Friday, February 25, 2011

Guest Poster: June "You Don't See This at Busy Solitude Farm!"

Where to begin?  On Wednesday I was visiting my sister who lives 7 minutes away from me on 9 mile Road, guess what happened??  We had a visitor.  My sister has lived there for over 37 years and in all those years, I had never seen a moose.  That is, until about a month ago I saw one crossing the road. 

My sister went to the counter, looked out the window and exclaimed, June, come here, but don't scream...I scream when I get excited!  There right before my eyes was a Moose.  My brother-in-law said she was about 1 year old.  We grabbed our coats and quietly went outside cameras in hand.  I was absolutely thrilled to be part of the experience!  We named her Eloise.

The next day around 3:00 p.m. the phone rang, it was my brother-in-law saying get up here, Eloise is back!  Off I raced to be part of yet another exciting moment.  That afternoon I took 75 shots of Eloise and at a lot of points I was 10 feet away from her. 

People were stopping and getting out of their cars to get a close up look.  Eloise didn't seem to mind, but seemed to be enjoying her moment of fame!  The fact that she was nibbling on my brother-in-law's apple trees was neither here nor there, we told him to chill!

And that, as they say is that!

Editor's note:  June lives in Wendover, Ontario.  Our dogs are related to each other.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A book you might enjoy...

Today is the official release date for Margaret Roach's book And I Shall Find Some Peace There, about how she dropped out of the corporate world and established herself on her own little two acres of peace in upstate New York (I think it's "upstate", not being from around there I could be wrong!).

Our experiences run very parallel, with a few differences in scale, and I'm messy and enjoy having animals all over the place!

If you enjoy my blog for the animals, then you might not be drawn into her book.  But if you, too, have the fantasy of leaving it all behind, check out Margaret's book.  She shares it warts and all!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Morning has Broken, 8

You have not experienced a full moon until you've spent the night with one in the country.

Here at Busy Solitude Farm we put little store in curtains.  Oh, there are some in the living room where the strong summer sunshine would otherwise bake all stay-at-home inhabitants.  But generally speaking we enjoy looking out into the world.

Except when the world intrudes in.  

Last night's full moon was as bright as the sun on a heavily overcast day.  Dark shadows danced across the yard, the side of my house glowed.  Wait, you say.  How do you know what the outside of the house looked like?

Both last night and the night before, I was awakened around 1:00 am by frantic crowing from the barn.  Not the occasional cock-a-doodle-doo that one hears on any given night, but a constant, frenzied crowing.  The most memorable time in my life that I heard this type of crowing was at my old house with my old chickens when their heat lamp had fallen off its hook and smoke was billowing out the coop door.  This is serious crowing.

So both last night and the night before, I pulled my sorry butt out of my cozy warm bed, found random socks and jeans and sweaters, hoped I grabbed my barn sneakers, and trekked out to the barn to investigate.

And both last night and the night before, I found Spot perched up high, head thrown back, crowing his ever-loving heart out.  When I enter the barn, he looks at me as if to say "hey, are you up, too?"

That, my friends, is how I happened to see what my house looks like in the late night full moon.  Sorry that I did not have camera in hand.  Tonight we are in line for rain.  No full moon anticipated.  But just in case....

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We've been wrapped up in our little world lately.  The good news is the weather improved so much and our piles of snow are quickly disappearing.  Last night the dogs went outside after dark.  After five minutes or so I looked out the door and could not see them.  I went into the bedroom to look out the back windows.  No dogs.  Starting to get a little uncomfortable, I returned to the door and called out to them.  "Jingle jingle jingle" came the reply of their collar tags from a far corner of the yard.  They haven't been able to get back there for weeks due to deep snow -- I imagine the wild critters have had quite a party not being chased, and left all of their detritus for the dogs to sniff out!

Too many roosters continues to be a problem in the barn.  Hopefully once the snow is gone I'll be able to do some rearranging so that there is more pen space and they can be separated more effectively.  The ducks have enjoyed a few days outside lately, splashing in all the mud and puddles the snow's leaving behind.  

Boy, they're having fun!

What's not so fun is that Oskar has developed what the vet believes is a very large fatty tumor in his thigh.  How large?  The unaffected thigh is 12 inches in circumference.  The one with the swelling is 17 inches.  So far it does not seem to bother him -- he's walking like himself, trots to retrieve a ball or frisbee, sleeps on both sides.  But it's worrisome.  I'm not keen on surgery on a 12-1/2 year old large dog.  We have the option to take a different look at the growth via ultrasound, but it would require shaving the area and I want to at least wait until the weather is reliably warmer.

So that's what's up around here at busy, busy Busy Solitude Farm!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Playtime at BSF

Oskar and Ulani had a terrific afternoon out in the bright, warm sun.  This particular encounter was actually begun by my boy.  He doesn't really wrestle any more, but he does enjoy their own brand of play.

After a minute, Ulani was distracted by a sound.  There's a cold frame under the pile of snow and she was convinced a critter was in there.  And what do you know, she was right!  A little squirrel raced out the back of the pile and along the house.  Ulani was so startled it took her a minute to chase off in pursuit -- enough lead time for the squirrel to race into the tree unharmed.

(The color's weird because it was SO sunny!)