Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Kyle May Visit New England

According to the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Tropical Storm "Kyle" may come visit New England this weekend!

In the 3.5 years since we have moved from England to New England, we have not experienced a Tropical Storm.   And, depending on how things develop, literally, we may even be dealing with a HURRICANE!

Sitting tight for now, paying particular attention to news about the weather...

Aside from the damage that "Kyle" may inflict on property, the high winds will unfortunately also take a toll on the fall foliage which is starting to take hold.   With two weeks left to go to the 61st annual Warner Fall Foliage Festival, that would be a shame.

Kyle, our advice is that you head east.   Way, way east!

Monday Sep 22, 2008


I love how the folks at Google play with their logo to accentuate events.   Today, they celebrate Autumn which officially begins at 11:44 Eastern time.

Autumn.   Already?   Seems summer zipped right by.   But then, we worked without taking any vacation time this summer, which means we actually spent most of the summer indoors.

Autumn.   One could see it coming.   Some of the maple trees in town starting changing color as early as the first week of August.   And this past week, we had our first frost.   This past weekend, we did an emergency harvest of the garden, collecting artichokes, string beans, tomatoes, chilis, and hops.   The delicato squash were also collected while the butternuts will stay outside a bit longer with the pumpkins.

Autumn.   One stroke of the horses' coats also provided clues it was coming.   They've been shedding out their summer coats and growing new thicker coats in preparation for the winter.   So much so that we had to clip Jeddien before going to a show two weeks ago.

Autumn.   The best time of year in New England according to many.   Pleasant day temperatures, crisp nights.   No bugs.   Amazing foliage displays, deep blue skies, puffy white clouds.   New England natural beauty at it's most colorful.   So peaceful.   So relaxing.

Autumn.   Nature's way of saying, "Get to work!   Winter is coming!   Lime the pastures.   Get the snowplow repaired.   Fill the barn with hay.   Put up the final winter fences while the ground can still be worked.   Cover the horsetrailer.   Put away the boat.   Cover the delicate perennials.   Put up the outside Christmas lights.   Test the snowthrower.   Put away the lawn furniture.   Stack another cord of firewood.   Position the generator.   BBQ while you still can!"

Autumn.   Sheer beauty and more work around the farm...   :-)

Tuesday Jun 03, 2008

Ugly Horse

We've seen a lot of wildlife since moving to New Hampshire three years ago.   This has included wild turkeys, black bears, porcupines, snakes, woodchucks, foxes, coyotes even!, and of course, a helluva lot of deer.

In our outdoor dressage arena, we have spotted half of these critters wandering through at one time or another.   Thankfully, and maybe obviously, they have not appeared while horse & riders have been practicing their dressage work.   :-)

We have heard about moose in the area.   I spotted one trotting down the middle of the road one night.   A neighbor saw one on his property a month or so ago.   And we saw moose droppings up in the mountains this past winter.   But beyond that, nothing...   And we had zero expectations...

So, imagine Georg's surprise when he looked up from his WFH desk last evening to see....

....a MOOSE wandering across the dressage arena!

Now, granted some of you may living in places where seeing a moose is a daily occurance.   But for us, well, this was just simply a wicked way cool rare experience!

'Wonder what else summer will bring.... !

Tuesday Oct 02, 2007

More Turkeys

Once again, turkeys have been wandering about our farm, foraging.

This time, they ventured over to the outdoor dressage arena!   Not their usual route by any means!

Needless to say, no one was riding in the arena at the time.   Neither horse nor turkey would have been happy to share the space.

With Thanksgiving only weeks away, these lovely native game birds may be safer sticking to the woods, hills, and edges of the fields!   Nonetheless, they are always a treat to see!   :-)

Thursday May 31, 2007

Hello Hurricane Season 2007

June 1st.

The official start to Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Ocean.

My money is on 5 Hurricanes making landfall....   with a sincere hope that none are monsters the likes of which have already made history this decade.

We will be starting off Hurricane Season in New Hampshire with a weekend of warm rain and thunderstorms.

My favourite Hurricane site on the web:,   the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center provided by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association.

Saturday Jan 06, 2007

Tropical New Hampshire

It is Saturday January 6th, 2007.   And 66° Fahrenheit...   outdoors.   If feels like the first week of May instead of the first week of January!

Our horses have full winter coats, brought on the by the "shorter days" of winter.   Overdressed, they are, as winter has failed to arrive full force and stay around for more than a few days at a time.

As of today, we have had less than 2 inches of snow this winter.   By now, we would have expected quite a bit more.

