Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Song of a Mother Robin Whose Nest Was Emptied Too Soon

I lost my children today. Two were on the ground right under our nest. One already dead...he was the only son we had this year. They are not as hardy as the egg-layer children, I believe. The other babe, an egg-layer,  was found by the child of the twoleggedcreaturesthatdonotfly who live in the big nest beside our tree. It is a nice tree. Green all year long and dense with foliage. The cats across the street do not even know we are here. 

There was a thunderous storm the night before. One with rain and powerful winds. The children were plucked from the nest, and there was nothing I could do. They were not ready to leave this nest. Their bodies were still naked and bare. Only a few wing feathers had emerged, and their tails were but a whisper of the beauty that was to come.

They had been hungry that evening, but I stayed close because of the impending storm. No opportunity to dig for food when the weather was coming up dangerous. I regret not feeding them so they could die with full tummies. Instead, they died wet and cold, scared and... hungry.

This child of the twolegswhodonotfly picked up my babe and caressed her gently in her wings. I think she is an egglayer child, tho I have never seen any of their eggs, only their children who play outdoors. She carried my little one to the twolegswhocannotfly who lives in the big nest nearby. 

This cannotfly is my friend. She digs worms for me and tosses them toward me when she is out of her nest. She grows berries for me (editor note: I had no idea they thought I was growing berries for them!), and leaves out basins of water for me. She has even raised some of our children. She greets me whenever she sees me with the same song. It sounds a little like "Hello Robin," but I do not know what that means. I believe that she thinks my name is Robin, tho my name is Wormeaterwithredbreast. These cannotflys do not know very much, but this one seems very happy. And she is out of her nest much of the time, digging worms for me or pouring water on the berry plants. She sings, too. I like to hear cannotflys sing.

I do not know her name, but I call her Planter.

Planter told this young egglayer cannotfly how to care for my babe. She took her a box and some food and something to give her water. Water is important for babies. She told her to keep her warm and safe from the cats.

I do not know if this babe will live. But if she dies, she will not be cold and hungry and wet...and alone. I am thankful for that.

And it is Summer, still. The suntime is longer than the moontime.  There will be time while it is still warm for another nest of eggs and another clutch to rear. I shall pray, as always, that I can raise these next babes to fly and eat and go their way to dig worms for themselves. This is what I can hope for. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Aint Annie's Leashes

My father grew up in the Great Depression. When his friends' boots wore out, he would take the still-good leather tops, cut the leather round and round in a continuous piece of lace, then plait a 4-plait braid and make reins and harnesses for his horses. Several years ago, he taught me this craft, and I took it way further! My braiding is lots prettier than Pop's, and I added beads and wove the handles neatly back into themselves. MY source of leather came from purses I'd found at garage sales, upholstery samples, and, of course boot tops and even a leather coat or two. Later on, I bid on some kangaroo lace on ebay, and began plaiting show leads, gathering up even more pretty beads and embellishments.

Cowhide leads are $20,  usually 3-4 feet in length.

Kangaroo leads (see pictures below) are $1an inch, minimum 36 inches---making a 3 ft lead $36.
4 ft, $48, and so forth.
I'll pay the shipping.

You can order one of these by placing your info in the comments section, or, if you have my email address, then send me a message there.  These pictures can also be viewed on my
Facebook account. "Toni Jasper Bailey"


 The bead clusters begin about 10 inches up from the snap.

Here's a closeup of the beads.

And the beads, again.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More from Camp

I'm HOME...The Best Place to Be on this Planet.  However, there are Still a few more stories to tell about Camp, so I will resume where we left off....

.Let's see....I *think* it must be Tuesday.  Yeh, Tuesday at Camp. A nice day because it's not the First day, nor even getting towards the Last....

Tuesday....Vendor Day after Lunch....Leashmaking Day....Private-Lesson-with-BevBlanchard-Day....Add the other 50+ activities to do....then...Choose...

The only "easy" decision to make at Camp is IF I want bacon for breakfast.....

First task of the day is to go down to the dining hall ("en pajamas") with the thermos, fill it with coffee, fill my pockets with creamer and bacon, then return to the dorm to drink a cup with Brenda. Seems like, with all the various activities, this is the only "moment" that my roomie and I can grab together before dark (She attended Puppy Kindergarten, Show Handling, AND got THREE massages, amongst other activities...).

This is also a Time for me and Baden, our teenage Collie....We've had BayBay for 12 years now, and we think he was perhaps a year old when we got him....At any rate, I'm not "making" him any older than this!  The years have passed too quickly as it is.....Baden and I take this early morning walk thru the woods for his "morning constitution" and for an opportunity to breathe in the Vermont Air and connect ourselves to the Beauty.  It's just us.  No other dogs or people.....We don't even know where I begin and Baden starts....Just us.....

