Buddy, Holly, and Blue

The other day we pulled into the parking lot of Wyant’s store. Holly and Buddy were standing cordially next to each other at the fence and they were not being fed. An older man and his massive pitbull, Blue, were standing at the fence where donkeys allowed their noses to be kissed by Blue’s massive tongue.

Holly and Big-tongued Blue

As soon as we walked up with the sweet potato medallions and cooked carrots, the donkeys abandoned Blue in favor of food. They began the usual nose pushing to signify, “Get out of my face. This is my food.” The food shortly disappeared and Bob went into the store to fetch dessert.

Buddy began braying his displeasure.

“You know the drill. As soon as Bob gets back with the treats, you’ll get fed.”

“I don’t care, I want FOOD NOW!”

Blue came up to fence and began licking donkey noses to settle them down. Buddy took longer to be convinced than Holly.

When Bob returned with the cookies, he gave me a two-pack of chocolate chip cookies to feed Holly, while he fed Buddy. I gave one of the cookies to Blue’s owner. He broke it into smaller bites, probably not realizing that either donkey could hoover the entire cookie in one swallow. With Blue’s owner feeding Holly, I had time to take several shots of Buddy who was hamming it up for the camera. (He even seemed to understand my directions to raise or lower his ears!)

New Year, No News on the Donkey Front

On a sunny day that seemed more like early Spring than early January, we drove out to Wyant’s store to see if there were any donkey updates to share. The last two times we were out there, we saw one or no donkeys. Bob only cooked enough sweet potato medallions in case Holly showed up, if nobody showed up we planned to feed them to the deer.

As soon as we pulled up, we were surprised to see both Holly and Buddy in the front pasture. They were grazing comparatively close together, as though they had temporarily agreed to live companionably.

Bob gave his best hee-haws with Buddy responding with his usual raspy bray. Buddy trotted toward the fence with Holly following at a slow amble.

With two adult donkeys to feed, Bob chopped up an apple to augment the single sweet potato. I began feeding the donkeys while Bob went into the store for dessert and any donkey updates.

Holly had better manners than I expected, daintily eating each medallion or apple slice without once trying to include my fingers. Initially she allowed Buddy to have a bit without nudging his head out of the way. This was not typical. Buddy was also unusually clumsy and kept dropping his food on the grass.

When the first course was finished, both donkeys vocally shared their dissatisfaction with the short rations. As soon as Bob came around the corner, Holly started butting Buddy’s head out of the way. They each got two chocolate chip cookies, which Buddy had no trouble keeping in his mouth.

Bob reported what we already knew, that Emmett had been sold. No word on why both donkeys were together in the front pasture or update on when Holly might have her foal.

To Joanna. Love, Buddy

January 6–Full Wolf Moon

January’s full Wolf Moon reaches peak illumination on Friday, January 6, at 6:09 P.M. EST. It is called a micro moon rather than super moon. (It simply means that the full Moon is at its farthest point from Earth (not the nearest point). In astronomical terms, we call this “apogee.” Specifically, January’s Micro full Moon is about 252,600 miles from Earth.)  The Moon is located on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun so the face of the Moon facing towards the Earth will be completely illuminated by the Sun’s rays. Look for the Moon to rise from the northeastern horizon around sunset that evening.

Other names for the January Full Moon

  • Center Moon-Assiniboine people of the Northern Great Plains, it refers to the idea that this Moon roughly marks the middle of the cold season.
  • Cold Moon (Cree)
  • Frost Exploding Moon (Cree),
  • Freeze Up Moon (Algonquin)
  • Severe Moon (Dakota).
  • Hard Moon (Dakota) highlights the phenomenon of the fallen snow developing a hard crust.
  • Canada Goose Moon (Tlingit),
  • Great Moon (Cree)
  • Greetings Moon (Western Abenaki),
  • Moon (Ojibwe)
When  wind is howling in the night
with nary a single wolf in sight
and the cold has an extra bitter bite
The Wolf Moon will shine and bring delight
If you watch from your window to see how bright.

Christmas Decorations–Doors and Graveyards

Deck the doors
with wreaths of greens
Attire the tombstones
with similar scenes
Adornment helps 
celebrate the season
That should be 
sufficient reason

Frost doesn't always blight
When it decorates leaves with white
It can make kale and collards sweeter
Which may be the preference of the eater

Only Holly for Christmas

We stopped to feed the donkeys on a chilly, overcast afternoon. Bob gave his best hee-haws before disappearing into Wyant’s store for the latest donkey update and some cookies (or whatever was available for dessert).

