"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Whirlwind of Activity

On Friday, despite the frigid, damp air and pouring rain, I participated in a legislators' tour of county farms, organised by the County Farm Bureau. We departed from the County Offices downtown in a plush and very comfortable bus.

Our first stop was an alpaca and goat farm. I saw these very beasts last weekend at the Sheep & Wool Festival.

Next we arrived at a farm with tomatoes and cucumbers growing in the greenhouses and where we watched a sheep-shearing demonstration. After the shearing, the ewe gets a manicure!

As I returned to the bus, I snapped a tiny portion of the grand view for which the farm is named.

Around lunchtime we reached the massive farm supply store where we dined on NH grown beef (in the form of cheeseburgers) and NH made ice cream topped with NH grown frozen strawberries--and hot fudge from an unknown source. I purchased a small model of a Border Collie and one of a black bear. I also took a picture of these turkey poults.

We travelled to a dairy farm in a nearby town, to see the freestall barn and the calf-rearing area. It was a mixed herd of Jerseys and Holsteins.

Along the same road we stopped at farm featuring a mix of operations: equestrian, beef cattle, sheep, and timber.

As soon as we arrived, there was a demonstration by working stock dogs (imagine my glee!) by their very renowned trainer, whose assistant is pictured here with the dogs.

Do these cows realise that they are being bossed around by a much smaller creature?

Inside the enormous equestrian barn, we watched the dogs doing some close work with sheep and more cows, working in combination with riders on horseback. A High School Equestrian Team then showed us their maneuvres.

I made friends with all the horses. This one was wearing braids.

So that was Friday. You might think I'd spend the rest of the weekend resting up. But Saturday was the day of our diocesan Spring Event. A gathering of 325 people descended upon a nearby college campus for a day of worship and workshops about the Millennium Development Goals, and an awesome address by the US Ambassador to Angola. It was pouring rain, but that didn't dampen the participants' enthusisam. It was a wonderful day of fellowship!

We began the day with the U2charist. The words to the U2 songs (all of which the Chap and I knew already!) were projected onto the large screen at the front. In this photo of the processional, you can see the Bishop and the homilist (blue robe) and the screen.

As an "official" event photographer, I have a zillion photos.

Among the people gathered round the altar is the creator and originator of the U2charist, who joined us from York, Maine. Our homilist came from the Harvard Divinity School.

The offering was dedicated to the MDG's: $3300 was raised for Episcopal Relief and Development.

It's raining again today. A good day to stay indoors, and watch the orioles from the window.

There's a bit more variation in their return dates than for, say, the hummingbirds or the rose-breasted grosbeak. Normally they show up anytime from May 5th to 20th, and usually within an hour or so of my setting out an orange. This year, they arrived on the 17th, but this was after the orange had been out there for a couple of days.

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