerge to early from their hibernation, and I understand why they are such unpredictable and often surly creatures, its post traumatic stress
The snow swirls around the house, howling and whistling in the chimneys, the ground and sky meet in a cloud of large white flakes that obscures the horizon. Gradually the outlines of the spruce and pines emerge only to be hidden by another swirl of snow. One of those days when I could easily drift off to another time and place

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Candle moon

last night the candle moon shown through the thick layer of clounds and tangle of branches like a distant candle, it was already a waning moon when it first became visible above the Norway spruce and maples.

February's full moon has other names , the Hungry Moon and the Wolf Moon, but all of it's names tell me that even our ancestors found the month with the least number of days to be the longest month of the year. I wondered if they were still telling stories around the hearthfire , while the eves dripped from an early thaw or the wind howled during a fierce storm, perhaps a heavy wet snow was falling and everyone sat wide eyed and still. Did they tell stories to take thier minds of thier hunger, or the hunger of the prowling wolves. Or if they had given up and just gone to sleep. Perhaps they looked for signs of spring.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I climbed Mount Jewett

I usually don't open forwards, but I did accidentally open this one! That in itself proves there are no accidents.
First of all Mount Jewett is a town, but it is on the top of a hill. A one time thriving village, little is left of it, like many small towns it is melting slowly into the forest it was once carved from.
This photo was taken there, and has been circulating ever since.
One can still buy a T-shirt at the yearly Swedish festival, that says "I climbed Mount Jewett".
Or one can see the remains of the Kinzua Viaduct, a once mighty railroad bridge, standing 301 feet above the valley floor, but that is another post.
Or you can travel a couple miles out of town and see the Bridgeview cemetery, where the image of the viaduct is carved on to several headstones, this was also an excellent point to view the viaduct in its entirety, before it was brought down by a possible tornado. Off in the corner of this cemetary are several above ground graves marking the final resting place of families of Serbo-Croations who escaped war only to be claimed by the Influenza outbreak, and ironic immortality.

Silent Sunday~~~Hedgehog Picnic

thanks Coleman