Archive for geese

River bird hovers over changing season

Posted in home, life, nice things, this-n-that, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 16, 2008 by bosquechica
Sandhill Cranes (via www.desertusa.com)

Sandhill Cranes (via http://www.desertusa.com)

We’ve been watching the cranes, the turning of the year, the golding and dropping of leaves. Last night, the biggest harvest moon I’ve ever seen. Tomorrow, hang out the winter sheets to air, put away the light summer linens.Tonight, fresh roasted tomato soup with olive bread.

Lost my compass. Anyone seen it?

Posted in geese and guineas, insomnia, job stuff, life, random, this-n-that, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2008 by bosquechica

Drat.

My brain’s gone walkabout again.

Don’t know where, exactly. When I look inside my own head, I see mostly fog.

Maybe it’s the new year making me fuzzy (August is my new year).

The chickens, geese and keets seem more important than writing.

I can’t seem to get enough sleep.

 

Maybe it’s the weather.

 

Maybe it’s my disorganized office.

Maybe it’s my hormones.

 Maybe it’s astrological.

 

Maybe it’s nothing at all.

I’ll be back when I’ve got something to say. Or when my office is clean.

Whichever comes first.

 

(Cross-posted from Cuentos – at Laurie’s suggestion.)

Wee babies

Posted in family, goose talk, home, life, nice things, pets with tags , , , on July 8, 2008 by bosquechica
Goslings in a basket

Goslings in a basket

Here are the goslings I brought home from a feed store last week. They are half grown already, but in this photo they are still peeping fuzzballs, sitting in a laundry basket on a rug in the kitchen.

We’ve named them Abelard and Heloise. Pointers for new farmers: don’t name your goslings until it’s clear that they are strong and likely to survive. They are fragile when first hatched.

They’ve more than doubled their size since then. Today, they chewed on my shoes, ran around the coop flapping their short awkward wings, and made whooping sounds that sounded a lot like adolescent giggles.

Their favorite food right now is grass. Stomped upon. See green carpaccio for more on that.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gardener

Posted in farm, food, garden, goose talk, life, pets, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2008 by bosquechica
Green carpaccio

Green carpaccio

This morning, I was reading Orion Magazine while eating a mushroom and parsley omelette. There was a review in the magazine of a book called “Recipes for Geese and People” by Natalie Jerminjenko (reviewed by Eric Wagner).

No recipes for goose, cooked or raw, will be found in this book. Rather, it is about the overlapping foods of people and geese. Nice. Pointing out our common ground — quite literally — here is a recipe for a green “carpaccio” taken from the review. In this case, the recipe references the habit geese have of walking on and smashing the fresh green grasses and other growing things in their environment and then eating them fresh, flat and juicy.

Carpaccio typically refers to raw meat (usually beef), smashed flat and thin in parchment paper, then sprinkled with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. As you might expect, though, this carpaccio is vegetarian (as are geese).

Here’s the gist of the recipe as reprinted in Orion, modified and paraphrased to suit my mood.

Take a variety of fresh greens — chard, spinach, cabbage, mint, basil (whatever is appealing and available). Wash, trim the tougher stems, blanch briefly in very cold water and pat dry. Lay the leaves flat on a sheet of parchment paper (sturdier leaves on the bottom). Cover. Smash with your hands, then with a rolling pin. Basically you’re massaging the greens to pull out the juices. Peel the paper off, lay flat on a plate, drizzle a bit of olive oil and lemon or balsamic, salt and pepper and serve, as a pesto, or on some very thin crispy crackers, I would think.

I should say that although I am not vegetarian, I am a bit tender about geese (you will know this is you have been reading along). So for me this is a friendly concept that reinforces my sense of geese as part of the larger flock of social animals. Geese and ganders as gourmands not viandes.

What\'s for dessert?

What's for dessert?

Uh-oh, it’s July already

Posted in bird talk, chickens, family, farm, geese and guineas, home, life, nice things, this-n-that with tags , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2008 by bosquechica

Well, the chicks, guinea keets and goslings are all peep-peeping in their new coops. The grown geese and ganders are standing guard. All is secured. The goslings grow inches overnight. They are two weeks old — the guinea keets and the chicks were just hatched Tuesday. About the size of a golf ball right now. 

