Too Pretty to Write...

I've been sadly slack on content the last few days, but well, it is spring and I'm busy. And tired at the end of the day. And Stoneleigh of The Automatic Earth was visiting. And well...hey, it is 66 degrees, sunny and beautiful. I'm in the middle of a piece answering a reader's question about why even economists should be concerned about peak energy but it lost to the sunshine. The problem is that the computer is in the house, and I don't go there this time of year if I can avoid it ;-).

On the other hand, what I do have, for the first time in a long while, is a working (until one of the children borrows and drops it) digital camera. So I thought I'd fake it with some pictures from a week or two ago at our place and hope you forgive me based on sheer cuteness. The pix, btw, were all taken by the children.

Signs of spring:

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Seedlings getting ready for transplant:

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Blackberry the rooster and two happy kids:

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Mac the Marshmallow, doing his thing (this photo doesn't give you a sense of the true hugeness of him!)

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Apricot trees in bloom (as far as I know the only apricots successfully grown in my region and at my elevation):

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Eli helps drain and clean the rainbarrels (yeah, I know it is sideways, I can't figure out how to re-orient it):

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Mistress Quickly smiles for the camera:

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Say goodbye, bunny!:

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More like this

OMG! Stoneleigh was at your place? Wow! My two favorite reads on all the blog (just waiting now for your book, Stonleigh, to add "and in my library" to that statement) in one place. Must go now and imagine all the witty and deep, wise and (perhaps) depressing conversations that must have taken place.

By Julie Mason (not verified) on 20 Apr 2010 #permalink

Wow, I always had the impression that Roosters were essentially the devil incarnate and to be avoided.

Had I tried that with any of the various incarnations of my Uncle's Rooster (there must have been more than one, but they were all evil little buggers, well that or we were 'orrible little kids, which may be more likely) I'd be missing half my face.

"(yeah, I know it is sideways, I can't figure out how to re-orient it)"

Download XnView for free and install. It's an outstanding piece of photo management software. Handles all that resizing, renaming, rotating, cropping, color-correction, sharpening and such. It's part of our standard build in the college and it does a great job.

Well, Blackberry is a particularly cuddly and friendly rooster, but we have a firm "mean roosters get eaten" policy here, and while I wouldn't think chickens were smart enough to get the message it seems to be working.

Isaiah (holding Blackberry) also has a real gift with animals - he can catch and hold any animal on this farm, even ones that are having nothing to do with the rest of us.


Smiling happy doggies! Squee! Just one more month, and you'll be able to construct an entire new dog out of all the fur that comes off. And Blackberry is one handsome SLW!

Too much to do this time of year. New thing I learned about dogs: Even seemingly-slow giant breeds enjoy snapping flying insects out of the air and eating them. Including bees, which are apparently very tasty. Took the pups out to the orchard to train a little, and heard this odd lip-smacking sound from where the Newfie was sitting. There she was, bees, skeeters & gnats all attacking her snout, and she was just licking them out of the air and chewing them to death. Just thought I'd mention it, I know you said something previously about beekeeping.

What kind of apricot is that?

There is a thing I use called "wireless" which is pricier than regular online connections, to a degree (not so much more $$ in the big city) but pays for itself in eliminating my "can't work at home because it's too nice out" syndrome. If you can get a wired connection into your house you can write off the business use of the wireless part.

Also, there are these things called "really long cables to the porch". I used to hate those, until I went wireless. One of the cats is fond of how those cables taste...

By Sophia Katt (not verified) on 20 Apr 2010 #permalink

I also agree that it is very cool that you had Stoneleigh at your place. The two of you have helped us adapt our way of life, manage our money, and somehow accept financial meltdown/peak oil/climate change and still (mostly) smile and feel as ready as possible when we think about the future. Thanks very much to you both.

Hey - your apricots bloom at the same time as in our community. Wonderful pics by your obviously talented kids :) Your transplants look great, healthy.

@ Sarah: Why, "Alpine Apricots", obviously. ;)

Your Mac looks so much like my Mac! I love the Pyrs, they are so ... big and goofy and loveable. And, they are enough to make even a wolf think twice: we watched a wolf pace our fenceline one night, thinking about those yummy sheep ... and the big Pyr and the Maremma/Akbash stood their ground until the wolf decided to go somewhere else. Most impressive.…

(Just in case you need more puppy cuteness.)

Applejack, that's adorable - awww! The apricots are Moonglows - you can see they are planted right next to the house, and the area is sheltered by the addition, so I think it is probably zone 6+ish, although with elevation, we're 4.

George, thanks for the suggestion - I'll definitely look into it.

We have wireless, but it only works in certain places on the property, and well, if I'm outside, I don't want to be typing ;-).


ooo -liar, liar, pants on fire! You CLAIM to have a messy household- but the pic of your totally organized, weed-free garden starts belies that, out the wazoo!

Neat, organized, and on time! :-P

Delighted that Stoneleigh made it to your place. I'd HAVE to believe the outcome will be a new book- authored by the two of you. Did that subject come up?


Does the pooch drool? I want a Newfoundland but couldn't tolerate the drool on the ceiling. Now I'm craving a Bernese Mountain Dog. So cool about your visitor. Dmitry Orlov is coming here in early summer and I just can't wait. I'm still hoping for a northeast conference as I no longer fly and won't drive far for anything short of new grandchild or hearing you speak.

I will tell you my secret, Greenpa - this is how I keep the visual evidence of a weed free garden...

I delete the pictures with the weeds in them!


I delete the pictures with the weeds in them!

Really close cropping helps too - you'd never guess there's a triffid just out of shot.

Kathy: They drool, but not nearly as badly as a Newf. My Pyr has a fondness for slurping messily out of his water dish, then marching directly to the nearest human and wiping his muzzle on your pants. But it's not like you'll be cleaning gobbets of slime off the wall or anything--in that respect they are really no worse than the average GSD.

Downside of Berners is, they die quick. We're talking 5-7 year lifespan. They tend to get cancer and die expensively, too. Newfs last 8-12, Pyrs 12-15.

New to your blog. Enjoying it too. Thanks for meaningful writing. I have a question about your apricot. What elevation are you at? We have a 4y.o tree that has yet to produce. Anyway...we thought our altitude might be too high. Have a great day!