Sunday, June 29, 2008

One More Shot of the Huge Rainbow!

Huge Rainbow

This was about the best rainbow I ever saw it went from horizon to horizon and my camera could not get it all. It was so much brighter than you can see in these photos.  What a nice sight it was. It was about 8:35 when it was the best.

Ram, Rainbow and Willows...

Rainbow behind my barn...

A Norwegian Storm

Johan Christian Claussen Dahl, also known as I.C. Dahl,
(February 24, 1788 – October 14, 1857)

It rained all day, again!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr it rained all day again here.  It's just getting so depressing.

Friday, June 27, 2008

About The Rams Horn Studio

Our main website is but from that main page you can go to our jewelry related to sheep and textiles by clicking on the link and from there you go to

If you want to read about our sheep, Scottish Blackface sheep, cast iron cooking, early lighting, tobacco, or sheep songs those subjects are on the main site.  It's so huge I now call it The Rams Horn Super Site.  From the main index page you can see its a bit rambling to say the least.  I gave up watching TV a few years back and now pretty much just build webpages and blog for fun when I am not working. I love researching things and forming my thoughts by blogging and making websites.  OK I know its a bit weird but what can I say?

Hay In Art A collection of great works of hay.

This is a truly amazing website I just love!

This painting is so great I recall feeling like this after haying!

Still more Rain...

We had another heavy down pour tonight.  It's been a rough year so far for making hay.  Hay is going to be hard to get and sky high in price anyway due to the cost of gas.  I am still feeding out last years hay so I am not in a bind but I will be if I can't get my hands on enough to make it through the winter. There is still lots of time for the weather pattern to change but I pray it does soon as its almost July.

New On Line Store

I have been away from the blog to complete our new commercial website.  It's taken almost every free waking hours but at last it is launched:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ewes lambs are gone now...

My three ewe lambs went to their new farm yesterday. The cycle is now complete. I Have only the black, crossbred, ram lamb left and he will go in the freezer in the spring if he doesn't sell for breeding. I ended up trading a Blackface/Jacob cross ewe lamb for a Blackface, Shetland and Jacob mix ewe lamb. She is pretty cute. She has a Shetland sheep face with those cute ears and woolly forelock. Shetland ewes are polled (hornless) but this ewe has horns she picked up from the Jacob and Blackface blood in her. She seems to have nice crimp in her wool. I'll post a photo soon. It's just fun to fiddle around with crosses sometimes. This little lamb gives me a little new blood so I can breed this new ewe to my Blackface ram, Murdo. I expect I will wait until next year to breed her though. I am very pleased to have found someone interested in starting a new flock of Scottish Blackface Sheep. We had a good visit yesterday and Dan the man who bought my ewes also brought me some new laying hens as a gift. He brought three nice hens to add to my two girls. I will get another six in late summer that are being raised from chicks in Ohio for me by another friend. I had chickens for 20 years and then raccoons wiped me out. I waited a few years and am trying once again. I hope we can keep the darn coons at bay.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

More Storms

More thunderstorms rolling in tonight and I hear the first drops of rain.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Buggy lamp light.

Its 5:03 and the first light is just breaking but its still pretty dark.  I just saw something very unusual, an Amish buggy clip clopping down the road with a kerosene lamp its only light.  We don't get many buggies on this road.  There are quite a few on the Stedman-Sherman road as they have some Amish farms on that road.  I'm sitting here by the window getting ready to go do my chores and having some breakfast.  I heard the horse coming.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blogging about Weather...

We had still more thunderstorms here after 10:00 tonight and its still raining now. I had a super fun time chatting on the WIVB weather blog tonight. I enjoyed watching the storms move in and reporting back what was doing down here. Don Paul has been a meteorologist at channel 4 in Buffalo since I graduated from University. He is the best of the best and an expert on "Lake effect" snow storms. Tonight we were all watching thunderstorm activity.  It was the weather blog that got me started blogging.

After a Thunderstorm

View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow, 1836

Thunderstorms here in Stedman

We just had a nice summer thunderstorm move in quickly and wet us down.  It was the perfect June rain like I recall from my childhood.  Some folks got some good hay put up in the last couple days.  Hopefully no one had too much knocked down that got rained on just now.

