Friday, October 22, 2010

Keep to the forest, stay out of the trees

Ryan's working on fencing still, and in this case it involves clearing some trees. I think he's learned a few things from the last time he tried to burn a pile of timber, so this time he hooked up the hose first. And he watched the fires.
Of course, he still had a few going at once. I saw three.
When he came inside later he told me there were seven. 

Ryan also went to visit his grandmother last week (she lives about an hour's drive away), and she gave him her mother-in-law's leftover quilting fabric.
This is Ryan's great grandmother, Hazel's namesake. There's actually an almost-finished quilt here. It's even a pattern I thought about making some day. I think I'm going to finish it. Here's the thing: all of this fabric is amazingly ugly. Deliciously ugly, even. 

As I unpacked it I was talking to my mom and telling her how ugly the fabric was. So she asked me why I want to finish this quilt. I never knew this woman. But she was important enough in my husband's world that I named my daughter after her. And she's the only quilter in either of our families (in the direct lines anyway); I feel a connection to her. So I laid out the quilt to take a look at it. 
Then Ryan, beer in hand after coming in from burning the piles, mentioned that the quilt isn't so bad as a whole. He told me not to focus on the individual, ugly fabrics; focus on the overall picture. I also admit it's already growing on me. Even the individual fabrics don't seem as ugly to me as when I first unpacked them. 

 Someday if I leave a half-finished quilt behind, even an ugly one, I hope my great granddaughter-in-law picks it up and finishes it. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mother Nature is Naked

Warning: this post is likely to be preachy! I'm in that kind of a mood...

Mother Nature is naked. I love the fall, but I do kind of hate this time of year because it's harvest season. I just think that all that dark bare earth seems wrong. Last Wednesday they combined the soybean field across the road, and this is what our living room light looked like that same evening:
All those little black spots are the Asian Ladybeetles. As I think I've mentioned before on this blog, the little bastards were created to control some other soybean pest and now are a pest themselves. Stupid bugs. They've invaded our farm now and nothing eats them. Nothing! I'm sure they taste terrible because they do smell terrible. 

Anyway, our farm is still very green, and it seems like a shame to strip the earth every fall of her protective cover. How much topsoil do we lose this way!? I know, the scientists have calculated it, but it still seems to me like they shouldn't have to get out there with rulers to realize that stripping the earth bare is a bad idea. 

For anyone who is interested, we have had about 2 weeks without any rain, but our yard is still a swamp. It's a new ecosystem! Last week, I actually saw a woodpecker land on the stalk of one of our swamp plants and peck at it for bugs. That's how big the things are! I didn't have my camera anywhere nearby, so I didn't get a picture. You'll just have to trust me on this one...