Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Aftermath: 7 1/2 Days of Pleistocene Existence come to an end!

Your buddy Buster here:  Good News!  The Wolves are no longer at the door!  After seven and a half days of living like, well, a wolf, the power came back on in the middle of the night last night.  I must say, this was a pretty humbling experience! 

Let me introduce my newest, BEST friend, Snuffles the Kerry-Warmer!  He sputters and purrs for about 3-4 hours at a time, providing Bailey and Gracie and Yours Truly with real warmth from a small electric heater.  After that time, our human lackey gets up in the middle of the night and feeds him.

Snuffles had to be purloined from the People's Republic of Rhode Island, since none of his kind remained in Connecticut.  I'd like to be that popular!

Miss Bailey really appreciates being warm.  She's getting on into her Prime-Diva years, and she likes to curl up beside the electric heater by the window and just soak it up.

Now that the furnace (and everything else) is running again, our pack of not-so-dire wolves has ventured out onto the Tundra to survey the damage and chase small, furry creatures.

Gracie has absconded with MY squeaky tennis ball...

Miss Bailey stays close to the noonday sun!

And what could be better than to engage my trusty side-kick, Gracie in a good old-fashioned Bark-Fest?

Miss Bailey indulges in her patented, ritual back-scratch.

Today's by-word?  Canis Familiaris !  With the emphasis on the adjective!  I like being domestic!  Warmth.  Regular meals.  Dutiful human servants.  It's not a bad life!  How did our lupine ancestors ever manage?

Your friend,


Friday, November 4, 2011

Dispatches from Arborgeddon--by Buster

There was an early snowstorm in New England this week.  The guy on the radio says that sixteen inches of snow hit the trees before the leaves had fallen, and promptly the trees came down.  I think I'll take a look....

Hmmmm....    Bamboo patch carpet-bombed.  Not a good sign!

Let's walk down the street!

Now I know why the power's out and mom can't make her hot cocoa....

This explains the loud cracking sounds all night!

I tell you, this is not looking very promising!

Ya know, I think we're going to be here for awhile!

Gracie tells me we'll be without electricity and heat for awhile; just like in the Old Days, when wolves howled and lived by their wits!


Well, it's been a full week with no electricity, no heat, no internet.  Dad's posting this from his University for us.  I'm tired of wolfdom.  I'm bored.  I want a hot pizza dinner and a bath!  Send help!

Your Born-Again DOMESTIC canine friend,


Friday, October 28, 2011

Farewell, Pond!

Buster here.  I suppose it was bound to happen.  Again!  Off we go, North to our little slice of Paradise, then very shortly, things start to disappear.  The dock.  The canoe.  The running water.  By then, I know it's going to be a long winter!

There's a certain chill in the air...and the wind is relentless!

Our green sugar maples are turning to red and orange.  But Mr. Loon still holds forth, occasionally unleashing his lonely cry.

Are they really going to take MY CANOE away?  Dang!  And I was just learning to paddle!

No one's around.  Except the Loon.  But I think the place is kinda pretty with no humans.

Moments like these make a gray-bearded dog kind of reflective.  I just can't remember what I was reflecting upon. 

The White Pine That Ate Cleveland is shedding its needles all over.

I think I'll take my human manservant for one last walk down the road!

Okay--Battle Stations!  I get the back seat for the trip home!

We pass the old arched bridge over the Ashuelot River.

 The recent rains have created a torrent!

Then, before I know it, I'm home!  I hope spring comes soon!

Your friend,


Sunday, October 23, 2011

"He Took His Vorpel Sword in Hand, Longtime the Manxome Foe He Sought..." -- The Saga of the Leaf Monster, Part 36

And it came to pass that once more the vile and fearsome Leaf Dragon did make his cursed appearance within the realm of Sir Buster!

'Twas a creature of malevolent design and great cunning.

Sir Buster's faithful Squire, Mistress Gracie, had never before seen such evil.

Together, they worked on a strategic plan of attack!

Sir Buster rested a bit to focus his attention fully upon the task at hand, remembering the words of the Bard, "Now rested he by the tumtum tree, and stood awhile in thought!"

"One, two, one, two, and through and through, his vorpel blade went snickersnack.  He left it dead and with its head, he went galumphing back!"

To be continued, next year, same time, same place!

Your faithful Scribe,

Miss Bailey


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Northbound Again!

Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind,
there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling,
calling. . .let us go. 

Apologies to Robert Service.  The Land of the North beckons.  Savage, ineffable things.  Nature red in tooth and claw.  It's Buster, at your, uh, Service...gosh, I love that kind of talk!

Let me introduce my faithful apprentice, White Fang Gracie!

Swift as the panther in triumph,
  fierce as the bear in defeat,
Sired of a bulldog parent,
  steeled in the furnace heat. 

You know, the thing I so love about Robert Service's poetry is that it is so wonderfully bad!

My diminutive apprentice scans the horizon for wolves and advancing glaciers.  

All clear!

