Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Morning

We had a light dusting of snow last night.  It was barely enough to cover things about our property.

It seems we had a visitor last night.  Its prints were around the house and the barn!

Yep, a domestic cat.  We see one prowling around on occasion (the Wife thinks we should get a barn cat to keep the varmints away).  I wonder when we will get some real snow?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Playing Around

I found a new application for the iPhone / iPod Touch which allows one to easily stitch together photos into a panoramic photo.  The application is called Photosynth.

I put together a few photos of our property (from the street, and back behind the barn by the creek.

There is some fish-eye effect when shooting close, but the application worked fine.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Hope you are all having a safe and wonderful day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Tale...

T’was the night before Christmas.
Pay heed to my yarn
About the strange happenings
Around my old Barn.

I went to the Barn
To check on things there
Hoping that all
Was tidy and square.

The rush of the water
In the rain-swollen creek.
Was all I could hear -
But then there’s a "squeak".

I went to the hay mow
To find it was still
Not a varmint about
In the cold winter chill.

The stables were empty
The barn was all dark
Not a chirp or a peep
Or a growl or a bark.

When rounding a corner
I was taken aback!
Someone had sharpened
My saws and my Axe!

To the workshop I went
And climbing the stair
To find someone had
Been cleaning in there!

And looking about 
I startled myself
Off in the corner
I saw a Barn Elf!

He scurried about
And kept cleaning the place
I couldn’t keep up
With his very quick pace.

He suddenly stopped
Once he was all done
He was smiling a lot
(I guess he had fun!)

He spun ‘round three times
And then pulled his beard
In the blink of an eye
He just disappeared!

I heard a faint noise
As I turned out the light.
"Peace be to all ,
Be safe, and Good Night!"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ice and Snow

It was 22 degF this morning when I decided to go kayaking! (The wife thinks I am crazy, but I just had to see what Nature has has brought forth!).  I was going to put in at the South Slang,  but when I got there it was covered in ice!

The old beaver lodges were silent . . .

. . . as were the marshes.

I decided to put in at Kingsland Bay.  The winds were from the south at just 2 or 3 knots.  Lake Champlain was calm.

There are not many waterfowl about.  Some seagulls . . .

. . . and cormorants.

I always enjoy following the cliffs about the lake.

Though the leaves are long past, the algae on the rocks were an unexpected bit of green against the gray and brown rocks.

I like paddling near the shoreline, but one has to be careful of the rocks.  Some are barely submerged, and running into them can lead to a capsize (not a good thing in the winter!).

I paddled out onto the broad lake and headed east to the mouth of the South Slang,

The ice was out all the way to the lake.  There was no safe way to paddle into the slang (yes, the boat could break through most of the ice, but it is hard to maneuver through the broken pans of ice).

The marshes are getting iced-in.

I headed back to Kingsland Bay.  Off in the distance I could see Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks.

There was a wonderful interplay of waves and light in the shallow bays.  The water is now very clear, and I can see the ripples in the sand below.  The slight wind-waves created patterns on the sand, creating a pattern all along the lake bottom as far as I could see!

I paddled back to my car.  My feet were getting cold. By the time I took my kayak out of the water, by hands were felt like they were encased in pins and needles (yes, I had to get my hands wet when I took my kayak out of the cold water)!

After a glass of warm cider, I decided to go for a short bike ride.  I went up over the hill on Green Street.  I passed the frozen marshes . . .

. . . and cycles along the quiet roads.

There is still a slight covering of snow in the woods.  Soon I will be snow shoeing!

I had to stop by some open farm field and take in the views to the east of the Green Mountains.  Spectactular!

I hope you don't let the cold stop you from enjoying natures glory!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Scenes...

We have been about getting our Christmas errands completed.  We have been up to Church Street in Burlington for some shopping . . .

. . . as well to the Christmas Loft.  We like visiting the 'village' at the Christmas Loft.  While there we came across a scary elf!  Enough to give you nightmares!

I'll try to be a good boy - I don't want this guy to visit!

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Uncle Tractor Christmas

Our family tradition is to put up our Christmas tree over Thanksgiving weekend.  We don't decorate our entire house (a wreath on the door, some white candles in the windows, a little greenery on the porch).  But we really go all out on the tree.

We decorate our tree in glass ornaments.  The wife and I have been collecting them over the years.  We have old family ornaments, those we have found at antique shops and auctions, ones we get get from various shops, and those we pick up from the places we travel.  In total, we have well over 400 glass ornaments on our tree.

In keeping with the theme of 'The Barn Board', we have barns.  Traditional barns like ours . . .

. . . and classic Shaker round barns!

There are little snow-covered houses . . .

. . . snow covered cottages . . .

. . . churches . . .

. . . fanciful buildings . . .

. . . quaint cottages . . .

. . .  and even fine hotels!

I need to find a few more buildings.  Maybe an outhouse!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lacking Motivation

Usually this time of year I find myself indoors on the rowing machine working on rowing 200K meters as part of the Concept2 Holiday Challenge.

Well . . .

I just can't do it this year!  No, it's not lack of time.  No, it isn't desire to exercise.

It's just that I don't want to be inside.

I'll go to the gym, but the weather is still good enough to be outside.  Today is was in the 40s (degF).  I was cycling outside.  It snowed earlier this week, but the roads are dry.

The views of the mountains are beautiful, even on a gray November day.

The water is is gray, like the sky.

Dead Creek is still.  There is ice in a few spots.  Soon it will be frozen.  In time, the river and lake will then freeze.

I hope the roads keep dry through the winter to allow me to ride into Spring!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hoping you are all well and are finding time to be thankful!

~ Uncle Tractor

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The still of winter is not far away.

The varmints are busy getting food . . .

The morning frost has finally knocked back the knotweed for the season . . .

The raking is done.  The compost bins are full . . .

I installed snow guards on the new roof.

I hope they will stop all the snow from collecting on the porch roof!

I got a new snowblower.  I call it an early Christmas gift.

The snow geese are about.  Winter is soon to come.

No Snow,
No Sun,
No Color,