Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘West Virginia’ Category

The Land of Snow

249

261

265

267

269

270.JPG

Read Full Post »

075

Gray squirrel track:

076

078

080

083

081

086

Rabbit tracks:

088

087

Turkey tracks:

092.JPG

096.JPG

Winter sunset:

097

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

This is me on Ginger Ale with Bull the farm collie in the background:

me on ginger and bull

The photo was taken in my grandparents’ backyard.

 

Read Full Post »

A dusting

We got a little dusting of snow, and it’s likely the only snow we’re going be getting for a while. (Last year, we were about to plunge into polar conditions).

 

007

Read Full Post »

The last flame of autumn:

010

013

017

023

018

022

024

028

(I don’t know why he went into eclipse! He’s too young!)

031

Bobcat track. You’ve already seen the bobcat, though:

035

036

Quaking aspens against a blue sky:

037

038

040

044

046

048

064

067

071

Wild turkeys trying to hide:

079

123

128

132

136

142

145

Read Full Post »

Frosty morning

There was a hard frost last night.

011

019

020

031

026

036

038

041

042

Read Full Post »

El otoño

The leaves started to change en masse last weekend. I forgot to upload the photos from the camera, but I remembered to do it today. Enjoy.

077

080

082

088

089

091

Read Full Post »

Round bales

The hay has now been baled up into round bales.

071

073

075

078

079

080

082

086

088

090

091

092

Read Full Post »

Felled hay

065

067

071

078

The guys who cut the hay always come this field a little late. As per tradition, the first cuttings start on Memorial Day weekend, provided it’s not too wet.

And the hay-cutters start with the hayfields along the river bottoms first, and when those are cut, attention turns to the old ridge and hill pastures.

By July, the grass has had time to grow tall. The timothy and orchard grass have gone to seed, and large swathes of the pasture are as golden as the Serengeti. When I was a child I imagined that lions stalked the tall grass in summer and that zebras and wildebeest would soon good roaring by on their migration.

But when the hay-cutters come, the grass is felled. Their mowing machines gut the grass at the base, so the long stalks fall neatly in rows to cure in the parching July sun.

Baling will come soon and then someone will drive a pickup around the field, while high school-age boys run out and fetch the the various bales.

It will be a lot of work in the hot sun.  Lots of sweat will be poured.

It is work in the heat to capture the product of photosynthesis in high summer. It is captured to feed the hoofed stock that will find itself utterly dependent upon the product of man to survive the austere months of winter.

But giving those animals sustenance during the winter means causing a disaster for just about everything else that dwells within the summer grass. The machine killed lots of things today. Little cottontails were chopped to bits. Insects were torn asunder.  Any box turtles that had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time were sliced up. Their hard shells wouldn’t be any defense against the sharp blades.

For the scavengers, this will be a repast of epic proportions. Over the next few nights, the foxes, the raccoons, coyotes, and opossums will be sifting through the felled stalks of grass. During the day, the turkey vultures will hold court over scene of death and destruction, but the ravens and crows will get their digs in, too.

On the opposite side of the hayfield, I saw a raven pecking away at some morsel of something, and with camera in hand, I tried to get a drop on it.  It saw me took to the sky, sailing into the woodland where its confederates greeted it with guttural croaks. They were about to have a raven party, and I just happened to spoil it for them.

When the hay is felled, it is obvious that high summer’s days are winnowing away. We’ll slowly sink into the Dog Days, then the balmy sweetness of September, the fiery orange and crimson of October, the bleakness of November, and short days and long nights of snow and cold.

The edict of summer is to be fruitful and multiply.

It soon will be gone.

In the temperate zone, it’s all ephemeral. As soon as the snow falls, it has melted away into mud. As soon as the grass grows tall in the fields, it is cut down for hay.

It all just courses away.

Read Full Post »

Sandstone boulder

197

In the Allegheny Plateau, sandstone boulders are pretty common. The stone itself is pretty old (Upper Carboniferous), but it wasn’t so long ago that cattle and sheep grazed around these rocks.

They are now are just rocks among the trees.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: