Rain on the Farm

Carriage Hill-2015--1355

Friday afternoon, I spent some time relaxing at the farm. Carriage Hill is serene and tranquil on most days. A place to wander, explore, and visit with friends. One of the rare exceptions to the quiet on the farm is when the summer thunderstorms roll through, throwing lightning in all directions and booming in loud echoes.

Not long after arriving, I wandered down to check on the horses. That’s when drops began to fall and within moments, the sky opened up and the deluge began in earnest.

Carriage Hill-2015--1359

Soon, the rain was everywhere. Drops bounced off the fences and dripped from the roof lines. The water collected in pools and ran in rivulets through the barnyard.

Carriage Hill-2015--1379

Carriage Hill-2015--1364

Unfortunately for the horses, they were stuck in the downpour. There is an overhang on the back side of the barn and though they found some protection, their rear ends were soaked. Poor Jimmy and Charley had to endure the full force of the storm. because there was no room for them.

Carriage Hill-2015--1375

Thirty minutes passed before the thunder storm moved on and left the farm transformed by the wetness. I like the residue of the storm…wonderful light and dark wet wood and brick.

Carriage Hill-2015--1393

Carriage Hill-2015--1407

And while it’s nice to see the drops on the flowers, the sheep probably don’t appreciate being soaked with heavy wet wool.

Carriage Hill-2015--1411

Carriage Hill-2015--1408

Carriage Hill-2015--1398

That was the excitement on my Friday afternoon. How did I fare? Not badly at all. I found the shelter of the well’s pump shed and rode out the rain.

Have a great week, folks.

Reading in Dialect

Carriage Hill-2015--03375

On a recent visit to the farm, Debbie read from a 19th century cook book that was written in dialect. The lush phonetic vocabulary reminded me of the short stories I’ve read from Paul Laurence Dunbar, who wrote in dialect as well. He was a fantastic and well known poet and in his short life time, he gained quite a bit of fame. Unfortunately, he died young. Being a Dayton native and good friend to the Wright brothers, he is one of Dayton’s celebrated sons.

As for the cook book reading, the wonderful descriptions of the contents and the cooking process were delightful to hear in Debbie’s southern accent. When was the last time that you listened to someone else reading aloud? Do you read aloud? I read in silence, and perhaps I am missing out on part of the experience.

Empty House

Remember my buddy Jim? Last weekend, the two of us went to the Celtic festival in Dayton and watched some bands and strolled around looking at everything for sale in the booths. On the main stage was a fantastic band named Gaelic Storm. They had thousands of fans watching them. The fans knew all of the songs and sang along with the band. They were packed in like sardines, and acted like they were not in sweltering heat. Everyone was having a great time.

After that experience, we walked to one of the small stages and came across this unknown band. To my ears, they sounded just as good and they were just as professional. The big difference? They didn’t have a soul watching them perform. The big headline act had sucked up everyone into one massive seething ball of sweaty madness.

I kind of felt sorry for these guys. They even introduced the members of the band to an empty house. If the organizers of the festival know that Gaelic Storm always sucks up everyone around, why book bands on two other stages at the same time?

He Looked Hungry, So I Fed Him.

Stencil of a cat on a brick wall.

We’ve all been struggling with the loss of Jodi’s mom back in January. So, it was nice to have a happy memory of her pop into my mind last night. Roberta had a way of collecting cats. I would come home to find a new cat, that I didn’t recognize, sitting in my kitchen after I came home from work. I would ask her why there was a strange cat in our house and she would look at me with all seriousness and state “He looked hungry, so I let him in and fed him”. Soon enough, the cat had a name and was added to our permanent collection of cats. We only wanted one cat, and Jodi got me Sabi for Christmas one year. Now our collection of cats includes; Sabi, Betty, Jacky, Cooper, Oona, Elle Belle, and Riley. So, what does all of this have to do with my memory?

Last night, Jim (You must remember my friend Jim, we shoot together all of the time.) and I went to the Celtic Festival in Dayton. Along the way, we decided to stop at a Dayton favorite, Thai 9 for dinner. Jim went in to get a table and I parked the car…three blocks away. On the walk back to the restaurant, I spied this stenciled cat on the side of a building. I instantly thought…”he looks hungry…” and started to laugh. Roberta may not be with us in many ways, but in so many ways, she still is.

Have a great day folks.

Huffman Prairie

Huffman Prairie

In 1903, the Wright brothers successfully flew for a handful of seconds at Kitty Hawk. The next year, the brothers started experimenting and flying at Huffman Prairie, northeast of Dayton, OH in an effort to learn how to control their airplane and improve its design so that it would become a practical machine. Later, the prairie became the first permanent flying school, where the brothers charged $750 per student to teach them how to fly.

Even today, the prairie is impressive, though it no longer contains the cows that the wrights had to dodge.

Jim and Charlie and Charlie and Jimmy

 

Yesterday, Jim and Charlie hitched up Charlie and Jimmy to plant corn using the old 1930s era IH seeder. Farm tractors did not become common until after the Second World War and this would have been a common sight until the late 1940s. Trivia behind us, yesterday was a perfect day to be outside in the sunshine. The sky was full of big puffy clouds and there was a cool breeze. And of course, with Charlie around (the man, not the horse), there were plenty of jokes to keep us entertained.

 

 

The Charlies and Jims were planting butcher blood corn. I included a picture of the seed so that you can see how beautiful it is.

 

 

Every so often, Charlie and Noland would check the seed to ensure the old machine was working as it should. Old machines need constant watching and adjustment.

 

 

 

I know that you are wondering about the horses’ names. Legend has it (we only have the word of Jim and Charlie), they were visiting an Amish farmer while looking for a new pair of draft horses. When the farmer mentioned the horses were named Charlie and Jimmy, they bought them on the spot. I think it is just as likely that the two jokesters named the horses on the way home. You never know with those two.

Have a great day.