Puppets Travel to Indianapolis

Photo Caption: Bruce Ward — creating smiles and touching lives

“From Berryville to Indianapolis, my Jesus is so fabulous!”  This is the tagline the youth from Berryville Baptist Church applied to their most recent mission trip.  On July 13, 17 youth and 7 adults travelled to Indianapolis for a 9-day mission trip, sharing God’s love with all ages.  This was the church’s 21stannual mission trip, some of which have happened as far away as South Africa.  Joan Houck, who has led all 21 trips, commented that this was the best trip ever, incorporating more technology, and with participants doing the best they could do.  It’s truly incredible to see youth sharing their talents and reaching the hearts of others.

The team stayed in the Metro Baptist Center  and shared Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) — Sunday morning at the neighborhood community church and then every evening at a local trailer park reached by MBC.

In addition to VBS, the group held programs at the Men’s and Women’s Wheeler Homeless Shelters (getting a surprising request for encores!), helped with the Sunday School Programs at the Metro Center and at the Community Church, hosted an afternoon of Arts, Crafts and Music at a Women’s halfway house for those re-entering society after imprisonment, and held a special puppet show in the lobby of Riley’s Children Hospital for children, their families and other visitors.

The Metro Baptist Center is built around evangelism, teaching Biblical truth, fellowship and the desire to meet the needs of those around us.  Before leaving for Indianapolis, the mission team learned about some of the most basic needs of the people the Metro Baptist Center serves, and helped to provide some “bare necessities”, filling a suitcase with new underwear that they donated to the center.

Upon their return to Berryville, the Youth led the Sunday morning worship service, sharing some of the Bible stories, songs and puppet skits, along with testimonies of their trip.  Bradley Braithwaite, one of the puppeteers, recounted the story of one of their afternoons at the trailer park.  When the youth were sharing the story of Noah’s Ark, a storm was brewing in the distance.  That day, the youth were lucky and no rain came, but they had a beautiful rainbow – accentuating the story of Noah where God sends a rainbow as a promise to his children that He won’t flood the world again.  Another puppeteer, Bruce Ward, shared how he asked God, prior to the trip, to help him and the team touch lives.  The stories they brought back and the pictures of children’s smiling faces was proof that they did just that.

This summer, the mission trip was one in a series of mission outreach programs which started with Vacation Bible School held at Rose Hill Park in Berryville early in July and continued on July 28 with the Academy Street Fun Day, an event focused totally on fun and games for the community.

Want to see the puppets in action?
They’ll be at the Clarke County Fair, Wednesday, August 15, at 1 PM, at the grandstand.

The Berryville Baptist Rascals is primarily a children’s ministry and travels with a full puppet ministry that they incorporate into every mission trip and Vacation Bible Schools, and also share at shelters and churches in the Berryville area throughout the year.   If interested in having the Rascals visit you, contact the church office at 540-955-1423.  For more information, visit the church website at www.berryvillebaptist.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/berryvillebaptistchurch.  The church is located at 114 Academy Street, Berryville, Virginia.

Photo Caption: The Youth just after arriving in Indianapolis: left to right: Jeffrey Rosenberry, Bradly Braithwaite, Dane Duncan, Bruce Ward, Zach Bartasiewicz, Robert Rosenbrook, Garret Rosenbrook, Amanda Gordon, Sarah Cantrell, Ted Schulz, Alana Bartasiewicz. Back row right……….Anna Louthan, Kristina Bartasiewicz, Sam Whitacre, Kierstan Tinsman. Sitting: Lee Louthan, Caroline Louthan




Local Lions Travel to Korea

Sharon Hart with Wing-Kun Tam

Sharon and Greg Hart, members of the Clarke County Lions Club,   recently returned from the Lions Club International Convention in Busan, Korea.   During the convention, Sharon Hart was installed as District Governor with responsibility for the 52 Lions, Lioness, and Leo Clubs in the area from Winchester to Lexington to Charlottesville.   Greg Hart will serve as Cabinet Secretary for the District.

Lions Clubs International is an association of 1.4 million members from around the world.  More than 60,000 of these Lions, including about 40,000 from China and Korea,  attended the Convention.  While at the Convention the Harts attended District Governor Elect and Partner-in-Service training with about 750 other District Governor’s Elect from around the world.  They had an opportunity to meet and speak with leaders in Lionism including Immediate Past President Wing-Kun Tam from China and the 2012-2013 President Wayne Madden from the United States.