I’ve made a commitment to blog every day in July. Maybe twice today will catch me up?

The topic on nablopomo (huh?) dang – let me get back to you on that, with link – anyway, for the month of July, is food.

 

who eats who

I can write about food. No problema, chicos y chicas. I can write about food chains, about predators, about bechemel, making a proper roux, about grilling fish, about what chickens eat. Ah — a starting point!

Today: food for hatchling chicks

Ingredients:
Starter scratch
Water

Preparation:
You’ll need tiny little watering jars, usually a standard mason jar with a lid that has a specially designed lip to provide water for the peeps. Fill the jar with water and turn it over. chick watererIt must be teeny-tiny or new-hatched chicks will fall in and drown. Do not assume instinct will inform them. It does not.

Notice:
Keep hatchlings separate from your other birds. They need more heat and protection. They are easily stomped to death, and are prone to die with very little provocation in those first few days.

Next:
You will also need little feeding dishes, also made with mason jars and chick designed lids. You can buy these at your neighborhood feed store. They will also sell you incubator lights and guide books on how to raise chicklets. Now, if you live in a city, don’t assume that you can’t have chickens. In most cities, hens are fine, but roosters are not. You can order your chicks sexed (funny job, that), online or through your feedstore, and even hens who do not have roosters will lay eggs every spring. They will also eat bugs and provide manure that can be used in your garden (another topic for another day).

Pics of chicks as things evolve.

I’ve got a new job and a bunch of other stuff too, but for now, think about baby birds. Peep-peep!

Goslings from the cacklehatchery.com gallery!

 

 

Everything is in the driveway, and then it starts to rain

Posted in family, goose talk, home, life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by bosquechica

……. and rain, and rain.

On Tuesday, as the wind is whipping up but before the rain begins, Mrs. Bosquechica spends hours climbing around on the roof in the heat (93F/33.88C), setting up the swamp cooler. I am on the ground, handing up wrenches and wire brushes and hoses. The carpenters are work demons – the first dumpster is filled, hauled off and a second dumpster is delivered. The afternoon heat rises, the winds are gusting, but the rain has not yet started. We brilliantly decide this would be a good time to clean out the pump house, which acts as household storage. We pull everything out and put it in the driveway.

Over the course of the next two days, the temperature drops 25 degrees. The wind howls. The driveway is full of half sorted storage, there are vacuum cleaners and fans scattered on the lawn, next to a partially cleaned woodstove that has been sitting in the barn for 20 years or so. The winds are up to 45 mph as the rain begins. The rain turns to hail. The ancient cottonwoods wave their arms and threaten to come down on our heads as we run around in the weather gathering armloads of soggy guilt. The dogs circle us in muddy galumphing joy, helping out by biting each other in the head and running in and out of the house with their big wet dirty feet.

Around that time, the toilet in the main bathroom breaks. The rain continues to come down, the wind is still blowing madly. Lightning strikes. My old laptop takes a hit during the storm, the OS is fried and it is now past time to buy a new one.

The carpenter is making sucking, picklish faces that make me wonder about his sciatic nerve and his prostate, both. His helper is soaked through but having the greatest time rummaging through our giveaway pile, presents for his wife. A lighted misting bowl on a copper pedestal stand! An arm bicycle! A black lacquered TV stand from the 1990s! A terrarium! A doghouse! A pump that almost works!

On Thursday morning, we call a plumber and a house cleaning service, and spend the day rummaging through the wet heaps still lining the driveway. By Thursday evening, the missus and I are so exhausted we can barely move. We sensibly take ourselves out to dinner, where we suddenly break down in a humiliating squabble over a shared hamburger. We sound like the geese attacking a UPS guy — honking honk HONK HONK or maybe even more like the guinea hen who makes a rusty crackling nervous KAH-KAH-KAH sound, very resentful and critical. All because the momentum created by even starting this project must mean we are insane. We collapse in the bed, face down and drooling, the instant we get home from the restaurant, and fall into a deep sleep.

Around 2 a.m., the cat shrieks suddenly at a skunk sneaking by outside the bedroom window. The skunk reacts, the window fan pulls in the fumes, the bedroom reeks. We put pillows on our heads and go back to sleep.

