North Face Farm ~ Dunstable, MA

My friend Maria keeps sheep and working border collies, and I spent a fabulous day with her last weekend. I learned lots.

For instance: Llamas guard sheep from predators and take their job quite seriously.

This is Rambo with one of his appreciative sheep. Image

Lambs sure are cute. (OK, I already knew that one.)


But I never realized how pretty their mamas are. Image


Border collies enjoy their work, and take it seriously. This is Cooper. cooper2 cooperintent

Levi waits and watches. Levi Sheep really enjoy their food – and the people that carry it for them. (Rambo spotted me with the camera and dared me to come closer. I declined. )Maria bringing hay to the sheep Watching Maria work with her canine partners was a real treat. If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch dogs doing the work they were born to do, you are missing out. I loved taking their photos, and will be posting more soon.

For more information about Maria, her dogs, and her livestock, please visit the North Face Farm website. 


hello spring

I’ve been waiting. And waiting.

Suddenly it’s here.

Friday night I heard peepers, which always makes me do a happy dance.

The cardinals and robins have been singing mightily at dawn. I prefer them to my alarm clock.

Best of all, there are spring flowers and hints of green everywhere.

All of a sudden.

And I’m glad.




It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke 


“In 1593, botanist Carolus Clusius brought tulips from Constantinople to the University of Leiden in Holland, planting the bulbs in a small garden for purposes of medicinal research. He was a right stingy gardener and refused to give or sell any to the locals. Some of his neighbors, looking to make a buck (or florin, or guilder, or whatever) on the exotic new flower from Turkey and disappointed with Clusius’s lack of capitalistic fervor, broke into his garden, stole some bulbs, and started the Dutch tulip trade.


Soon enough, a few of the more well-to-do Dutch had tulip bulbs in their gardens with which to impress the ladies. Fads being what they are, the wealthy in Holland subsequently developed a rather inexplicable taste for them and for the next seventy years or so, tulips increased dramatically in popularity and price.


As Charles MacKay notes in his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (written in 1841), “Many persons grow insensibly attached to that which gives them a great deal of trouble… upon the same principle we must account for the unmerited economia lavished upon these fragile blossoms.” Before long, the normally judicious Dutch found themselves going into hock to populate their boudoirs and studies with little clumps of vegetable matter (the bulbs were quickly regarded as being far too valuable to actually plant). Vast amounts of property changed hands to procure tulip bulbs to display in one’s home, much to the befuddlement of outsiders. A speculative bubble ensued, and tulip bulbs, while fairly ordinary in the eyes of flower mongers today, were wildly overvalued.


Indeed, MacKay tells us, ‘ One would suppose that there must have been some great virtue in this flower to have made it so valuable in the eyes of so prudent a people as the Dutch; but it has neither the beauty nor the perfume of the rose….'”

~ from  History House: Tulipomania


I was spring cleaning and came across a macro lens that was loaned to me. I didn’t know how to use my camera at the time, so it’s been sitting in my closet.

I had fun trying it out today – using tulips that I paid $3.99 for.


longing for green…

I miss green.

I miss the sound of green leaves chattering in a warm breeze, and green dappled light.

 Perhaps next week will feel more like spring.

barn with birds

Willsboro, NY

messy back yard

Salem, MA

Gone were but the Winter,
Come were but the Spring,
I would go to a covert
Where the birds sing.

Where in the whitethom
Singeth a thrush,
And a robin sings
In the holly-bush.

Full of fresh scents
Are the budding boughs
Arching high over
A cool green house:

Full of sweet scents,
And whispering air
Which sayeth softly:
“We spread no snare;

“Here dwell in safety,
Here dwell alone,
With a clear stream
And a mossy stone.

“Here the sun shineth
Most shadily;
Here is heard an echo
Of the far sea,
Though far off it be.


~Spring Quiet

By Christina Rossetti