Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Trees Are Afire

The low winter sun sets the trees afire. It looks like the whole woods is aflame. The alders face off as if insane, waving their branches and twigs every which way, twisting themselves into untangable knots. The cool, drizzly weather … Continue reading

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Off With Its Head

Three queens, Shiun-hime, Sunshine, and Svenda, up on their roost. Of the three, Shim-hime, exudes a most royal air. She looks down at me as if I am one of her countless subjects. You can almost see her fiery eyes … Continue reading

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Evening Love

A rooster’s quest for love never ends. From dawn to dusk, a courting he will go. The only thing that slows a rooster down is nightfall. Once it is time to go to bed, they give up love’s conquest. They’ll … Continue reading

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As Soft as a Baby’s Butt

Making bread ranks up there along with making tofu and petting your cat as one of the most relaxing, heart warming things you can do. Sometimes I add nutmeg, or allspice, or coriander to the dough. Today it’s dillweed. It’s … Continue reading

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Spring Creeps Ever Closer

Spring creeps ever closer. The daffodils are sending their flower buds up toward the sky. More green than yellow today, each day their buds turn ever more yellow. Fuller baskets of eggs are a sure sign of spring’s approach. Each … Continue reading

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Drab Be Gone

This gray time of year, with day after day of clouds, drizzle, and rain, I can feel like this leaf looks. A walk in the woods, among the green ferns helps. It’s King Richard who knows how to perk me … Continue reading

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煎り酒 – Irizake

Irizake, a dipping sauce made from sake, dried plums, fish flakes, and salt, is having a comeback in Japan. Historical references to this sauce go back to the end of the Muromachi period (1336~1573). During the Edo period (1603~1868), irizake … Continue reading

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Need a Hole in the Sky

Poor Sven. After a morning deluge, he is so soaked, his feathers are dragging in the mud. Nothing looks as sorry as a wet rooster. What he needs is a hole in the sky, just what I found on my … Continue reading

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Sad Rooster, Happy Cat

Too many roosters, so some have to go. Sad rooster, happy cat. I can’t finish butchering a rooster without our cat coming into the kitchen and meowing until I give him fresh liver. How does he even know I am … Continue reading

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Ups a Notch

Hmm, so this is what a shiitake feels like when you cut it up after just picking it. I highly recommend starting a day by making an omelette using mushrooms plucked at the time you break the eggs. It really … Continue reading

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Cat Etiquette

What is the proper etiquette when your cat has made itself comfortable on your chest and you would like to get up and do something? Are you supposed to wait five minutes before moving? Pick it up and find an … Continue reading

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A Fresh Feast

The winter skies are stormy. Look up and clouds swirl about like drunken sailors. Lie on the ground for an hour and watch as grand opera unfolds above the trees. Giants battling. Swords clashing. You can feel their breath on … Continue reading

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Bumps on a Log No More

A week ago I started a shiitake mushroom growing kit by soaking it in water overnight. A few days later bumps appeared on the surface of the block, a pressed block of hardwood sawdust. Seven days on, the bumps have … Continue reading

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What an Old Rooster Does

Billy, who will be seven in May, enjoys taking dust baths with the hens. It beats competing with the younger roosters. A problem with young roosters is they all think they are Donald Trump. Which is why many end up … Continue reading

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If Dogs Were on the Internet

There are hundreds of millions of pet dogs around the world. Many of them spend a good time of the day alone as their people leave them to make a living, go shopping, and do what people do. What are … Continue reading

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Mystery Hen

A day when a mystery is solved is a good day. This nest used to be where Margaret slept with her chicks at night. That ended several months ago, when Margaret and her chicks decided they were big enough to … Continue reading

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Is It Spring Already?

The blue in today’s sky was Spring Blue, not Winter Blue. There’s a subtle difference. Winter Blue makes you zip your coat up tight. Spring Blue beckons you to hang your coat on a branch. Spring Blue reaches deep into … Continue reading

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Above It All

On a clear winter day like today, it’s easy to see what is above it all, and why this is such a special place. Biking off the hill this afternoon, I ran into a fog bank. It felt like summer … Continue reading

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Speckled Sunshine – Speckled Egg

One of the hens lays a speckled egg. It’s among the most beautiful of eggs I find. Which hen lays this wonder? I’m not sure. I like to think that whoever it is, she lays it on days when the … Continue reading

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Tracks Left Behind

Nothing moves without leaving behind a track, some evidence it was here. I heard an interesting article on NPR that as we move, we leave behind a cloud of microbes as unique to us as our fingerprints. Yesterday, I left … Continue reading

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