Sharon and Greg Hart in the International Parade of Countries

They also participated in the Lions Clubs International Parade of Countries.  Dressed in traditional colonial costumes, they were immediately recognized as George and Martha Washington.  Arriving at the parade line-up, they were surrounded by Lions from around the world who called out to “George Washington” by name and wanted to be photographed with George and Martha.  The Harts said that they had thousands of pictures taken during the parade line-up before finally stepping off on the parade route.  While on the parade route, parents brought their children into the street for pictures with George and Martha.  The Harts handed a miniature  American Flag to each child who had their photo taken.

While all meetings were conducted in English,  real-time translation was provided in eleven different languages.   However, a smile and the sharing of Lions friendship pins often occurred without a common language.   The Harts said that the Lions who attended the Convention shared a common bond of service to others,  friendship, fellowship, and camaraderie in spite of the many different cultures and languages .

Greg and Sharon Hart with Wayne and Linda Madden


J.C. Coon: Waiting

Advent season is upon us.

Advent means coming or arrival. It is a time when Christians await the arrival of the birth of Jesus the Christ and is traditionally celebrated during the four weeks that proceed Christmas.

When raising my girls, the four weeks before Christmas would feel like a lifetime to them. So I delighted in having a “little bit of Christmas” each week.

It helped the waiting time.

On each of the four Sundays prior to Christmas, as we lit our traditional Advent candle, I would give my girls a small gift.  Usually they were holiday related gifts; Christmas socks, Christmas earrings, Christmas shirts, etc.

It helped the waiting time.

We also tried to plan ahead to have an event to do each week.  Our church was full of events; special Christmas concerts, practicing for the Christmas Eve pageant, gathering and filling food baskets for the needy, shopping for the angel tree. This was a time when the girls could shop, purchase and wrap a gift for a complete stranger, driving around town looking at the vast array of Christmas lights; deciding which Nutcracker Suite to watch.

It helped the waiting time.

Today I pulled out a book – all it was in the beginning, was a black and white composition book purchased at a local grocery store.  Today that book is full of memories of Christmas past, twenty six to be exact.  Now it is decorated with Christmas fabric and lace and overflowing with memories.  Actually like the Christmas Season now it has morphed into memories of Thanksgivings and New Years too.

This simple black and white composition book is now, in my mind, a treasured memory.  It reminds me whose house and family that we spent the holidays with, what foods we cooked, baked and ate.  It brings to mind special events we attended, gifts we gave and received.  The “received list” was important, as it was the list used to sit down and write thank you notes from.

Remember “Thank You notes”?  A lost art.  One we should bring back.

Writing thank you notes is also a time a reflection, like Advent.  Thank you notes help the receiver of the gift to pause and take the time to reflect upon the gift received, the giver of the gift and a time to be grateful that someone took the time to think of you.

Hmmm… Is there a parallel here somewhere?

It’s the simple things that make the best memories.  I hope that I can inspire you to stop by your local grocery store and pick up a simple black and while composition book.  Just start writing your thoughts of the season in it; what recipes you are cooking, where you are going, where you want to go, who you want to share the joy of the season with.  It’s the simple things that we remember.

It will help the waiting time.


J.C. Coon: Waste Not Want Not

What joy!  When I opened my mailbox today I saw the now familiar orange post card announcing the long awaited arrival of the Clarke County FFA annual Florida Fresh Citrus sale.  This year like last year, I had placed my order early in the fall.  Last year,  I had grand plans to use every inch of the oranges, but alas, time got in the way.

Again this year the plan is to use every inch of the oranges that I have ordered.

Waste not, want not - Photo Janice Coon

Hubby found a beautiful glass juicer at a yard sale.  How clever and resourceful were those who came before us.  I have been using this juicer over the past months to get the last drops of lemon juice out of my lemons.  Lemons have been my latest cooking friend.  I have put them in rice, soups and they are awesome in a chicken noodle casserole.  (Try it…you will like it).  Back to the juicer and my lemons. I tried all the tricks, put them in the micro, be sure to ‘roll them’ to loosen up the cells etc.  None of these work as well as this old-fashioned juicer.

