She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Bright stars blaze down
Upon freshly fallen snow
Pleiades, The Bull, Orion
Gazing at my little farm
As they wheel and turn above.
Fashionably late, the Moon struggles
As she climbs the back side of the hill
A hot fire, a hearth fire
Fills the room with an infrared glow
Outside the world slows with frozen cold
Testing the patience of the ever watchful stars; so bright
Though they say not a word
They wink and nod knowingly.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

He was wild He was free

I only saw him four or five times
But he was a regular visitor to the farm; off and on
Even before I moved here full time just over two years ago
Black Bear here in New York can cover extremely large territories
Two hundred square miles, or more
So it was not uncommon for him to disappear for months at a time
Then he would be back, for a week or two
Passing through
I would see signs and know he was around
Sometimes hearing him in the night, or early morning hours
We came face to face once or twice, right here at my back door
I never felt threatened by him, timid as he was
Recently however he has been more bold
Encroachment on his habitat most likely the cause
He trashed my bird feeders repeatedly
More than once he ran off with fifty pound bags of sunflower seeds
Some of my neighbors reported similar encounters
But I didn't mind
I recovered the stolen booty more often than not
And I learned to track him quite well
It was annoying and cost me a few dollars
But I didn't mind
I offered him sanctuary
Now I learn that he has been killed
First day of the hunting season, the Sunday before Thanksgiving
I don't know who shot him, I didn't ask
He weighed in at 480 lbs and showed the markings on his chest that I knew quite well
I will miss his troublesome trespass, his noisy blundering in the brush
The world seems emptier without him somehow
Smaller, less interesting, less wild
I liked just knowing that he was out there
Out there on his own, making his way
I never knew, will now never know his name
Friends have suggested names for him
But the notion seemed silly, ridiculous even
I'm sure he had a name
Kept secret from those who don't speak to the wind and sky
Or understand the language of the rain
But I'm sure he would have shared it with me 
 In time

Monday, December 09, 2013

B-95 - The toughest four ounces of life you will ever encounter.

They call him Moonbird.

A shorebird known as a Rufus Red Knot, he was born far to the North in the Canadian Tundra above the Arctic Circle.
Far to the South in 1995 he was among a flock of Red Knots captured, banded and released by an Argentinean biologist working in Tierra del Fuego. His tag number, B-95
Since that time the Rufus Red Knot population has fallen by as much as 80%
Yes eighty percent.
The number is typical for many long distance migrating birds.
This is mostly due to our overwhelming need to develop every inch of natural space available and to build a WalMart within walking distance of every home in America.

In spite of the odds and the hardships, this one bird is still being spotted today, over eighteen years later. (The average Red Knot lifespan is 4-5 years)
Extraordinarily, this means that this little 4-ounce shorebird has flown over 320,000 miles in his lifetime.
A distance equal to a flight to the Moon and halfway back, thus earning him the name Moonbird.
One leg of his annual flight is FIVE Thousand Miles.