We spring from the gloom
of the canyon's womb;
in the valley's lap we lie;
From the white foam-fringe,
where the breakers cringe
to the peaks that tusk the sky

Oh, Bliss!  The best of Nature and the worst of human doesn't get much better than this!

So gaunt against the gibbous moon,
   Piercing the silence velvet-piled,
A lone wolf howls his ancient rune --
   The fell arch-spirit of the Wild. 

Okay--Butterfly Break!   I think this is some kind of fritillary.

Gracie, of course, being a GIRL, has to dress for her role as a savage, whale-blubber-eating, sledge-puller.

I paint my cheeks, for they are white, and cheeks of chalk men hate;
Mine eyes with wine I make them shine, that man may seek and sate;
With overhead a lamp of red I sit me down and wait 

We interrupt this fantasy for a brief Rudbeckia Break.  Nice, huh?

We return now to our dashing Buster of the North!

This is the Law of the Yukon,
  that only the Strong shall thrive;
That surely the Weak shall perish,
  and only the Fit survive. 

Hey, what do you think of the cool braids above my noble snout?  De Rigueur when ripping the entrails from a seal!

White Fang Gracie is temporarily disoriented by snow-blindness, so she must rock a bit.

Jewel-Weed Break!  Factoid:  The hummingbirds have left the North Country.  Why?  'Cuz these little gems are now in bloom all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico!  By the time the little guys reach Yucatan, they've snarfed enough sugar to give an elephant palpitations.

I haled me a woman from the street,
Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
I bade her sit in the model's seat
And I painted her sitting there. 

Ya know, I have to admit that White Fang Gracie is definitely hot!

Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There's a whisper on the night-wind,
there's a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling,
calling. . .let us go. 

There MUST be a Bulwer-Lytton Prize for breathtakingly ill-conceived poetry.  There's a terrible beauty in stuff like this.  But the Pond is, well, outside the range of language.

End of Arctic Reverie.  We're back home.  And what's real and what's not?  The girls--Three Horse-Dogs of the Apocalypse--gather together in Persephone's backyard to terrorize defenseless wabbits.

It's a job.

Your faithful correspondent,


Friday, September 2, 2011

The Little Matter of Hurricane Irene

Buster at the keyboard tonight with a brief account of one MISERABLE weekend, watching objects blow around, and worse, NOT BEING ALLOWED OUTSIDE!

We collected candles and batteries and yucky sort-of-edible stuff in cans, and then we waited....

Here's what Irene did to a tree around the corner.

Then, she filled the rivers with just-a-bit-too-much water!  This is the Quinnipiac River intruding into a yard down the street.

The Farmington River developed a real attitude and just kinda moved off of its banks and started flooding things!

The Upper Collinsville Dam just disappeared.

Dad says he never saw the river at nineteen feet and 30,000 cubic feet per second before!  He took this video next to the old Ax Factory, which of course, ended up underwater.  The "standing waves" in the video caused the sluiceways in the old mill to back up.

Gracie took a tour of the place and was hard-pressed to find a dry spot!
Bailey and Gracie are regrettably getting into the spirit of the thing--the Cyclone, that is--by doing their very best imitation of the Flying Monkeys from the Witch's Castle.  More on that later...
Your faithful correspondent,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Return to The Pond

Hi, friends!  Bailey & Gracie here--just back from New Hampshire in time to catch Hurricane Irene.

We vote for going right back!

Anyway, we thought we'd share a brief account of our adventures before the power goes off...

Our most important Mission:  Chipmunk Patrol !

Alvin tormented us by scurrying about in the Pachysandra below the deck, collecting sunflower seeds from the birdfeeder; but he DID NOT get in!

Mr. Loon was there to greet us.  It's reassuring that some things never change!

Lunatic Buster carried his Sacred Tennis Ball around the front deck, tossing it and retrieving it over and over again. 

I, Bailey, demonstrated my self-assurance by leading myself around by the loose end of my collar.  This technique is all the rage in rural New Hampshire!

The little ones came and went, competing with diminutive ferocity for the sugar-water that will propel them across the Gulf of Mexico in a few weeks.

Our loon buddy proceeded to empty the pond of trout with enviable professionalism.

What do you think?  Isn't my posterior elegant?

Big Bird strolled the grounds, terrorizing the frogs.

All in all, The Pond--like a good St. Emilion--improves with age.  Honestly, it gets prettier every year!

And the reason we were tormented by Vile Chipmunks?  Northern Waterthrushes!  In an evil conspiracy with the nefarious rodents, they kicked extra sunflower seeds out of the feeder and down to the garden below, where the little striped reprobates stuffed them into their pouches.

Gracie, of course, was one wandering girl--she went everywhere!

How do you like our "Bookend" routine?

Note the recent addition of the Chipmunk Pursuit-Prevention Net.  The humans have NO sense of humor!

We'll share more pictures later!  Just gotta get through this darned cyclone first!

Your faithful correspondents,

Bailey & Gracie