Moose River Farm Blog

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Man Hiked up a Mountain...

I received the shocking news last week that Dave had passed away. The chaos that his family experienced in the hours surrounding his death is unimaginable and so terribly sad. However, as I've spent time reflecting on the experience from Dave's point of view, I wonder what it was like for him. With his loyal golden retriever, Hudson, Dave had made his daily climb up Bald Mountain. Over and over in my mind I have been repeating the same line; A man hiked up a Mountain... It has compelled me to write the following poem in memory of a neighbor, colleague...and friend.

A Man Hiked Up a Mountain
(A tribute to David Leach; 1952-2015)
by Anne T. Phinney


A man hiked up a mountain
His devoted dog trotting alongside
The stunning view swept out before him
Its beauty swelled his soul with pride.


In that moment there arose  
An urgency to glance back
At all whom he had touched and loved
Respect he did not lack


The middle boy of four children
Best friends his siblings were they
Who created a rustic paradise
Where youth could wander and play


Along the way an Aussie lass
Agreed to give him her hand
They forged a union deep and true among
Lakes and trees of this glorious land


It wasn't long before these two
Embraced two tiny tykes
They raised them up, showed them the way
To run, to ski, and to hike


After childhood the girls moved away
Each forged her own designated path
He and she wished them well and wept
But never held them back

Ten months each year, he inspired kids
To live an active and healthy life
Take care of the team and play it clean
To always do what’s right


His colleagues glimpsed within this man
A goodness that was ample
His friendly concern, and gentle manner
Influenced them to behave by his example


Once he had lived it all over again
He smiled for what a life is worth
Then gripped the fur of his golden pup
and eased himself to earth


In a final moment the sun sank low
He uttered a fond farewell
Then Taps began to play from Heaven
And the man exited his earthly shell


A Man hikes up a mountain
Leaves his loyal dog behind
The panoramic view below now
Shrinks with every step he climbs

God is nigh

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Growing Up Donkey

     Good Morning,
     Its been a long time since I have written anything about our donkeys Bing and Frankie.  It's probably because they have been sequestered as constant companions for our geriatric gelding, Sandi, (Winnies of Change and Seeing-eye Donkeys).  Since Sandi's euthanasia three weeks ago, the donks have been released from baby-sitting duties so they can pursue other interests.  
     At first they appeared a bit lost.  They seemed to wonder where their leader was.  Why wasn't he joining them at the hay pile or eating his grain while they savored their cookies?  The donks weren't necessarily depressed, just quiet.  They fell out of the normal routine for a few days.  Eventually, they rallied and ventured back to the carefree existence they had enjoyed before being recruited as herdmates for Sandi.
     While deep snow concealed the grass and confined the donkeys to the barnyard, they were granted freedom to roam and play.  It is a pleasure, (that I've sorely missed), to walk with them in the woods and to watch their sprightly antics.  
     Presently, many animals at MRF are entering the aging zone after living long, full lives.  Each one requires special consideration in terms of maintenance and health care.  I must acknowledge their limitations after the many years they went out of their way to please me.  It's difficult to accept that our days together are dwindling.  
     Donkey youth reminds me that watching animals grow up is a joy. There is no escaping the inevitable at the end of life.  However, if it is lived long and purposeful with strands of love and respect binding us together...it is so worth it.  


When they arrived in December, 2012...
...Bing and Frankie were only 5 and 7 months old, (respectively).
They found their way around Moose River Farm...
...and into our hearts.
  Neutering was necessary to gentle them... 
 ...but did not diminish their playful spirit.
Now they are in the process of losing baby teeth.  Frankie has many teeth pushing their way into his adulthood.
Frankie wears an expression that suggests wisdom...or is that because of his ears?
Bing's velvety muzzle....
...conceals significant coming of age transition.

Although I celebrate their new found freedom, I am indebted to Bing and Frankie for providing authentic and necessary companionship to Sandi in the last years of his life.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Bunny Auditions

 
        Happy Easter,
     Trying to maintain a sense of humor is a bit difficult today considering an inch of snow has accumulated on the deck!  Word has it that the Easter Bunny might skip his annual spring visit to the Adirondacks on account of the weather.  Unlike Santa Claus, Bunny's visit is a celebration of all things new, reborn....and green.  Like PunxsutawneyPhil of Groundhog Day fame, extended unseasonable conditions only frighten the lily-livered lagamorph, (google it!) back into his lair.  
     Have no fear!  Some of the residents at Moose River Farm have stepped up to take the rabbit's place in the event of a no-show tomorrow.  Of course there has to be an audition to assure that only the perfect vernal hare replacement is selected.   When word spread through out the farm, the animals hopped into action, eager to show off their best impressions of the beloved bunny.  Turns out once a set of auditory antennae are fastened in place, just about anybody with fur can carry the disguise!  
     You, dear readers, can lend the North Country a hand.  Carefully, look through the photographs below and choose the best holiday cottontail contestant.  Leave a comment here on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter and share with your friends and family.  You will help MRF save Easter in the Adirondacks! 
Although there have been sightings, the Easter Bunny might not be able to perform his annual vernal duties...on account of all the snow lingering in the Adirondacks.
The chickens are out of the contest; putting on bunny ears when already an iconic Easter image is quite frankly....beneath them.
Don't recognize this Easter Bunny? Its Fiona the potbelly pig!  Warning; a vote for Fiona might be a vote for Easter baskets void of candy. 


Liam wears the ears so well, two pictures of him have been posted.
A handsome Easter Bunny, indeed.
Spirit might be a good choice; galloping hooves will get the job done quickly and efficiently.
Tango might be a good choice too; he would have kept the ears on all day if there weren't others waiting to audition.
Ben will make a very serious Easter Bunny!  If that is important to you, by all means vote for him.
Careful, cute doesn't always get the job done!


Here is another entry worthy of two photos....
Perhaps Easau is a serious contender.
Perhaps there are two Easter Bunnies this year.  Bing and Frankie only work as a pair.  Their contract requires this.
 Frankie was trying to have his portrait taken, but River photo-bombed him.  Remember keep cute in perspective, no matter how cute!
...no matter how cute!
Maybe three is a good number of bunnies.  If this is the winning team, another set of bunny ears will have to be shipped....overnight!