The only thing that was missing from our checklist of “must haves” when we bought this property was an area to use for vegetable fields. Today that is about to be remedied. Today the logging crew has arrived to cut down, chip, and truck away 2-3 acres of the predominately white pine forest that is our front yard. As tree-hugging liberal, environmentalist types, it is a bit overhwleming for us; but we plan to use the cleared space not only for growing vegetables, but also to plant new groves of hardwood species such as walnuts, maples, and oaks. White pines have been crowding out many of the hardwoods in Vermont over the years because they are a fast-growing tree, and they don’t have much use other than chipping for fuel. From what we understand the trees on our property will be sold to one or more power companies to generate electricity.
The picture here was taken early this morning as the crew was clearing the spaces necessary for the chipper truck, and other machinery. Since then the process has sped up considerably. We have taken the “before” photos, and Sarah has shot some video footage we hope to upload soon. We will document as much of the process as we can. This is only the first step. The next is for a bulldozer to come in to push all the stumps into a ravine, bury as much as possible, move the bigger rocks to create a retaining wall below the leach field, and finally level some of the land. After that it is up to us to start a cover crop to get us through the winter. In between, we will take a soil sample to see what we will need to do to make our new fields as fertile as possible.
Watch the webcam today if you can stand the carnage.
Update: We made a short Quicktime video (with music!) from the footage we shot.
Josh and Lori brought Ginger over to romp in the yard with Haley this past Saturday, and much fun was had by all. Haley was completely knackered afterwards, and spent most of the next day snoozin’… which was a nice break for us, as well.
Here’s yet another music video by our toxic-arsed dog masquerading as content. (Note: Quicktime video with sound. 8MB)
While this is the first real snow storm of the season, we got our first snow (an inch or so) earlier in the week. Haley wasn’t sure what to make of it, but she seems to have enjoyed herself (Note: Sound & Quicktime video: 6MB).
If you have wondered where we have been, all I can tell you is that we have had one crazy summer. But mostly we have been holed up in the studio while Haley finished her newest music video. As you can see, it has been a while since her last release, but she thinks this project was well worth the wait. And who are we to argue with a diva of her stature? Plus, Haley has graciously included special extra footage of her singing with her vocal coach during a break on the set.
Sure there were some creative differences, and Haley and the lighting director did nearly came to blows over some silly little thing, but rumours of Haley hitting the hard stuff were greatly exaggerated. The only weeds she ever messes with are the ones in the garden, and that goes for the herbs too! As for Haley’s relationship with a certain long-haired chihuahua, she blames youthful indiscretion and wishes Ms. Chica well.
And now, without further ado, Haley, in her most recent video extravaganza ….
Riot Grrrrrrrrrrl! (Note: Sound and Quicktime video)
Until last week I hadn’t been to the theater to see a movie since Marc, Lori, Josh and I went to see Lord of the Rings. Not having read the book*, I didn’t find this movie all that interesting. Especially considering all the hype that surrounded it. But last week I saw two excellent—and very different—films that I enjoyed very much: Monsoon Wedding and Spider-man.
Monsoon Wedding is a film by Mira Nair, an Indian-born producer/director, who made her directorial debut in 1988 with the Academy Award-nominated Salaam Bombay! Monsoon Wedding tells the story of a modern Indian family coming together for the arranged marriage of Aditi and Hermant. But while the bride and groom are important characters in the film, Monsoon Wedding is not entirely their story. It is the story of family, and of the joy and pain that comes from being a part of one. It is about a father’s love for his children—as well as his departed brother’s—and the sacrifices he makes for their happiness. As cliche as it sounds, I laughed and I cried. I cheered and clenched my fists. This is a beautiful film on many levels, and I encourage folks to catch it. I know it will become a part of my DVD collection.
The other film I saw this weekend was Spider-Man. Now, I have never been a fan of the so-called summer blockbuster, and I was never a comic book reader, but Spider-man is not the traditional over-the-top action movie that seems to define previous films about comic book characters. For instance, for the first time in such a film, the superhero does not have his superpowers when he is introduced to the audience. This alone makes for a much more personal experience with the film and the characters. Another difference between this film and previous movies based on comic book characters is that the film doesn’t rely on special effects, outrageous plots, and sillier and sillier villains. Sure there are some really cool FX, but they aren’t ground-breaking, and they don’t overshadow the film’s story. At its core, this film is a love story, but it had a little something for everyone. For these reasons it is no surprise that it broke box office records this weekend.
* I have since read all three books, and then re-watched the first 2 movies. I liked them much better after reading the books.