On Friday, the plumber replaces the toilet without drama – thank you, kind plumber! The housecleaner walks through the house, raises her eyebrows and her phone estimate by 25%. She quickly leaves in her enormous shiny expensive new truck with the huge monthly payments and does not look back. The carpenter’s helper tells me his wife loves her new arm bicycle. I get in my 17-year-old Toyota and go to various banks moving money around to pay for the first week of coop building. Kah-kah-KAH!

These are the most beautiful goose coops ever. And no, they are not done yet!

Drafty in here

Posted in family, life, this-n-that, Uncategorized, work, writing with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2008 by bosquechica

On my fiction blog, Cuentos, I am in the habit of tossing in freewrites without judging or editing, and this has worked well for me, I think. Here at Trees, though, where I am theoretically exploring creative non-fiction, I’ve got actually dozens of drafts rotting in my manage files, and I am afraid they are stuck there. Why is that? I am somewhat reminded of my journalism internship back in dark wet moldy Seattle. I believed I was an unreliable source of factual information, and found myself wretchedly unsure of my ability to report the facts of the council meetings and “about town” features that I was assigned. To report “facts” at all, actually. I’m given to hyperbole, equivocation and dithering (the robin was 7 feet tall, well almost, well metaphorically, and maybe it wasn’t a robin, maybe it was a shadow or something someone told me or I just heard it somewhere). And sometimes I say things because of how they sound instead of how they mean. I’m pretty sure my internship advisor would still shudder and turn away if she ran into me in a back alley somewhere.

So for no other reason than here I am, awake and ungrounded, here are a few fact-lets (or they may be fict-lets) about my life of late:

  1. The geese are frisky due to spring. This is a good time to pat their soft chests (they come running when called) and chat, but a bad time to turn your back on them (they do not ask for your phone number first, they just grab ass and go for it).
  2. The elder patients are feeling good with the warm sun heating their bones. Less dying, more sparking.
  3. The babies are rowdy and physical, and prone to throw things in one’s face. Exuberant, but no finesse. One split my lip a couple weeks ago. Ha-ha-ha-HA! he said. Little heathen.
  4. The lilac is in bloom. It is too big to be a bush now, more like a lilac tree.
  5. The friends are lining up to visit. Ah, the bosque in the spring! Warm, green, sleep with the windows open.
  6. The missus and I will take a week off in May and stay home to play lady farmers together. Don’t tell anyone, cause we want quiet time in the garden together.
  7. We rented our friend’s fire station to a children’s theatre troupe, because they will use the dance floor (used to be the firetruck bay) as it is intended to be used. And because we liked them. They have a St. Bernard named Menaleus.
  8.  I am paying attention to the primaries, but even thinking about what a mess it is makes me want to talk about the seven foot robin mentioned above. So never mind.
  9. My mom has moved home and is walking, making her own meals, dressing and bathing herself, and getting physical therapy at home three times a week. Pretty good after almost five months in a nursing home.
  10. I’m saving money to build a new chicken coop. I’ve almost got it now, but usually something happens to eat the money before it gets done.
  11. Our very sweet nephew, Ed, graduates from high school next month. He wants a membership to the ACLU for his 18th birthday, and cash for graduation. He is a good boy. In my head he is often still six years old, playing pirate in the yard.
  12. I think I’ll give up private practice and go work in the schools for a while. Summers off. Benefits. Still ambivalent, but the academic schedule is very appealing. Last summer driving around all day doing home therapy was like getting in and out of a pizza oven. I’m dreading the coming months already.
  13. It’s about time for another all-day writing retreat here at Casa de Bosquechica. More planning this time – the last one needed more structure.
  14. Mrs. Bosquechica is looking for a job. Her funding is way gone now. Anyone need a brilliant systems analyst with a background in medical research?
  15. I’m in the mood to go hiking, biking and camping, but have been spending weekends working. This seems fundamentally wrong.
  16. I’d like to go back to sleep now, or if not that, I’d like to write a great play or a poem, or decide what to be or do next with my life. Maybe that’s the problem.

Goodnight or good morning, wherever and whoever you may be.