Animals, Literature, Quote of the Day

“How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

He has many friends, lay men and clerical, Old Foss is the name of his cat; His body is perfectly spherical, He weareth a runcible hat. One of the dearest friends of my childhood, Edward Lear, was born 210 years ago today, on May 12, 1812. Perhaps it’s because of him that I formed the… Continue reading “How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear!”

Animals, Farming, Friendship, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

No Matter What: Contrarian Pets, and the Owner Who Loves Them

As some of you know, I’m currently owned by two dogs: Xena, an elderly Great Pyrenees, and Odo, a puppy of the same breed. My last experience with a puppy was in 1986 (Wulfie, the Old English Sheepdog), and I’d forgotten how exhausting, challenging, charming, and occasionally hilarious, such a thing can be.  In the… Continue reading No Matter What: Contrarian Pets, and the Owner Who Loves Them

Animals, Life

Bears Lives Matter: #IStandWithHankTheTank

“Hank the Tank,” the 500lb black bear and scourge of Tahoe California, has been cleared (through DNA evidence no less) of many of the burglaries he’s been accused of committing over the past several weeks.  It appears that there are at least two more bears who are culpable, and who haven’t yet been named.  (One… Continue reading Bears Lives Matter: #IStandWithHankTheTank

Animals, Farming, Life, Loss, Love, Pets and Livestock, Quote of the Day

Giving My Heart (Just Once More) For a Dog to Tear

Well, OK.  Einstein was wrong.  (I say this because I refuse to believe, just because I indulge this particular sort of repetitive behavior--always believing that, next time, when the end comes I'm going to weather the storm without incident--that I’m insane.  Obtuse, stubborn, and human, perhaps.  But not insane.) Shortly before Christmas, it fell to… Continue reading Giving My Heart (Just Once More) For a Dog to Tear

Animals, Ave Atque Vale, Loss, Love, Pets and Livestock

Ave Atque Vale: The Greatest Pyrenees

He was the biggest--in every sense of the word--dog who's ever owned me.  Big of size, big (well, reasonably big) of brain, big of spirit, but most of all, big of heart. Levi's long, and very good, run came to an end this morning.  He'd been having increasing trouble hauling his 150lb frame to its… Continue reading Ave Atque Vale: The Greatest Pyrenees

Animals, Book Review, Guest Post, Literature

Book Review by Seawriter: Zoology as Seen Through Fable

We read Aesop’s Fables as children or re-read them aloud to our children. Their lessons resonate today. But how accurate are the depictions of the animals in the fables? Can crows add pebbles to a pitcher to raise the water level? Are wolves cruel and rapacious, foxes wily, or donkeys stubborn and stupid? Could a… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: Zoology as Seen Through Fable

Animals, Farming, Pets and Livestock, Quote of the Day, Rural Living

From the Chicken House to the Cathedral

Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral--Frank Lloyd Wright. I do like a man who has his priorities straight. Even if I’m not one of them. Frank Lloyd Wright was, while not exactly a Southwest Pennsylvanian, often claimed as one of ours on account of Fallingwater, a… Continue reading From the Chicken House to the Cathedral

Animals, Ave Atque Vale, Farming, Rural Living

While I Was Sleeping: Death Comes to the Farm

Well, TBPH, I didn’t sleep through it.  I discovered, decades ago, that the reason I don’t get much sleep is not that I can’t get to sleep; it’s that I’m a very light sleeper, and everything wakes me up. So last night, I was unsurprised to be awoken at 2:30AM by a pack of yelping… Continue reading While I Was Sleeping: Death Comes to the Farm

Animals, Life

Halyomorpha Halys

Otherwise known as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. It’s been a fact of life in these United States since September, 1998, when it was "accidentally" introduced--probably from its having stowed away in a shipping container--in Allentown PA.  It’s yet another gift from our Oriental friends, along with poisonous plastic-ingredient dog-food, formaldehyde-infused mattresses (maybe they were… Continue reading Halyomorpha Halys