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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Seven Days

These seven days before Christmas are when I mow
the back section of the ranch. Wide open land
and Handel's Messiah on the radio seem to get me in the
spirit. Long days on a tractor also give me plenty of time
for reflection. I will think of Christmas past celebrated with family,
friends and animals no longer here. I loved them all.  I will think about 
all the parents making great personal sacrifice to insure their
children have presents under the tree then contrast that with
 friends that have been blessed with a bountiful life. I will think
about certain people who have the spirit of giving all
year round then contrast that with my occasional random acts of
kindness. I will think about all the people, and animals, I have met
on Blogger and wish them joy and peace and time.... to reflect.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Klaus Badelt, Master of Crescendo

The songs included in this clip are part of the original soundtrack from the Asian
film "The Promise".  Even if you are not a big fan of Chinese films, this soundtrack
by Klaus Badelt is brilliant. Forget about all the flying around, unless of course you
are into that.

Shipping out

This morning we shipped one of the stallions to PA.
We prepped him for the long ride with leg wraps, a warm
blanket, fresh water and hay.  The driver and Alex secure
the panels while our curious traveler looks on.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First born calf.

Born at dawn, this bull calf is about 8 hours old and is the 
 first of many more to come this winter. I didn't have much time
to take this pic as mom was just behind me and I was in no
mood to go airborn. Three other calves were also born today.
This is also the time of year when coyotes will be out on
night patrol, sometimes even in broad daylight. They are  
so cunning that they will sneek up on a mother and calf then
slowly try to lure the calf away by pretending it wants to play.
But most of the time it's an attack by many under the cover
of darkness.
I'm not a light sleeper but the sound of a coyote war party in
the middle of the night never fails to wake me.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Whenever I check on the herd at night I hope to see
all green eyes reflecting back from my search light. Once
in awhile there will be some other colored eyes mixed in with green,
thats when I reach for the 223 with night vision.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

For Willow

The Willows of Massachusetts
Animal willows of November
in pelt of gold enduring when all else
has let go all ornament
and stands naked in the cold.
Cold shine of sun on swamp water,
cold caress of slant beam on bough,
gray light on brown bark.
Willows -- last to relinquish a leaf,
curious, patient, lion-headed, tense
with energy, watching
the serene cold through a curtain
of tarnished strands.
--by Denise Levertov (From the collection, The Life Around Us: Selected Poems on Nature)

Monday, November 22, 2010

This is Huge

Huge is a four year old filly who has returned home after racing up north all summer. She'll be here for some well deserved rest and relaxation in the warm sunshine. Next month we'll have to determine if she will rejoin the race circuit or join the rest of the brood mares. We have made fast friends and I hope she stays.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ira Hanford (1918-2009) onboard 1936 Kentucky Derby Winner Bold Venture

     By the time I  met Ira, he was already feeling poorly but still found the energy to take his wife Virginia out for a beer at our local watering hole. Although Virginia still stops by once in awhile you can't help but notice that Ira is not sitting there next to her.
     Ira would come alive whenever I would ask him about his life as a jockey. The last time we talked I asked him if he saw the movie Seabiscuit. Tilting back his baseball cap he said,  No, I didn't see the movie, I rode him though. At that moment I became fully aware of who I was having a beer with.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Heavy traffic on the ranch


Lissie: The Longest Road......Gitty Up!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This teller of tales, slayer of dragons, healed by moonlight, she wonders where dragons sleep.

Fairy Tales are more than true;
not because they tell us that dragons exist,
but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
-G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meet Lissie

I have been listening to this little known artist for for her, she's about to come alive.
(samples at bottom of page)

Norton Juster's chapped hands

I first met Norton in the early seventies when I hired him and his partner Earl Pope of Juster Pope Associates to design a residence for one of my clients. I was just reminded of how great he was to work with as he was just on NPR discussing his latest book. I remember being at a feed store with him when Norton asked the salesman if he had anything for chapped hands. The salesman handed him some udder creme and said it should take care of it. A few weeks passed and Norton was back at the feed store. How did that creme work out, asked the salesman. Just fine, replied Norton in a straight face, but every afternoon around 5 I have this sudden urge to have my fingers pulled. That is classic Norton Juster. The house I built and he designed was featured in House Beautiful Magazine, April 1979  JD

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How bout them cowgirls

But her home is 'neath that big blue sky
And the Northern Plains and those other wise open spaces
Now days there ain't as many