October 19, 2007

I lost by boots in the mud the other day.

We've had nearly 3 inches of rain over the past week. It started on the 13th, which was also the day we weaned calves. The calves are SO big now that it seems ridiculous they would still be nursing their mamas. Nevertheless, they're still pretty attached and both mom and calf bawled for several days after they were separated - the 'music' of weaning-time. I took a short shakey video and posted it below so you can hear for yourself.


The cows were kept in the corrals near the house until the 15th, when the vet came to 'preg check'. In the meantime...it kept raining, which, in combination with the cows' hoof action in the corrals, produced MUD like we'd never really experienced here before. It was over a foot deep in places!

I went down to the corrals a few days ago, to open and watch gates so that Adam could feed some hay. At one point, I had to use both hands, in addition to the attached leg, to pull my boots back out of the mud after each step. There was no way around it...so I stepped out into the cold mud, pulled my boots out and threw them off to the side, and just went barefoot. It was a little chilly, a little shitty (literally), but mostly just ridiculous.

I just walked down to the - now empty - corrals. The mud isn't quite as deep, but it's still pretty awesomely muddy:

how it's looking around here, lately

October 11, 2007

the Autumn palette ripens

This blog isn't the only place where a month can pass by without my attention. I was printing in my studio today and turned around at one point and noticed my Nikki McClure calendar was turned to August. I hate missing a whole month of calendar art! Alas, I flipped two pages to October and went back to printing.
Had i really not been out there since August?
It's true.

For the first time I actually have a half-way reasonable excuse for not writing here recently: my computer crashed and died. Apparently the little arm that carries the laser that reads the scratches on the discs that make (made) up my harddrive moved just a tiny little bit - less than the width of a hair, just a little tiny jiggle - and it completely destroyed everything. I know that I am technologically dependent, especially now that I live so far away from so many of the people in my life, but the extent to which a tiny little hiccup inside this white plastic box affected my life, my work, even my thought processes, was really incredible. It is 'fixed' now - new harddrive, fresh start, clean slate. Farewell to my messy OLD slate. A lot of ideas and post-it notes went down with the ship, likely never to be seen again.

I lit the gas heaters in the house and my studio yesterday. The days have been the perfect temperature, between 60 and 70 degrees, but the nights have been in the 40s, dipping into the high 30s in the early mornings. It seems like the house is just getting warmed up by the time the sun drops below the trees along the creek to the west of the house each evening. Time to light the stoves.

And time for orange. Gone are the pinks and blues of summer, with green following close behind. Now is the time for the ripening of the orange Autumn palette. I picked the last of my sugar pumpkins this afternoon. They'd been trampled a few times by pesky cows that kept getting into the yard last month and as a result the crop had been thinned out fairly substantially. So we'll only have a dozen pumpkin pies, instead of thirty. I suppose we'll manage. I've also been picking the other winter squash as they ripen and harden off. When the acorn squash are ripe, the bottomside turns orange. The dusk skies, too, are orange. And the clouds near the horizon at sunset. And, of course, the leaves provide flashes of orange, amid the warm spectrum of reds to yellows. Well, and it's football season. Since the Cody Cowboys' colors are orange and black, you know it's a game day when you see a rather ridiculous number of folks sporting orange turtlenecks, scarves, socks, jackets. Three of the baby kittens are Max-colored (yellow?), two are calico, and one...is bright orange. My nasturtiums finally decided to blossom, adding a few flowers to my orange parade. It even smells orange here now.

It is a delicious time. Cozy and even a bit decadent. An "eating pie in front of the fire sitting on pillows with a cat in your lap" kind of feeling. Not that I have a fire or a cat that I let come inside, but that's the gist of the feeling right now. The fall into Winter. It does feel a bit like a fall - a letting go. Letting go of fresh tomatoes, open windows, the color green, bare feet. See you again next year, toes.