Henry David Thoreau - The Summer Rain

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
Plutarch was good, and so was Homer too,
Our Shakespeare's life were rich to live again,
What Plutarch read, that was not good nor true,
Nor Shakespeare's books, unless his books were men.

Here while I lie beneath this walnut bough,
What care I for the Greeks or for Troy town,
If juster battles are enacted now
Between the ants upon this hummock's crown?

Bid Homer wait till I the issue learn,
If red or black the gods will favor most,
Or yonder Ajax will the phalanx turn,
Struggling to heave some rock against the host.

Tell Shakespeare to attend some leisure hour,
For now I've business with this drop of dew,
And see you not, the clouds prepare a shower--
I'll meet him shortly when the sky is blue.

This bed of herd's grass and wild oats was spread
Last year with nicer skill than monarchs use.
A clover tuft is pillow for my head,
And violets quite overtop my shoes.

And now the cordial clouds have shut all in,
And gently swells the wind to say all's well;
The scattered drops are falling fast and thin,
Some in the pool, some in the flower-bell.

I am well drenched upon my bed of oats;
But see that globe come rolling down its stem,
Now like a lonely planet there it floats,
And now it sinks into my garment's hem.

Drip drip the trees for all the country round,
And richness rare distills from every bough;
The wind alone it is makes every sound,
Shaking down crystals on the leaves below.

For shame the sun will never show himself,
Who could not with his beams e'er melt me so;
My dripping locks--they would become an elf,
Who in a beaded coat does gayly go.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A poem for Su the Shepherdess and her wee bummer lamb!

Dartmoor! thou wert to me, in childhood's hour,
A wild and wondrous region. Day by day
Arose upon my youthful eye they belt
Of hills mysterious, shadowy, clasping all
The green and cheerful landscape sweetly spread
Around my home; and with a stern delight
I gazed upon thee. How often on the speech
Of the half-savage peasant have I hung,
To hear of rock-crowned heights on which the cloud
For ever rests; and wilds stupendous swept
By mightiest storms; of glen, and gorge, and cliff,
Terrific, beetling o'er the stone-strewed vale;
And giant masses, by the midnight flash
Struck from the mountain's hissing brow, and hurled
Into the foaming torrent; and of forms
That rose amid the desert, rudely shaped
By Superstition's hands when time was young;
And of the dead, the warrior dead, who sleep
Beneath the hollowed cairn! My native fields,
Though peerless, ceased to please. The flowery vale,
The breezy hill, the river and the wood,
Island, reef, headland, and the circling sea,
Associated by the sportful hand
Of Nature, in a thousand views diverse,
Or grand, or lovely, - to my roving eye
Displayed in vain their infinite of charms;
I thought on thy wild world, - to me a world, -
Mysterious Dartmoor, dimly seen, and prized
For being distant and untrod; and still
Where'er I wander'd, - still my wayward eye
Rested on thee!
In sunlight and in shade,
Repose and storm, wide waste! I since have trod
Thy hill and dale magnificent. Again
I seek thy solitudes profound, in this
Thy hour of deep tranquillity, when rests
The sunbeam on thee, and thy desert seems
To sleep in the unwonted brightness, calm,
But stern; for though the spirit of the Spring
Breathes on thee, to the charmer's whisper kind
Thou listenest not, nor ever puttest on
A robe of beauty, as the fields that bud
And blossom hear thee. Yet I love to tread
They central wastes when not a sound intrudes
Upon the ear, but rush of wing or leap
Of the hoarse waterfall. And oh, 'tis sweet
To list the music of thy torrent-streams;
For thou too hast thy minstrelsies fro him
Who from their liberal mountain-urn delights
To trace thy waters, as from source to sea
They rush tumultuous. Yet for other fields
Thy bounty flows eternal. From thy sides
Devonia's rivers flow; a thousand brooks
Roll o'er they rugged slopes; -'tis but to cheer
Yon Austral meads unrivalled, fair as aught
That bards have sung, or Fancy has conceived
'Mid all her rich imaginings: whilst thou,
The source of half their beauty, wearest still
Through centuries, upon they blasted brow,
The curse of barrenness.

