May 16 2008

A sea of green…

One of my absolute favorite things about living outside of the city is that seasons finally really mean something. Winter is beautiful but very taxing on the soul and allows us to imagine balancing the weight of the world upon our shoulders in an endless drone of white. Despite the hardships of winter, what it really does is prepare us for the explosion of spring. There is no better way to want something so bad than to have been deprived of it for so long. In such a short time our landscape became dappled with colors that soothed our weathered minds and thawed our frost bitten hearts.

One of the first things to arrive amongst the avalanche of green are Ramps (a.k.a. Wild Leeks). They appear from one day to the next and scatter themselves across south facing slopes all over the countryside. Ramps are a spring treasure because they are one of the first forageable edibles of the year. They have a wonderful aroma of garlic and taste of tender onion. Recently I went out with a friend (Sean) in search of 30lbs of the stuff for a restaurant. They fetch a high price for a short period of time, in some cases they can go up to $10 a pound. In any case, the best thing about them is the fact that they come and then go. It’s a rare feat these days to only be able to enjoy something during the season it’s available. If they could be domesticated it would be the end of their luster.

field of ramps

ramps

ramps in hand

ramps 2

sea of ramp

sean 1

ramp scale

weighing ramp


Apr 10 2008

Harbingers of Spring

The white, once beautiful but, now oppressive canvas of winter if finally being disrupted by tell tale signs of spring.  The lawn is pock marked with spots of green reminiscent of children with bad acne in High School.  Turkeys cross our path every day as they scramble about frantically in search of still sluggish bugs shaking off their winter coats. After a weekend with our Ornithology enthusiast friend our ears briskly became piqued to the sounds of Pileated Woodpecker’s, Tufted Titmouse’s, Blue Jay’s, and just possibly but not positively some Bohemian Waxwing’s as they all participate in their great migrations.  Most exciting of all these things though are the waves of life cascading through all the farms of now good friends in this area.  Calves, Kids, Piglets are all in full swing and appearing on the scene on a daily basis.

On a recent outing to see a Calf that had been born within the hour, we happened upon another mother in waiting who began the labor process in our presence.  Slightly bewildered but fascinated we decided to stay and witness “the miracle of life” for ourselves.  If I remember correctly that last and only thing I’ve seen born was kittens and quite frankly I don’t even think I witnessed the whole thing.  Patiently, Chase and I shadowed the soon to be Mother wondering just how this was going to go down.  With great discomfort the Heifer began laying down and then sitting up in order to constantly readjust herself.  With no previous warning a hoof finally protruded and showed itself to the world.  This protrusion went on for hours, coming and going over and over again.  Once we were joined by our friend and cow owner Sean , the situation was quickly diagnosed as a problem due to the fact that the calf was coming out backwards.  Without hesitation but a bit of difficulty, we brought the cow into the barn and began a process I never thought I’d get to partake in.  As I began pulling on the slippery back legs of this yet unborn calf, I really began to wonder what I’d gotten myself into.  Minutes later it all came to an end as the calf just slid out in fell swoop and we were done.

We told ourselves 6 months ago that if we could make it through the winter up here we would be ok.  There were a lot of moments throughout these last 6 months that had us wondering what we’d gotten ourselves into, but now there is only the affirmation that we need to make this work. Although that doesn’t mean we have an answer yet, but at least we have the vision.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE CALF FOR MORE PHOTOS:

Calf


Mar 14 2008

Narragansett eyes on you…

There is something mildly disconcerting about turning around and being accosted by a rafter of Narragansett Turkeys…

turkey