For several shivering minutes, no head appeared over the hill or around the shed. I hee-hawed once more–figuring that if no one showed up by the time Bob returned from the store, we would dump the cooked sweet potato medallions and raw carrots into the pasture, hoping to avoid the newly frozen meadow muffins.

Finally Holly dragged her heavily pregnant body over the top of the hill. She starred at me, wondering if it was worth her effort to mosey over to the fence. After I waved the plastic bowl of food, she decided she was hungry.

Bob got to the fence about the same time that Holly did.

“Holly’s in the maternity ward. And Emmett’s been sold.” He exclaimed.

“Well that looks like Holly to me. Maybe Buddy’s in the back pasture.” I responded.

“Holly does have a white face.” He checked out Holly’s backside to make sure it could not possibly Buddy.

“It was time for Emmett to be sold. He was getting as big a bully as his father, Buddy,” I added.

Holly got a slice of warm, tender banana bread since the store had no cookies. She decided she wanted dessert before she finished her vegetables, but the bread was withheld until she finished her vegetables.

“Merry Christmas, Holly” We’ll see you soon.” We waved as we departed.

December 18 is Flake Appreciation Day

Not your favorite politician or other celebrity, but snowflakes!

Flake Appreciation Day is a special holiday that is celebrated on December 18 every year in the United States. The holiday is used to show appreciation for snowflakes which are loved by many. Snowflakes are beautiful, unique, and naturally occurring. They come in complex shapes and sizes and are divided into 35 categories. As with human fingerprints, no two snowflakes are exactly alike. Snowflakes are created when water vapor in clouds freezes around dust particles due to humidity. Typically hexagonal, snowflakes can sometimes take the form of flat, needle-shaped particles.

The history of snowflakes was greatly influenced by Wilson Bentley. He was born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont. His work is significant as he helped discover that no two snowflakes are exactly alike. He used a type of photography that uses microscopes called photomicrography to take pictures of 5,000 snowflakes. Bentley published articles and books about his findings and donated some of his photographs to the Smithsonian Institution. He was the world’s leading snowflake expert and was referred to as ‘The Snowflake Man’ until he died in 1931.

Nowadays snowflake has a more insulting meaning: “Snowflake” is a derogatory slang term for a person, implying that they have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions.–We are not talking about that type of snowflake.

From a Charlie Brown Christmas
Catch a snowflake on your tongue
Like you did when you were young
Feel the snow melt in your mouth
Return to the happy days of youth
An innocent time of days gone by
Not to be recaptured, though many try

Is Emmett the New Head Bully?

The last two times we went to feed the donkeys, we have only seen Emmett and his father, Buddy. My unconfirmed guess is now that Holly is within a couple of months of delivering the next foal, she is being kept in the back pasture, which was where she was in November 2020 when we began feeding donkeys and goats.

She and Emmett were still constant companions when we last saw them together in early November. I am not sure how David, the owner, got the two of them separated since when he had tried earlier in the fall, he wondered why Holly kept hanging by the fence to the rear pasture where Emmett was supposed to be quartered. He relented and the two continued to share a close bond.

We had noticed that when we were feeding Holly, Emmett, and Buddy, all three donkeys did not hesitate to shove each other’s noses out of the way. When that became tedious, both Holly and Emmett would chase Buddy at least six feet away.

Now that Holly is no longer part of the daily equation, Emmett has continued to chase his father away. The past two times we were there, he has even kicked out with his hind quarters like Buddy used to do to warn the goats to stay out of the way. I have not been able to capture a picture of that because he does he kicks quickly enough and infrequently enough to make it difficult.

Maybe it is time for David to sell Emmett since he is turning into a real jack ass.

December Full Moon–December 7

About December’s Cold Full Moon

December full moon is commonly known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Full Long Nights Moon. It takes its name from the winter solstice, which has the longest night in the year. The Full Long Nights Moon cuts a soaring trajectory through the wintery skies, in direct opposition to the low-hanging sun. According to Pagan tradition, on years that the Full Moon falls before the winter solstice, it is referred to as the Mourning Moon. For our early Pagan ancestors this was a time of cleansing by stopping bad habits to make one stronger to service the cold winter ahead. The Algonquins called this full moon the Cold Moon, in reference to the cold light it casts upon long winter nights. Strangely enough, in certain other cultures, December’s full moon can actually be associated with warmth.

As night draws 
a dark curtain
across the sky
and coldness knocks
on doors and windows,
time turns inward and
reviews what has past
and what is to be.

Turn negativity
into positivity
creating an image
of warmth and light
enough to share
with a world 
in desperate need
of both.