Thursday, July 29, 2004

A flock of purple martins and a tiny amazingly parish blue bird. This isn't a real entry -- just a note to remind myself why a vehicle with floatation tires, a hay field and 3 mph can be a wonderful way to spend a few hours.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Frog Lullaby


Right next to the house is a pond.   Tiny as farm ponds go and unusually well tended.  The entire spectrum of wildlife calling the pond home is 9 white amurs to keep the green stuff at bay and bullfrogs.  Lots and lots of bullfrogs.
In the summer evenings the frogs start singing.  Deep short grunting croaks followed by longer vibrating higher pitched hoots. The song goes back and fourth across the pond from one frog to another for hours.  The frog chorus is familiar and somehow comforting and on cool nights I open my windows and the frog song is a lullaby and the frogs sing me to sleep.



Friday, July 23, 2004

There is magic in music played live ...

Had a big get together a couple of weeks ago.  It was a wonderful time, at least that is what I keep hearing.  For me, pretty much a blur of activity.  Raise your hand folks if you have ever thrown a party that multiple hundreds of people attended and you don't hire a caterer.  Nodding wisely, yes, you know what I mean.  The point is that the guests have a great time and food and drink and no one feels neglected.  That takes some doing.

The reason for the party is to let folks enjoy the baby railroad that the fella is putting together.  And that happened.  Two trains were running nonstop full for 4 or 5 hours.  Then more on than off for the remaining two hours.  This year, this year I stood my ground and insisted on hiring local musicians to play.  Live music, there is nothing like it. For me, as I scampered about refilling this and checking on that, stopping to smile and chat for a few seconds, introduce people of similar interests to each other and then move on, I listened.

The band "Custom Blend" out of Carey, Ohio is a group of fellas that have been playing together for close to forever and their skill shows that.  They played wonderful covers of a blend of country and pop songs that I swear to you was perfect for the diverse group that was in attendance.  But there was one moment that just blew me away.

Last song and I finally had a minute to stop to stand in the background and listen to the band.  In this moment they revealed their skill at entertaining and delighted me beyond any other moment in recent memory.  One train was still running and somehow the band timed the song so that as they were singing the last refrain, the train, headlight shining through the night, whistle blowing climbed the last hill headed for the station.  I stood there in the dark and under the stars and listened in wonderment. Magic.  Perfect song to end the night, timed to frame a moment that I will never forget. Music played live and with skill - there is nothing like it in the world.

City to City Lyrics
Artist(Band):Gerry Rafferty


Now the night train is waitin’ to take me away
And I’m still feelin’ guilty cause you’re wanting me to stay
Well I know, how I know, it’s harder on you
But you said it yourself, there’s nothing else we could do.

When the wheels start turnin’, takin’ me through the night
Out there in the darkness, there’s a star shinin’ bright
And it makes me feel better just to see it up there
I hope you’re thinkin’ about it, hope you know I still care.

So goodnight, yeah goodnight
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home
So goodnight, yeah goodnight
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home.

Now I know you’ve been waiting, but I’ll be seeing you soon
Meanwhile I just lay here staring at the moon
And a light made of silver, through my window it creeps
And the train keeps on rollin’, and it just rocks me to sleep.

So goodnight, yeah goodnight
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home
So goodnight, yeah goodnight
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home

So goodnight, yeah goodnight
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home.
So goodnight, yeah goodnight
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home.

Now from city to city, it’s four hundred miles
And I’m bound to wake up every once in a while
And it’s then that I call out to some higher power
And then I’ll go back to sleep cause I’ll be home in an hour.

So goodnight (goodnight), yeah goodnight (goodnight)
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home (goodnight)
So goodnight (goodnight), yeah goodnight (goodnight)
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home (goodnight)
So goodnight (goodnight), yeah goodnight (goodnight)
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home (goodnight)
So goodnight (goodnight), yeah goodnight (goodnight)
Goodnight train is gonna carry me home (goodnight)

(fade)
I’m going home (ooooh) tonight...
 

Saturday, July 17, 2004

A Walk in the Woods

This entry is about a month late, but better than never.

On the farm where I live is about seven acres of mostly second growth woods.  A few big old oaks and sycamores stand here and there but mostly the flora is seedling and sapling buckeye and maples, except in the spring.  Possibly because until recently the woods were mostly left to the birds, raccoon and deer there is an amazing variety of wildflowers growing there.  Snowdrops first, then May apple, Dutchmen's Breeches, Violets (both blue and yellow), Indian Slipper are the one's that I recognize.  There are more.  Still this year I got a surprise.

Late June the woods flowers long faded and shade of green upon shade of green made up the view. I walked with my dogs as I do most every day but unlike most days when I follow the path made by the rail bed because that way is easy to walk, I wandered through the woods.

Walking through the woods requires care not to step on fallen sticks or get tangled in vines. When the weather is warm, woods dwelling spiders spin their webs from bush to bush and walking through a web is unpleasant for human and spider both. Usually it is just easier to walk where I usually go, but that day I did not. Because I did not, I encountered a surprise.  A Tiger Lilly. In the middle of a small opening, a blaze of bright orange dancing in the middle of all that green.  Should not have been there, but there it was.  I have no idea how it got there as Tiger Lillys are usually planted on purpose and this one was not. Still, I went off of my usual safe path and was rewarded with an encounter that I was not expecting and beauty where it should not have been.