But, they say winter is definitely coming.   Question is, in which month?   :-)

For now, we are bathing in the warm sunlight...   in tropical New Hampshire.   But this is New England, land of "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour".   We could well be under several feet of snow before we know it.   It's just so difficult to imagine right now with this fabulous BBQ weather.

Monday Jan 01, 2007

Icy Start to 2007

Not to be outdone by last night's festivities and fireworks around the globe, Mother Nature has arranged its own show for the first day of 2007.

While the crystalisation of the trees is not nearly as spectacular as it was in the Henniker Ice Storm of 1998 (see photo) it is still quite something!

The temperatures are expected to jump quickly back up to the mid 40's today and this icing will all soon be a memory.

However, before the chilling rain ends, it is obvious we are likely to lose power.   Already, it has faltered a few times.   As the trees bend more and more under the weight of the frozen rain, some will give way...   onto the electrical lines.   Warm winter weather is upon us.

Comically, while the world is iced over, the temptation to hit the road is strong for some.   Mostly men.   Gotta test the truck.   See if 4 Wheel Drive is up to the weather.   See what the conditions are like.   Check out the center of town.   All that.   Me, I'm going to enjoy the limited view from the warmth of the house, snuggle up with a good book, and enjoy the first holiday of 2007.

Hello 2007!

Friday Aug 25, 2006

Poor Little Pluto

A couple years ago, I thought it was pretty exciting to learn there was a new planet discovered at the outer edge of our solar system.   Growing up learning about the 9 planets, I thought it was cool the current and future generation of kids would grow up with more planets to learn about and explore.

But now, according to this article on BBC News, apparently we are now down to 8 planets!

8 "Classical Planets" and 3 "Dwarf Planets".

Poor little Pluto got downgraded yesterday by the International Astronomical Union.   Voted out as a "Classical Planet".   Reclassified as a "Dwarf Planet".   What is that about!?!?

And so, Kiddies, apparently there are now only 8 "Classical Planets" to remember.   Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus (have fun pronouncing this one!), and Neptune.

Pluto fans can purchase bumper stickers in support of Pluto being a planet at Cafe Press for 4 bucks.   You know...   I feel compelled to get one!

Poor little Pluto!

Saturday Jan 21, 2006

New England Spring in January

The Old Farmer's Almanac offers the following prediction for New England's weather this month.

   January 2006

   Avg. Temperature:  12° (8° below avg.)
   Precipitation:      2" (1" below avg.)
   Jan. 1-3:    Mild, rain and snow
   Jan. 4-12:   Mild, rain and snow showers
   Jan. 13-19:  Snow, then sunny; bitter cold
   Jan. 20-24:  Cold, flurries
   Jan. 25-27:  Sunny, bitter cold
   Jan. 28-31:  Snow, then seasonable

Instead, we have been having what can best be described as "Yo Yo Weather" with temperatures jumping and dropping within 24 hours by as much as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Last Saturday, temps peaked in the 50's, we were splashing around in spring runoff, digging little trenches to help the pastures drain, as 6 inches of snow swiftly melted.   The horses enjoyed warm sunshine penetrating their winter coats.   Grass which had been lying quietly under the snow started to stand back up again and dance in the wind.

Sunday, temperatures fell to 4 degrees Fahrenheit.   What is that about?   And when it warmed up to the 20's, more snow fell.

The past few days, we have been back in the 50's.   The horses are outside without rugs again.   Water is draining off the fields.   No doubt it will all freeze over again in a few days time and winter will return with a vengence.

Meanwhile, we're enjoying the fact that this year The Old Farmer's Almanac was a wee bit off in their weather predictions.

Wednesday Dec 28, 2005

Bearly Warm Enough

Late last week, we enjoyed an early "January Thaw".   And, much to our surprise, a black bear in the area decided to come out of hibernation to enjoy the warmer weather!

We did not see the bear ourselves, but heard about it from a friend.   He was driving by when it was crossing the road a couple hundred metres down the road from our house.   This was around lunchtime Friday.

So, the next day, we made it a point to go see the tracks.

The trail was easy to spot, coming out of the woods, crossing an open field, passing through an open gate, crossing the road, and climbing over a stone wall to continue into the woods.   It was the only trail around.

On close inspection, we were surprised to see the trail of footprints left by the bear was heavily populated with fleas.   Was the bear shedding them as he walked?   Or were these snow fleas that migrated to the scent left behind?