Noel Thomas Carrington 1826

Monday, June 9, 2008

Emily Dickinson, A Something in a Summer's Day

"A something in a summer's Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer's noon --
A depth -- an Azure -- a perfume --
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer's night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see --

Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle -- shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me --

The wizard fingers never rest --
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed --

Still rears the East her amber Flag --
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red --

So looking on -- the night -- the morn
Conclude the wonder gay --
And I meet, coming thro' the dews
Another summer's Day!"

- Emily Dickinson,

My Red Weigela is now blooming...

Friday, June 6, 2008

June Verse by John Clare

Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done
Wi' glittering dance and reeling in the sun
And green wood fly and blossom haunting bee
Are never weary of their melody
Round field hedge now flowers in full glory twine
Large bindweed bells wild hop and streakd woodbine
That lift athirst their slender throated flowers
Agape for dew falls and for honey showers
These round each bush in sweet disorder run
And spread their wild hues to the sultry sun
Where its silk netting lace on twigs and leaves
The mottld spider at eves leisure weaves
That every morning meet the poets eye
Like faireys dew wet dresses hung to dry
The wheat swells into ear and leaves below
The may month wild flowers and their gaudy show
Bright carlock bluecap and corn poppy red
Which in such clouds of colors wid [e] ly spread
That at the sun rise might to fancys eye
Seem to reflect the many colord sky
And leverets seat and lark and partridge nest
It leaves a schoolboys height in snugger rest
And oer the weeders labour overgrows
Who now in merry groups each morning goes
To willow skirted meads wi fork and rake
The scented hay cocks in long rows to make
Where their old visitors in russet brown
The haytime butterflyes dance up and down
And gads that teaze like whasps the timid maid
And drive the herdboys cows to pond and shade
Who when his dogs assistance fails to stop
Is forcd his half made oaten pipes to drop
And start and hallo thro the dancing heat
To keep their gadding tumult from the wheat
Who in their rage will dangers overlook
And leap like hunters oer the pasture brook
Brushing thro blossomd beans in maddening haste
And 'stroying corn they scarce can stop to taste
Labour pursues its toil in weary mood
And feign woud rest wi shadows in the wood
The mowing gangs bend oer the beeded grass
Where oft the gipseys hungry journeying ass
Will turn its wishes from the meadow paths
Listning the rustle of the falling swaths
The ploughman sweats along the fallow vales
And down the suncrackt furrow slowly trails
Oft seeking when athirst the brooks supply
Where brushing eager the brinks bushes bye
For coolest water he oft brakes the rest
Of ring dove brooding oer its idle nest
And there as loath to leave the swaily place
He'll stand to breath and whipe his burning face
The shepherds idle hours are over now
Nor longer leaves him neath the hedgrow bough
On shadow pillowd banks and lolling stile
Wilds looses now their summer friends awhile
Shrill whistles barking dogs and chiding scold
Drive bleating sheep each morn from fallow fold
To wash pits where the willow shadows lean
Dashing them in their fold staind coats to clean
Then turnd on sunning sward to dry agen
They drove them homeward to the clipping pen
In hurdles pent where elm or sycamore
Shut out the sun-or in some threshing floor
There they wi scraps of songs and laugh and tale
Lighten their anual toils while merry ale
Goes round and gladdens old mens hearts to praise
The thread bare customs of old farmers days
Who while the sturting sheep wi trembling fears
Lies neath the snipping of his harmless sheers
Recalls full many a thing by bards unsung
And pride forgot-that reignd when he was young
How the hugh bowl was in the middle set
At breakfast time as clippers yearly met
Filld full of frumity where yearly swum
The streaking sugar and the spotting plumb
Which maids coud never to the table bring
Without one rising from the merry ring
To lend a hand who if twas taen amiss
Woud sell his kindness for a stolen kiss
The large stone pitcher in its homly trim
And clouded pint horn wi its copper rim
Oer which rude healths was drank in spirits high
From the best broach the cellar woud supply
While sung the ancient swains in homly ryhmes
Songs that were pictures of the good old times
When leathern bottles held the beer nut brown
That wakd the sun wi songs and sung him down
Thus will the old man ancient ways bewail
Till toiling sheers gain ground upon the tale
And brakes it off-when from the timid sheep
The fleece is shorn and wi a fearfull leap
He starts-while wi a pressing hand
His sides are printed by the tarry brand
Shaking his naked skin wi wondering joys
And fresh ones are tugd in by sturdy boys
Who when theyre thrown down neath the sheering swain
Will wipe his brow and start his tale again
Tho fashions haughtv frown hath thrown aside
Half the old forms simplicity supplyd
Yet their are some prides winter deigns to spare
Left like green ivy when the trees are bare
And now when sheering of the flocks are done
Some ancient customs mixd wi harmless fun
Crowns the swains merry toils-the timid maid
Pleasd to be praisd and yet of praise affraid
Seeks her best flowers not those of woods and fields
But such as every farmers garden yield
Fine cabbage roses painted like her face
And shining pansys trimmd in golden lace
And tall tuft larkheels featherd thick wi flowers
And woodbines climbing oer the door in bowers
And London tufts of many a mottld hue
And pale pink pea and monkshood darkly blue
And white and purple jiliflowers that stay
Lingering in blossom summer half away
And single blood walls of a lucious smell
Old fashiond flowers which huswives love so well
And columbines stone blue or deep night brown
Their honey-comb-like blossoms hanging down
Each cottage gardens fond adopted child
Tho heaths still claim them where they yet grow wild
Mong their old wild companions summer blooms
Furze brake and mozzling ling and golden broom
Snap dragons gaping like to sleeping clowns
And 'clipping pinks' (which maidens sunday gowns
Full often wear catcht at by tozing chaps)
Pink as the ribbons round their snowy caps
'Bess in her bravery' too of glowing dyes
As deep as sunsets crimson pillowd skyes
And majoram notts sweet briar and ribbon grass
And lavender the choice of every lass
And sprigs of lads love all familiar names
Which every garden thro the village claims
These the maid gathers wi a coy delight
And tyes them up in readiness for night
Giving to every swain tween love and shame
Her 'clipping poseys' as their yearly claim
And turning as he claims the custom kiss
Wi stifld smiles half ankering after bliss
She shrinks away and blushing calls it rude
But turns to smile and hopes to be pursued
While one to whom the seeming hint applied
Follows to claim it and is not denyd
No doubt a lover for within his coat
His nosegay owns each flower of better sort
And when the envious mutter oer their beer
And nodd the secret to his neighbor near
Raising the laugh to make the mutter known
She blushes silent and will not disown
And ale and songs and healths and merry ways
Keeps up a shadow of old farmers days
But the old beachen bowl that once supplyd
Its feast of frumity is thrown aside
And the old freedom that was living then
When masters made them merry wi their men
Whose coat was like his neighbors russet brown
And whose rude speech was vulgar as his clown
Who in the same horn drank the rest among
And joind the chorus while a labourer sung
All this is past-and soon may pass away
The time torn remnant of the holiday
As proud distinction makes a wider space
Between the genteel and the vulgar race
Then must they fade as pride oer custom showers
Its blighting mildew on her feeble flowers.

