The Laughing Brook

I stood still and listened to the Laughing Brook today, and mused for the remainder of my hike about the Old Mother West Wind Stories that I was raised on. Many might recognize the term “Old Man Winter”, and my love of the natural world around our family was fostered by the Thornton Burgess books.…

Auto Pilot/Ready Alert

Watching, in a state of near hypnosis, a steady stream of fragrant, bright green haylege, unloading from the wagon onto the conveyor belt on the Ag-Bagger, or into the blower for the silo. The roar of the tractor, the rocking motion of the seat as the power take off runs at top speed. On and…

The Old Barn

A sad sight is our old barn, sitting empty now and going downhill . The empty stanchions where tall Jupiter, with her sharply defined black and white patterned sides stood, third place down on the right, Anne with her big, soft eyes, and June, solid black and endlessly patient with my girls doctoring of her…

Ice

Delicate treasures in a little one’s mittened hand, bringing winter in to the kitchen table. Each one sucked to a needle point and stored in the back of the freezer til next July. An old farm house with little insulation, drips from the roof until the ice is javelins, waiting for bigger boys to spear…

Silloway Maple Home Farm

Our Home Farm

See that barnyard fence? As a teenager, I dug the post holes with my Dad. Seems like we were putting in old railroad ties, I’ll have to ask David. The holes were stony, and deep. We had a long, long bar – so heavy, and a long-handled scoop shovel. The sweat ran off Dad’s brow,…

pile of wood shorts

Shorts

Here’s a pile of “shorts,” odd ends and pieces of wood that are not the regular, cut to length, easy to stack firewood pieces sold to customers. Are they pitched over the bank, because they certainly don’t stack at all, sometimes have to be wrested into the stove, and aren’t pretty? No, family use. Same…

Another Look Behind the Scenes at Silloway Maple

Hours of paperwork for taxes. Whew! It’s what I do, late at night, early in the morning, and off and on throughout the day. “What’s this for?”—I’ll send Paul a text—“1/29 Precast NH $1207.16?” His reply always reminds me of concrete supplies, or tapping supplies, or, sometimes 50 # bags of almonds, making me hungry!…

September in Vermont

September Mornings

September mornings, always glad for the days before cold sets in and the cows stay in for the winter. How cold my bare feet used to be, on almost frosty mornings when I set out up the hill in total darkness and heavy fog, 5:00 am, knowing the cows were there…somewhere. Stopping to listen, I…

Selling Out

I walked down our dirt road in the cool of the morning, breathing in the heavy summer fragrance of ferns and blackberries. And…cows. Suddenly I smelled cows. Not the strong manury barn smell, but that distinct cow breath smell. And there they were, crowded up into the shade of a big maple tree. Cows…my first…

Silloway Maple Sugarhouse with Barn

Looking Back

I walked crosslots, feeling giddy and free after weeks of recovery from a traumatic injury, that damaged not just my hand, but my sense of independence. Took some time to get past that fragile state, where sudden bouts of crying and startled jumpiness prevailed. Alone I went down across the field, held my shoes high…