We were told the bear was good sized.   Laying my glove down next to the footprint, seeing the length of the claws, it was easy to agree.   Tracking the bear two days after the fact felt "safe", but geez!   I don't think I'd like to come face to face with him in the woods...

Earlier in the week I had walked around our woods to the west, checking out the deer tracks.   The snow was just deep enough to make the walk a tiring one.   One quickly learns to walk in someone else's footprints (when available) to save energy.

It seems deer agree with this.   It was funny to later go back and find that a deer had used my earlier footprints to ease his own walk in the woods...

Winter has only really just started and already it's been an adventure!

Friday Dec 23, 2005

Oh Deer

During the holiday break next week, we plan to spend time playing with our horses, enjoying the winter, and exploring the woods in our area a bit more.

Within yards / metres of one of our barns, there are signs of deer foraging for food.   Their tracks are everywhere as well as impressions in the snow of where they've been lying down to sleep.   And of course, little deer poo piles are sprinkled on the snow.   So, even though we haven't actually seen deer since the summer, we know they are still here.

Winter wonderland, wildlife, and a quiet holiday break at home with our critters.   It'll be a nice way to see out 2005.

Wednesday Oct 12, 2005

Peepers rained out

The fall colours are peaking or about to peak according to The Weather Channel. Northeast US Fall Foliage   But sadly, this past weekend, rain dampened the leaf peeping show.   In fact, we had so much constant rain on Saturday that the local rivers overflowed, and towns such as Keene and Alstead suffered truly heavy damage by flood waters.   It is not often you hear about NH homes getting washed away in floods, but this week, it happened.

Sunday, Georg, friends from work, and I visited the Warner Fall Foliage Festival.   Joe G from the Bangalore office took this photo of the Warner River and one of New Hampshire's famous covered bridges.   We were hoping to park the truck here to walk to town....   Nope.   Not a good idea.

The festival?   It was a kick despite the rain.   Lots of good food, including whole steamed lobsters!, were being cooked up, there were a lot of crafts for sale, our puppy got lots of pats from people, we watched chainsaw and woodchopping competitions, and we listened to a Scottish bagpipe band play!   An odd mix of stuff, but good fun.

So it continues to rain in New England... weather which matches the spirits of the Red Sox fans.... and will until Saturday.   A real shame for those who wanted to see the fall colors...   But Sunday is supposed to be nice.   Hopefully, there will be some good color left to see.

Monday Sep 19, 2005

Fall Foliage

Autumn is just around the corner.

About 3 weeks ago, we noted that one tree on Main Street in our little town was getting a jump on all the others, shifting in color to bright oranges and reds.   In a few more weeks, the whole area will be in full autumn colors, brilliantly painting the landscape for a short time before winter comes.

In New England, many towns celebrate the fall.   Warner, New Hampshire, for example, has celebrated fall with their big Warner Fall Foliage Festival, a festival now in its 58th year!

If you are in New England in October, whether doing business, on holiday, or going about your daily lives, take a few minutes out to enjoy the beauty of New England in the Fall.

Monday Sep 12, 2005

Bald Eagle Sighting

Today, I looked out my window to see a big bird soaring over our New Hampshire farm in the warm breeze.   Unlike anything I'd ever seen before, it had a bright white head and a matching white tail.   The body was dark against the sky.

I watched it circle a few times, just soaring, before it headed towards the valley west of our farm.   That was the last I saw of it.   By the time I got the camera, it was gone.

We have a lot of big birds in this area.   We've heard that there are Turkey Vultures here.   And yesterday, we watched a big Red-tailed Hawk fly around and then later land on something in one of the pastures, stand there for a short time, then take flight again.   But aside from a very impressive looking Pileated Woodpecker which I had the pleasure of seeing last month, I had not yet seen a bird with such strong contrasts in coloring.

The Bald Eagle is recognised world wide as one of the great symbols of America.   Until today, I always thought of it as a bird that only lived in the Rocky Mountains and along the western part of America.   Looking up the Bald Eagle in a National Audubon Society bird book, The Sibley Guide to Birds, my Mom gave us, I now know that the Bald Eagle inhabits nearly all of America.

My first Bald Eagle sighting!   How very cool!

Wednesday Aug 24, 2005

Solar Flares

I remember BITGOD when we used to joke about Solar Flares being one source of possible hardware problems.   But, in reality, this is a possibility... or is it?

Did any of your electronic devices act up this morning?   Did a system crash for no apparent reason?   If so, this news item, about NOAA issuing a "Space Weather Warning" may make for interesting reading.




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