 John Clare 1793-1864

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A close up of my variegated Weigela

My Weigelas are in bloom!

This is an amazing year for flowering trees and shrubs in my area. Now my Weigelas are in bloom and I have never seen them more beautiful. One of the best things about Weigela, is that ithey are easy to grow. They are adaptable to many soil types This shrub is  hardy to USDA zone 4 and has no serious pest problems. It's easy to propagate, easy to grow. The only requirement of this plant is that it requires full sun to produce copious flowers. There are roughly ten species of Weigela, all of which are shrubs native to temperate East Asia, specifically Japan, Korea, and Northern China.  The most common, and most ornamental species is Weigela florida, a rounded to arching shrub that typically grows to 6 to 8 feet tall. The Weigela florida species and its hybrids account for nearly all of the numerous Weigela cultivars.. Weigela florida is the most common in the family and is prized primarily for the funnel-shaped flowers that cover the bush from May to June. Many of the newer cultivars have that have been developed in the last 25 years have the ability to rebloom during the summer which is an added delight.  Depending upon the cultivar, the flower color may be pink, red, white, peach, lavender, and nearly every shade and hue in between. Several other species exhibit yellow flowers. Hummingbirds love Weigela flowers, especially those with red or pink flowers. Besides the blooms many of the new cultivars have attractive colorful foliage like this one of mine in the photos. These varieties provide season-long interest with their foliage after the blooms have faded. Selections have been made for leaf colors such as bright yellow, copper, burgundy, near black, and variegated forms. My red one is just coming out. I also need to cut back some of the trees around that one so it gets more sun.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

FIDELITY, Charles Gough's dog

A barking sound the Shepherd hears,
A cry as of a dog or fox;
He halts--and searches with his eyes
Among the scattered rocks:
And now at distance can discern
A stirring in a brake of fern;
And instantly a dog is seen,
Glancing through that covert green.

