27 November 2010

home sweet home

We've finally arrived back at home after a couple days' driving from South Carolina.  It was a nice trip and I was dreading coming back to the cold.  Until someone cued the snow right as we entered Franklin County.  I think I'll sit on the couch and watch it come down for a little while...

The view from our living room.

23 November 2010

a prairie girl in the South

Michael, Sully, and I drove down to Myrtle Beach, SC this past Sunday and Monday...

somewhere in North Carolina

Sully mostly stayed in her bed on Michael's lap for the duration of the 15-hour drive.  The drive was pretty uneventful aside from a few stoplights here and there.

My parents and brother moved to Myrtle Beach earlier this year.  And it's warm.  The highs this week should be in the mid-70s.  Some of the leaves are changing color, but I don't think I've seen a bare tree yet.

Their place is right on the Intracoastal Waterway on the 2nd floor of an apartment building.  If we're inside,  we'll see the masts of boats float by every once in a while.

They're about a 5-minute drive away from the ocean.  We went there last night after we arrived, just in time to catch the sunset...

Dogs are allowed to stroll the beaches during the off-season.  My parents' dog Missy mostly walked, sometimes trotted around the beach.  Sully torpedoed up and down the shore, chasing birds.  They both smiled and wagged at everyone who walked by.

All of the beach here is public beach, unlike the beach where I grew up.  If you own a piece of land on the shore in Winnetka you own that portion of the beach as well.  Nice for the homeowners, but I much prefer Myrtle Beach's way of doing it.  There's a public parking lot on every block and you can walk for miles on the soft white sand. 

19 November 2010

Brook's Bend's sheeps

If I go the even-more-country-road-than-usual route to work, I usually see these guys and gals at Brook's Bend Farm in Montague...

I'll eventually get a better non-camera phone photo

The sheep live in a big pasture next to turkeys and chickens, which are often out of their enclosures  crossing the road as I approach in my car. 

Once or twice I've seen one of the owners (they're regulars at the cafe where Michael works) watching over his dogs herding the sheep with a cup of coffee in hand.  I wouldn't mind doing that very thing one day.

Throughout the summer, they set up portable fencing in different portions of the field.  Al and the dogs move the sheep from the barn to those spots each morning.  If they've put them on the road side of the fence I'll stop my car and just watch for a bit.  Especially if it's spring and there are babies running and playing.

As a project for one of his classes, Michael (and me and Sully for a bit) walked around the woods behind this field to see if he could find two adjacent types of forest.  He eventually did and figured out that there had been two different pasture fields, which had been abandoned at different points somewhat recently.  He was clued in by an old stone wall on one side of the property, as well as a couple different old and gnarly pasture trees among the younger trees in the forest.

16 November 2010

rainy fall day at school

During some of my longer breaks at school I walk around campus to sneak a peek at the forest that I'm spending my days next to.  When we first moved to Western Massachusetts, I took a hike here and came across some old logging trails, a wide path that used to be a trolley route, and a rod & gun club buried deep in the woods. 

On the walk that I take now, I come across a grove of white pines situated on top of a hill, opposite the school...

I had never noticed this tamarack/larch before today...

13 November 2010

the view from my swivel chair

I've looked out onto this field for almost four years now.  The first one or two summers I was at the Button Box, a family of rabbits lived in the bushes on the left of the frame.  I would catch sight of the mother rabbit presumably visiting her baby bunnies every once in a while.

I've caught a glimpse of various critters scurrying into the brush - one of them a fox who looked to be in pretty bad shape, and who I had seen earlier in the day running into the woods down the road.

Hot-air balloons float in the sky during leaf-peeping season.

A policeman sometimes uses the "bus-stop" (see it?) on the right as a speed trap.

And, in the foreground is our parking lot with its botched repaving job.  Two young guys filled each crack with something that doesn't blend with the blacktop and that allowed weeds to grow back up through it within a couple weeks.

Around this time of year, when the sun sets at around 4:30, I get to see the trees and fields provide a frame for sunsets...

11 November 2010

birthday astrology

"Technorati, a search engine for blogs, says there are well over 100 million blogs on the Internet, and that figure doesn't include millions of Chinese language blogs.  So self-expression is thriving on a global scale, right?  Not exactly.  Most blogs - the estimate is 94 percent - have not been updated for at least four months.  In accordance with the current astrological indicators I expect you to do something about this problem.  Refresh your blog in the coming week, or consider launching one if you don't have one.  But don't stop there.  Use every other way you can imagine to show the world who you are.  Be articulate and demonstrative and revelatory."  -- Astrology, 11/4/10-11/10/10
This blog starts a couple of days after my 30th birthday, with a little bit of influence from this horoscope (I'm a sucker for astrology) and a little bit of influence from a recent discovery of my husband's.  Namely, that his great-great-great grandfather was William B. Gould I, an escaped slave who served in the US Navy and kept a diary which has been published by William B. Gould IV.

This fact had been lost somewhere along his recent ancestry to be rediscovered by his uncle this past summer.  Reading about Gould's life started me thinking about our future descendants and the importance of giving them a little window into what life is like for us these days.  So, here it begins.  It won't be anywhere near as interesting as the Goulds' life, but here it goes anyway...