Friday, April 20, 2018

Out and About

Photos by Salt Water New England

















































24 comments:

  1. Muffy , is the Kubota engine left running to maintain hydraulic pressure to the raised front end loader and bucket when it's used as a ladder ? I've never been game to climb up on mine at the property .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a 13 y.o. Kubota, and my husband said no to your question about the bucket. He said it will very slowly start to decline over time, maybe a day, but it will stay up without the engine on.

      Delete
  2. I've always liked ducks. They are the most honest and forthright of birds. They just wander about telling you who they are: duck ... duck ... duck duck duck. Chickens, on the other hand, cluck and cackle and just beg to be eaten.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My new goal is to have some of those black-faced sheep when I retire! These photos, especially those with the boulders, always bring to mind Donald Hall's poem, 'The Black Faced Sheep', a favorite of mine. A few lines:

    Yet none of the others looked like a lump of granite
    that grew hair,
    and none of the others
    carried white fleece as soft as dandelion seed
    around a black face,
    and none of them sang such a flat and sociable song.

    ReplyDelete
  4. just lovely, lovely photos. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Let's hope that the high school kids like those pictured in Madison can start to bring about real change for better gun control and help for those with mental illnesses. No one should be afraid to go or send their child to school or to public gatherings.

    Love those black faced sheep!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are multiple reasons why constitutions are not written, or abrogated, by 16-year-olds.

      Delete
    2. Dave: sigh. So many "kids today" seem maladjusted--do we even teach core subjects like straight-up History and Biology any more? A terrific book just out is titled FACTFULNESS. Written by a revered, visionary physician from the WHO, it shows persuasively in no uncertain terms that the world and humanity are in much, MUCH better shape than most people are -led- to think. Wish they'd use that book in schools!

      In reality one's chances of being shot in school are much, MUCH lower than being struck by lightning or sucked out the window of an airplane for that matter. The 40 million flights that get to their destination, or the millions of children who safely complete every school day, we never notice due to the strange defaults of human nature!

      Meanwhile, who knew "intersectionality" now extends to calling America's farmers "Nazi death camps" because someone cracked a cute poultry joke? Obviously, Foghorn Leghorn today would be BANNED! I certainly hope "adulting" becomes fashionable again, someday . . . meanwhile, you and I will "Eat Mor Chikin!" ;-)

      Delete
    3. A few years ago, I read the area of the human brain responsible for reason is not fully-formed until the early 20s...and so much began to make sense.

      Delete
  6. Inspiring and beautiful--your Out and About photo essays are the best. Thank you Muffy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wasn’t going to write anything until I read, “Chickens … just beg to be eaten.”

    No sentient being begs to be eaten.

    In this series there are many lovely photos. Animals and birds freely move about the environment, people are protesting in the streets, and farmers are working the spring fields. Did you know that many folks were out the last few days protesting the deplorable practices McDonald’s allows chicken “farmers”? They were at a McDonald’s convention this week rightly demanding more humane conditions and practices for all animals, chickens included.

    We kill over 9 billion chickens for food each year and subject another 300 million hens to producing eggs. We also kill over 56 billion “farm” animals each year. Think about it, killing that many beings can’t be done humanely. The conditions within which billions of animals and birds are killed each year are disgusting and thoroughly inhumane.

    We’ve allowed the meat and dairy industries to apply the practices of 1940s Nazi death camps to produce billions of pounds of meat. Sheep, cows, pigs, and chickens aren’t romping around the farm fields. They live their lives 24 hours a day in tightly confined quarters, are separated from offspring, castrated or discarded (chicks) if male, often beaten and abused, depressed, scared, and miserable. I am both ashamed and distraught at the torment we inflict.

    So, please, take a moment and think about this. You may buy meat from a local butcher who raises their animals and that’s good, though very few can do this. I’d encourage you to take another step in the right direction: Try taking a night off from meat. You might be surprised at how easy and delish it can be. It’s also incredibly healthy for you. And, if you need a recipe, just let me know. I’ve got a bunch of good ones.

    Aiken

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said, Aiken. Thanks for speaking up.

      Delete
    2. I'll never forget the story my cousin told me of his elk hunt on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. He was deep in the wilderness with a Native guide and two horses when he spotted a trophy elk. But the kill was not the focus of his narrative, rather it was his guide taking a tiny bone from the elk, burying it in the ground and praying over that bone to ask the Spirit to make another elk.

      It's sad these days to witness our diminishing reverence for custom, civility, even the earth itself. For the Blackfeet, their land, the animals and humans shared an existence for over 10,000 years, and this Blackfoot guide, with a simple gesture, taught my cousin a lesson he never forgot.

      MGC

      Delete
    3. bless you Aiken. you have said it so well. i shouldn't dilute it by adding to it. only to say ... if people were REQUIRED to actually SEE where their food comes from ... their MEAT... and milk... they would be vegan or at the very least vegetarian immediately. yes. they are nothing but animal concentration camps. and we allow them. those with no voice and no choice have to pay with their lives in continued torture. until they're slaughtered. and also even slaughtered inhumanely. inflammatory words? yes. but what does it take to make some changes in this country? this world!
      i have often wondered when the 'name' of animals as "meat" changed?
      pig became ham and pork and bacon and cow became steak and burgers and roast and lamb (little babies) became chops and cutlets and sheep became mutton. does it make it easier to eat the more we remove ourselves from their reality? it's simply so very sad. and ignorant in the extreme. when as a people we KNOW how it is. and yet we do NOTHING about it? once you KNOW you cannot claim you did not know. ok. rant over. sorry Muffy. i only wish your beautiful idyllic pictures of farm animals was the reality not the anomaly.