The Dog is not of mountain breed;
Its motions, too, are wild and shy;
With something, as the Shepherd thinks,
Unusual in its cry:
Nor is there any one in sight
All round, in hollow or on height;
Nor shout, nor whistle strikes his ear;
What is the creature doing here?

It was a cove, a huge recess,
That keeps, till June, December's snow;
A lofty precipice in front,
A silent tarn below!
Far in the bosom of Helvellyn,
Remote from public road or dwelling,
Pathway, or cultivated land;
From trace of human foot or hand.

There sometimes doth a leaping fish
Send through the tarn a lonely cheer;
The crags repeat the raven's croak,
In symphony austere;
Thither the rainbow comes--the cloud--
And mists that spread the flying shroud;
And sunbeams; and the sounding blast,
That, if it could, would hurry past;
But that enormous barrier holds it fast.

Not free from boding thoughts, a while
The Shepherd stood; then makes his way
O'er rocks and stones, following the Dog
As quickly as he may;
Nor far had gone before he found
A human skeleton on the ground;
The appalled Discoverer with a sigh
Looks round, to learn the history.

From those abrupt and perilous rocks
The Man had fallen, that place of fear!
At length upon the Shepherd's mind
It breaks, and all is clear:
He instantly recalled the name,
And who he was, and whence he came;
Remembered, too, the very day
On which the Traveller passed this way.

But hear a wonder, for whose sake
This lamentable tale I tell!
A lasting monument of words
This wonder merits well.
The Dog, which still was hovering nigh,
Repeating the same timid cry,
This Dog, had been through three months' space
A dweller in that savage place.

Yes, proof was plain that, since the day
When this ill-fated Traveller died,
The Dog had watched about the spot,
Or by his master's side:
How nourished here through such long time
He knows, who gave that love sublime;
And gave that strength of feeling, great
Above all human estimate!

William Wordsworth

"The young man whose death gave occasion to this poem was named Charles Gough, and had come early in the spring to Paterdale for the sake of angling. While attempting to cross over Helvellyn to Grasmere he slipped from a steep part of the rock where the ice was not thawed, and perished. His body was discovered as is told in this poem. Walter Scott heard of the accident, and both he and I, without either of us knowing that the other had taken up the subject, each wrote a poem in admiration of the dog's fidelity. His contains a most beautiful stanza:--

"How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber,
When the wind waved his garment how oft didst thou start."

I will add that the sentiment in the last four lines of the last stanza in my verses was uttered by a shepherd with such exactness, that a traveller, who afterwards reported his account in print, was induced to question the man whether he had read them, which he had not."

Monday, June 2, 2008

In Fountain Court


The fountain murmuring of sleep,
A drowsy tune;
The flickering green of leaves that keep
The light of June;
Peace, through a slumbering afternoon,
The peace of June.

A waiting ghost, in the blue sky,
The white curved moon;
June, hushed and breathless, waits, and I
Wait too, with June;
Come, through the lingering afternoon,
Soon, love, come soon.

Arthur Symons

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rosebud in June....

We'll pipe and we'll sing, Love,
We'll dance in a ring, Love.
When each lad takes his lass,
All on the green grass,
And it's all to plow
Where the fat oxen graze low;
And the lads and the lasses do sheepshearing go.

It's a rosebud in June, and the violets in full bloom
The small birds are singing love songs from each spray.


When we have all shear'd, our jolly, jolly sheep
Nothing brings more joy, than to talk of their increase.


Oh their flesh it is good, it's the best of all foods
And their wool it will clothe us and keep our backs from the cold.


Here's the yowes and the lambs, here's the hoggs and the rams.
And the fat wedders too they will make a fine show.


Recorded By Steeleye Span
The Watersons
Margaret Davis
Sherwood Rise

The Rams Horn

The Rams Horn on Facebook