Category Archives: stories

On the Hunt for Nature



            I hunt with a Samsung 8 android phone. My quarry a clandestine meeting with nature along a country road. I walk for health trying to keep in mind the goal of 10,000 steps a day for health and fitness. My usual course is on the road between my home and our family dairy farm, Mountain Dairy. Some days I cross through fields or circle the barns. Some days a quick there and back. Often, I walk there and ride home as my husband leaves milking or is off to check on something. I catch a few minutes time with him.

One would assume that a short walk over the same course would become boring but that is not the case. I am constantly on the alert for nature along the way. It might be a new bloom, an insect and very often it is the birds. A dairy farm is host to so many species. Even more birds travel through on annual migrations. The beckoning corn and hay fields and the grassy pastures lure birds to rest a spell.

Today was special as the walk included viewing two Bald Eagles soaring over my home and horse pasture before dipping a wing and turning toward the expanse of the dairy farm. The sun streamed through their feathers and I was in awe. A cell phone camera may not be the best for this type photography but I was able to capture the moment and despite the blur when I consider the distance and speed it is amazing what I got.


I stalked a Great Blue Heron fishing the verge of a pond. Closer and closer I crept trying to get close enough for a picture. My phone in hand I moved in measured micro steps. I used brush on the pond edge to obscure his view of me then stepped forth and snapped a couple images before he winged off to the pond in the next field.

My late father, Herman Marshall was a professional photographer. His work covering the news and noteworthy for The Hartford Courant lasted 19 years. The stress and the balance toward more bad news than good drove him from that field of work. I remember when he loved photography. When there was the magic of the image captured. It’s sad he lost the love because of gruesome murders and horrific nightmares of humanity. I wish he could walk with me now and take nature photos. This winter I want to look into my father’s photo career, there are some good stories lurking in there. Some I know of, some can be unearthed, some are lost forever. Besides hunting nature I hunt for stories, especially family stories.

Summer and fall were wonderful walking days. I saw a tremendous variety of species. I reveled in sunsets and cloudy skies. I conversed with Chickadees and Red Tail hawks. I stopped to capture the progress of a Wooly-bear determined to cross the road. (I helped)

There were times my breath caught at the magic, such as the visit at my feet by this magnificent Red Spotted Purple butterfly. I used iNaturalist to document more than 400 species seen on my walks this year.

Winter is coming, I can feel it in the wind. The leaves are fast disappearing from the trees. Soon it will be a gray and windy cold walk. I wonder what will catch my eye on the cold winter days and what stories nature will show me. Time will tell.

Fiona’s Viral Post

      Her name is Fiona, she is one of many beautiful calves at Mountain Dairy in Storrs/Mansfield Connecticut.  What is so special about her has been the reaction a photo of her received on Facebook. Mountain Dairy is our family farm. My grandchildren are the 11th generation. I take care of social media for… Continue Reading

Fair Season, I Have The Story

Children grow up! One minute you are wrapped up in a whirlwind life filled with kids. The next minute you sit back and watch other people working with their kids, and it’s too quiet.          No time of year makes me realize that more, than fair season. We were one of those families who brought… Continue Reading

5 Ways to Preserve Family Stories

The teen sat on the park bench, hungry, tired, jobless, a boy of New Haven, Connecticut. He wondered what the world would hold for him. He sat staring into space, after awhile his focus landed on a beautiful girl across the street, near the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. She was made of wood! It was… Continue Reading

Family Recipes, 5 Questions for Family Stories

  Food and Family, the two can hardly be separated.  Family events and every day suppers hold lots of food memories and they are a good place to start collecting family stories too. Everyone has a food story to share! Are you ready to collect a family story? You can ask your kids your elders… Continue Reading

What Does Your Family Sound Like?

Every family has a certain playlist. That constant background music or noise that is seldom acknowledged. When I was a teen I babysat for a family, it was a no TV house, the constant background there was classical music piped softly to every room. It was a serene household, but I always had to fight… Continue Reading

Apple Apple Who’s Got Apples

Apple Apple Who’s Got Apples

It is apple season the crunchiest, crisp, red, green and yellow celebration of fall. Today we are making pie, Apple Pie first was a trip to the store for supplies We have apples all washed and  ready to peel                                            Making the pie crust comes next                                                                          Pies baking in the oven smell great Company… Continue Reading

Village Smithy

Village Smithy

                                                                            anvil Blacksmith Stories Link: Terminology of the Blacksmith:                                                   coal fire  and red hot     Functional work of the smithy- today most blacksmiths do  not shoe horses, farriers trim horses feet and shape and put on their shoes. ( This big draft horse is sporting toe clips to hold the shoe on in… Continue Reading