      Delete
    4. Sigh. It was a joke. About chickens. About the deceitfulness of chickens trying to identify themselves as ducks, and only being able to muster "cluck."

      Delete
    5. Escape from Castle WeinsteinApril 21, 2018 at 7:43 PM

      No sweat, Dave. Every reasonable person knows it was meant in good humor. Somebody has to always be policin' these days.

      Delete
    6. The human gut can not digest cellulose aka "plant cells," full stop. No amount of vegan wishing it were so will grow you a cecum, which is how herbivores digest their plants. Our brains evolved to differentiate us from herbivorous apes during the great Ice Ages, when we were full carnivores as no plant matter to speak of was available, nor could we cook it before we harnessed fire. Sad fact, but Biology just. . . IS. One of those "facts of life" that good parents taught us around the age of 5. If you try to live without the various long-chain fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that are ONLY absorbed efficiently through the medium of animal products, you WILL damage your health.
      Uncomfortable truths are still . . . truths. And it seems fewer than 1% of the US population is willing to persist long in such an arduous, unpleasant, and inconveniently restrictive diet as "veganism." But enjoy your kale! ;-)

      The REALITY of farming is neither the Little Golden Book version nor the horror fiction of "activists" for one VERY simple reason: Unhappy, stressed, or diseased animals are unprofitable at point of sale or must be discarded. Therefore, NO farmer WANTS to abuse, neglect, or cause his livestock to suffer. He wouldn't be in business very long! The profitable producer for obvious reasons does do things differently than the tax write-off "hobby farms" primarily seen on Muffy's blog, but it does not mean the animals are suffering.

      Aiken's well-meaning but depressive-sounding post echoes well-worn agitprop from groups like PETA or Animal Liberation Front. These are not "animal welfare" groups, they are "animal rights" activists whose ultimate mission is to eliminate our CHOICE to consume animal products.

      I would urge concerned carnivores to VISIT the farms their meat and dairy come from, engage with the farmers themselves, ask questions of the ones proudly exhibiting their livestock at country fairs, and learn the REASONS for their husbandry practices. They are seldom what radical activists (who play on the emotions of the compassionate for donations) like to state. Our veterinary and agricultural colleges are engaged with producers to CONSTANTLY raise the bar for best practices that produce healthful, affordable choices for ALL diners to enjoy. NO FARMS=NO FOOD!

      Delete
    7. my goodness. my apologies to Dave here and any who thought my part in the comment was directed at an individual. it was not! and yes. there are many family farms that proudly and humanely raise all kinds of animals. and I hope I was clear in that when I praised Muffy's beautiful photos.
      the torturous ones that I was referring to are the "Factory Farms" for supplying "fast food" to the masses. they are NOT family farms. and yes. they are indeed what they appear to be. the pictures that have come from those farms are not photo shopped. they are from people who work in those farms and had to blow the whistle on them. they're real. and I'm not a member of PETA or any other group. and it's up to you if you want to eat anything. I have no interest in that. what I do have an interest in is the suffering that goes on to provide the Fast Food industry with the cheap hamburgers for a public that cannot live without it. our own state ranchers just lost over 30,000 head of cattle in wild fires. and I'm totally familiar with feed lots and marketing of farm/ranch FOOD. i apologize for apparently getting everybody riled up on what is a touchy subject to some. 'ANONYMOUSE' is a convenient shield is it not? have a great weekend A. Nony Mouse.

      Delete
  8. Note the handsome piliated woodpecker at work. Beautiful bird. As the bird pecks away searching for insects, wood chips fall to the ground and collect at the tree base. These sun-dried chips can be collected. Add them to the briquets in your bar b q. Their smokiness lends a woodsy flavor when grilling steaks and chops, as well
    as vegtables.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish the one in my yard would stop pecking on my house at 6AM...

      Delete
    2. Wish the several on our property would leave the Asian Maple alone!!PA

      Delete
  9. Thank you for all these pictures - I've so enjoyed them. I must say a special thanks for the ones of the black faced sheep and the boulders because they prompted Bitsy to share some lines from a Donald Hall poem that I am not familiar with but when the pictures fade in my memory, that line "...white fleece as soft as dandelion seed..." will remain. Again, thanks and to both of you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love my right to farm community...and I've been here for more than half a century.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I check this site every day, usually at the end of the evening before bed. I especially like the Out And About posts. Wonderful photos that capture daily life and scenes in your particular corner of New England. Back in the 80's and 90's when I traveled around the US for business quite a lot, I was more than a little concerned by the increasing homogenization of America, the loss of local businesses and shops, and their replacement with chain enterprises. True, I no longer had to play restaurant roulette every evening on the road, not knowing if what I was getting would be enjoyable or sometimes even edible, but there was something being lost. Something local. Something American. So I always enjoy your scenes of your little backwater, where America still holds on. These little pockets of localness are scattered all over the country, and are well worth seeking out on the two lane highways and county roads, hours from the nearest airport. Thank you for sharing yours.

    ReplyDelete