Fabulous Hummers

Walking the dog early one morning this week, enjoying the pre-dawn New Hampshire mist, a little visitor swooped down, with a flash of color out of the morning sky. A beautiful Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovered inches from my face, inspecting me bill-to-nose. The humming of his nearly invisible wings was mesmerizing. I fought the urge to reach out, offering him a mid-air perch, a strange sounding proposition to most people. Then again, they haven’t been where I’ve been, or seen what I’ve seen. After spending nearly six years in Utah, my desire for a connection with the miraculous little creature seemed quite natural, something I’d come to expect. Diane Fossey had her gorillas in the Rwanda mist. I had my no-less humble hummers in the Rocky Mountain highs of Utah.

Dan & Ray

Hey, Grandpa! Daniel made a friend during a visit to Mt. Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Maine. We had just completed a tour of their research tanks, when I decided to take a photo of Daniel. The second I said, “Smile!”, to Daniel, “Ray” gave me a big old grin, too. For the next 20-minutes, “Ray” swam around the perimeter of his tank following Daniel. The researchers speculated that Daniel’s bright red cap was attracting “Ray”. We experimented, removing the cap, but it didn’t deter “Ray” from continuing to follow Daniel. It was difficult to leave the little guy behind. I mean “Ray”. Of course, we took Daniel home although he was convinced “Ray” would be lonely without him.

Strange Winter, Stranger Spring

What a strange Winter we have had, and now, an even stranger Spring. Our Christmas weather was more suitable for Easter, while Easter weather would have made a fine Christmas.

Wood frogs and spring peppers that were in full regale a year ago March, are only now making themselves heard in mid-April.

In mid-January, the kids were playing outside without jackets, while this month’s 20-degree temperatures demanded they bundle up against sleet and snow.

Angel Watching

No, no deep spiritual expository piece about Angels as ministering spirits (Heb 1:14).

It’s early – 5:30am or so, dark and cold. I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee (yet another wonderful Trader Joe’s item) which is mostly milk – the raw, real, unadultered, living food the good Lord intended it to be not requiring the so-called “wisdom” or meddling of man….

Okay, I’m procrastinating. It’s easier to distract myself with tangents and rants than focus on what I don’t want to focus on. I’ve spent the better part of the night watching over Angel, our Abyssinian Guinea Pig. Guinea Pigs, also called Cavies, are classified as “exotic” pets. They require an Exotic Vet. Even when one of those is located, chances are slim to none that there will be answers as to the Problem or Prognosis. So, I wait….and I listen….

Be As Little Children

Job 7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being”.

Angel, our 5-year-old Abyssinian guinea pig died in our arms Friday morning, the 7th pet to die in as many years. Experience does not make it easier. The vet suggested if she made it through the night, her chances for survival would increase. There was a caveat: Guinea pigs, like sheep, have a natural ability to simply “shut down” at the slightest hint of illness. In the wild, this would no doubt be merciful, as a sick or injured animal would be easy prey and “shutting down” would spare them a painful death. In a domestic situation, this message meant, “don’t get your hopes up too high”.

Fall Checklist

Try as I might, by late August, I feel myself slipping into checking off the “Signs Fall Is Around The Corner” list in my head…

Wooly caterpillars….check…if there’s anything to the theory that the wider the area between their stripes predicts a harsh winter, we’re in for a doozy…

Brave New Nano World

This year’s FLL, First Lego League, research project is nanotechnology. To be honest, I wasn’t interested in nanotechnology until I HAD to be. Preparing a 10-year-old for robotics competition, with this type of research theme, causes the ParentAsTeacher genes to kick into high-gear.


(To see an amazing rainbow, click “Read more…..”)

Summer Bounty

I’d like to claim the amazing bounty of food we’ve been enjoying from this summer’s growing season has come from the labor of my own hands. The only thing our 3-acres produces in abundance is a steady supply of weeds, frogs, mosquitoes and wood chucks. After several years of trying raised-bed gardening and container gardening, I waved the white flag at the elements against me, joining a CSA (consumer supported agriculture) which has 80 other members.

Fisher Cats

My calm Sunday afternoon, where I was finally getting a break away from the seemingly constant demands of the children was interrupted by my daughter’s tearfully bursting into the computer room, pleading for me to “come outside because Daddy caught a wild animal and he’s really badly hurt!”.