So, on Tuesday morning, I thought, "I'll just give him the leash, see where he leads us...."  And this 13-year-old, Sable and Snow Collie, trotted down the hill, with a purpose in mind. Trotted, I tell you. TROTTED.  Didn't run, but certainly did not Walk, either. I had to carry on Fast in order to keep up.  He stopped to raise his leg, then kept heading down the hill, past the dining hall, past the Camp Store, then hung a hard left, continuing Sheep Pen......Yep....The animals were all sequestered elsewhere for the night, but...uh....THIS is the Place to Be when one is a Herding Breed, after all.  He circled the stock trailer, smelled the air around it, looked questioningly at me....

"Okay, Bubby," I promised him.  "We'll come back later and sign up for you to run the 'goats' around today."
(Baden's first herding experience many years ago was to herd my friend's Boer goats.....we've used the term "git th' goats" all his life.  Makes his ears perk up when you say the word...). Everyone gets to herd today, if they so desire....Even little Chihuahua Leroy tried his hand at it.....

I went inside the dining hall, found the shepherds, Roy and Debbie, and told them about my Old Friend wanting to herd, and they smiled and said, "sure, come on down and sign him up today."

Next was coffee (and bacon!) and a morning visit with Bren.  We both laughed about Baden's "mission" to the sheep pen, and his enthusiasm, then dressed and went our separate ways.

Nine o'clock found me and the boyz at a session with Animal Communicator, Barbara Janelle. Now, this is usually a very peaceful, RELAXing time for the boyz, and a chance for me to ask any questions regarding their well-being. Usually, the Collies come in, greet Barbara, then go lie down. This day, however, Baden went right straight up to her, and said, in a voice as loudly as I can talk, "Let's get this over with."

Barbara grinned at me, and said, "Well....I guess we know who's gonna be First today."

So, she stroked Baden's fur and declared that all is well with him...That he seemed more like a 9-year-old than 13.  His health is good, no issues. I told her that the recent blood work we had done at the vet's last month reported that Baden was "normal in all respects" (several years ago he had elevated cholesteral and liver enzymes----I credit the RAW diet we are feeding, but That is another blog).

Baden then left her side and went and stood at the door going out.  STOOD there for the entire rest of the session!  Barbara said he told her he still had a job to do....Uh...Yeh....It was only then that I related the morning's trek down the hill towards the woolies.  We both had to smile at this very young spirit.

James actually got up IN Barbara's lap! I didn't get the camera out quickly enough to snap it, but it is a picture I shall hold dear in my heart forever....These two have a very special kinship....

James Believes in Barbara.  He Appreciates people who know what they are doing and are Confident about it. Here is Barbara's assessment of Jamie:

Big Light. Holds Joy for everybody. Competently. Many skills--invites people to own themselves. 
Believer in Community.
Doesn't necessarily see himself as an individual, but rather a much larger mind (gestalt)
Acts as a representative for his group
Ease and dignity and happiness
Ankle in front for heat there...

And Prosper:
Prosper has Bigness from the center of him.
A ministry of caring.

And, so, our session being over, we adjourn (to the Goats! hopes Baden) to Dance Class.

Bev Blanchard is our Freestyle Dance Instructor. She adores James, and he, her, but Prosper's class (Intermediate) comes first.  She knows that Prop will work for her, and she uses him as a "demo dog" several days in a row.

And then, we did some Really Reliable Recall.....

This is where you reward your dog for THIRTY SECONDS for coming to you. That seems like a Very Long Time. To both handler AND the dog....The instructors call it "Fine Dining." 

James and I walked in the woods....

Prosper and Vizula-friend, Java ripped and snorted in the dorm Commons Room....When Vizulas "play" together, it looks Violent!  Prosper was a Quick Learner in the ways of the hounds! They were soaring over couches, busting into campers on laptops, attacking and swirling.

Oh, yeh.....Herding.  Almost forgot....Baden wouldn't like that..... Here's a few pictures taken by Steve Surfman (see

He looks like a young Collie, doesn't he?!

Mom!!! Are you Watchin' this???!!!!

The Shepherdess is getting kinda tickled....This Collie is Serious!

Is this the Same Collie that had trubble getting up the dorm stairs???

Okay, guys...the fun is Over...NOW I mean business!

And, then there's the Cubbie....Liddle Prosper, our 2 yr old boy.....After barking his (and MY and everyone elses!) head off, when he Finally got to get in the pen with the sheep, he was Incredible.  Not a peep out of him--not ONE bark...All serious and down to work.

Doesn't he look like a PRO?!!!

I think he had it "in" for this spotted one....Ck the following pictures....

See what I mean?  That sheep must be a renegade, a rebel, a warrior!

This boy can MOVE!

Me?  I just stood and marveled at all the past ancestors at work in this amazing animal....

And here's a parting shot.....We were Quite a Sight, sitting up on the hill...waiting, Waiting, WAITING....for our turn....Photographer Steve Surfman saw the humor and turned towards us to snap the moment...

It is 96 degrees and 90% humidity here in Oklahoma.....Heaven....but in an oven.....Slowly, I am catching up with my pictures.....More updates later....I'm gonna go outside and weed a few flowerbeds....Three weeks of lovely rain and hot temps have left them, well....quite Prolific....