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IceStormSo, I’m not much into the holidays. If it were up to me, I’d leave the country the day after Thanksgiving (which is my high holy day because, ahem, it’s all about the food and company) and go someplace warm until March 1st, and just skip the whole debate about whether we should put Christ back in Christmas. (If this holiday has significant religious meaning to you, I genuinely respect that. I’ve read some really moving pieces on the four weeks of Advent this year. Just leave me out of your “lets see how far we can get people to share this” messenger messages.) Read the rest of this entry »

Calamity Jane

Terrible picture with my phone as she wouldn’t let me get close. Calamity Jane in garden.

So I knew Jane (our half wild half domestic turkey named after Calamity Jane) was sitting on a bunch of eggs under the Chinese Cabbage out in the garden. Just about the time I was thinking I needed to check the date to see when she was likely to hatch them, I heard peeping! She only managed to hatch out 5 (out of about 15 eggs) but given the 100+ degree heat in the last month, she did OK. They hatched around August 7th. I’ve left her and the babies out in the garden, away from the rest of the flock. I put out food and water for them, and hope that they all eat squash bugs until there are none left! She’s down to four as of yesterday. It’s not unusual for them to lose a few in the first few weeks. I often think they quite literally lose them as they wander through the tall grass, while the little ones try to keep up. Read the rest of this entry »

Charlie&TheGirlsSo, Charlie the turkey is kind of an odd duck. Or maybe he’s totally normal for a turkey. I’ve never had them until this last year. It’s a wonder Charlie ever has time to eat, because he displays and displays and displays. If I sit down in the poultry yard, he’ll dance around me and gobble for hours. Lately he’s lost a lot of the feathers on his chest, and some of his tail feathers. I just figure he’s starting to molt. Read the rest of this entry »


Baby possum in a coffee can.

Totally forgot to share this story. A couple of weeks ago, we were just dozing off to sleep when one of the dogs started barking like crazy. This wasn’t “a leaf is blowing across the yard – OMG” kind of bark (we have a lot of that). This was a “Mama, this is serious, get your butt out here” kind of bark. So I hoisted my tired bones out of bed and found the flash light. It took me a few minutes, but I finally discovered a baby possum, cornered against a fence by the dogs. Read the rest of this entry »

SandhillsEverywhere my husband and I have lived, there have been Sandhill Cranes. We saw them in Montana, in southern Arizona, and in huge numbers while in Colorado, at the annual Monte Vista Crane Festival. I had the great fun of working at and speaking at this festival several years in a row while I was with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife). The festival almost always fell on my birthday, which was a great way to celebrate. (There’s also a huge crane festival in Nebraska every year. If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of these festivals – do go!) Read the rest of this entry »


Yup, that’s a honey bee! Not one of mine, unfortunately.

The calendar says March 4th. The ground says early spring. I’ve got chives coming up, California poppies reseeding, daffodils pushing up flower buds, violets blooming, fruit tree buds swelling, silver maple blooming. There is the faintest tinge of green, if you squint and get the light just right, on the line of “wind break” willows that line two sides of our property. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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