Monday, February 11, 2008

Gone With the Wind

Whoosh! This was the big story of yesterday.

We drove over toward Catawba in the afternoon to attend a Botetourt Farmers meeting. On the way we saw all the stuff blown around people's yards and pastures. When we were almost to the fork in the road where we'd go to the left and be at the meeting within minutes, two large trees were lying across the roadway.

We turned around and asked to use the phone at a convenience store. I mentioned the trees in the road and one of the men waiting to check out said he had a chain saw in his truck. He'd already cleared the road once and would go and do it again.

Thanks to him, we got to the meeting just a little later than we would have. I guess people who live around that mountain NEED to carry chain saws in their pickups. On the way back later that afternoon, we observed several groups cutting up fallen trees for firewood. There was a house with part of its roof caved in by a fallen tree and a barn which was totally wrecked.

On our road, a huge tree was uprooted and on its side in a pasture. Our small duck house had blown over despite its weight. It was back in position and full of ducks before we finished the night chores. The shop roof is partially blown off.

As I understand it, part of Roanoke was evacuated because of wild fire and other fires spread in the area.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Whistlin' Opera

First thing this morning, we went to the barn and loaded hay and feed to transfer over to the maternity barn. While unloading, we had the radio on. There was a story about the day Pavarotti couldn't make a performance, where he was scheduled to sing "Nessun Dorma" from Turandot. They hadn't played the aria yet, so while walking over to the goose house, I began whistling the melody. On the way back, I could hear my husband whistling it as well. We whistled a duet. As I got back from the geese, the radio was playing the aria. If YOU were listening to NPR while unloading YOUR hay this morning, you heard the program.

I was thinking: "I'll bet not that many farmers whistle arias while working around the barn." But, who knows, there may be more weird farmers than I know of.

It is warm and sunny today and the baby goats are outside jumping, leaping, dancing, and all the other fun stuff they do at this age. I've done a little pruning and garden clean-up, and am out the door as soon as this is written for more of the same.

We weren't the only ones whistling. Birds are out in force, chittering and feeding while they have the chance. Robins have been around for a week or more and I am seeing mating and nesting behavior already.

The geese are in miserable mating mode -- that's MMM -- a sure sign that Spring is near. They are cranky and uncooperative. I've also seen crocus and daffodils starting their upward sprouting. So, now, will I actually get the bushes pruned before Spring comes in full force? Tune in next month and find out.