I am now looking forward to making my own orange juice.  I have ordered a box of ‘juice oranges’ in addition to the all-time favorite navel oranges.  Now if all goes as planned…once I have ‘juiced’ my oranges.  The plan is to make an all time holiday favorite recipe of my father’s, Candied Orange Rinds.  It was a family tradition to “waste not, want not.” Many have turned their noses up at the thought of eating the rinds of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits.

The process is actually rather simple.  As you finish eating your citrus fruit, just take the peels and cut them in strips and put them in a zip lock bag in the freezer until you have ‘enough’.  I call enough four cups.  Then you toss them in a pan and cook and drain several times.  Then add some sugar and cook some more.  Once the sugar is cooked down you spread the strips on a cooling rack.  You can roll some in powered sugar and let them dry for a day or two (or three).  If you get tired of rolling them in powered sugar, just let the rest of them dry and you will be amazed the uses you can find for them…

The ones in powered sugar look nice on a cookie tray.  You can also take dip them in chocolate, yummm.  This year I hope to use some to make my own citrus for fruitcake.

Waste not, want not.

Thanks FFA…great idea.

FYI — if you did not ‘pre-order’  your citrus I understand starting at 8:30 am on Thursday December 8, 2011 you can pick-up fruit on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis at the Clarke County High School Agriculture Education Department.

Phone: 540.955.6138

Clarke Voices – Unsung Heroes of World War II

A small silver metal winged pin brings back memories of the early 1950s, when volunteers manned shacks with binoculars and scanned the skies for aircraft then logged it into a record.  I used to go with my parents and soon learned the silhouette of every aircraft imaginable.  How important I felt when they would let me scan the skies with binoculars, call out the type of aircraft, and my PARENTS would write it down.

Mrs. Mary E. Yowell of Boyce, Virginia has donated a WW II civilian air observers pin to the Clarke County Historical Association. CCHA asks if you have information on local aircraft observation volunteers?

I did not know, until this pin belonging to Mrs. Mary E. Yowell of Boyce was donated recently, that the same thing was instituted all over the US during World War II.

Does anyone have any information/stories/names/pictures of these local aircraft observation volunteers?  

Does anyone know where the observation shack was for Boyce, or anywhere else in Clarke?

They have been unsung far too long, and deserve some recognition.


Mary Morris,  Archivist
Clarke County Historical Association

The World According to Dogs

Have you ever heard the old saying, “It’s a dog’s life”? Evidently the term was first used in the sixteenth century, referring to a life of misery, subservience and often abuse. Dogs of old weren’t carried around in designer bags and fed off of their owner’s plates while sitting on their laps. They were fed scraps and kept as watchdogs or as hunting dogs, rarely allowed in the house if at all. Dogs kept purely as pets and companions is relatively new… dressing them in outfits is even newer.

I used to be a die-hard cat lover. Don’t get me wrong I still like cats but having a cat is like living with a teenager, a sullen teenager. Cats are fairly self-sufficient but ignore you most of the time unless they want something from you. With a cat, you can set out a large amount of food and water and take off for a few days and when you come back the cat will look at you like, “Oh, your back.” Or if it’s feeling particularly generous maybe rub against your leg. A dog is like a perpetual two-year-old. Try leaving a large amount of food for a dog and most would eat them selves into a coma the moment the door closed behind you. There’s also the need to be walked or at least let outside several times a day and being a pack animal they get lonely if left alone for long periods. Dogs, like children need rules, boundaries and limitations (thank you, Cesar Milan), and they also require constant vigilance. I have a friend that has a very large dog that will eat the butter off the counter if she turns her back on it for even a moment. Another friend has the invisible fence with the zap collar for his dog. The dog will stand at the point when the collar beeps and stay there until it kills the battery and then trot off to whereabouts unknown. I don’t allow my dogs on the furniture, mainly because they are not small dogs, yet every morning when I come down the stairs to make coffee I hear the unmistakable thump, thump of a dog getting down off of the couch and behold my old dog with a sheepish look on her face.

I know that my dogs are dependent on me for the necessities, i.e. food and shelter, but I in no way feel ‘above’ them just as I don’t feel ‘above’ children just because they are young. Animals and children have an innate wisdom and we would do well to remember this.

I’m going to share some of what I have learned from watching dogs…
When you enter the front door your dogs welcome you as if you’ve been gone for a week even if you just went to the mailbox and back.
Lesson 1~ Love joyfully.
Dogs will just stand outside with their eyes closed and their noses held high, sniffing the air with gusto.
Lesson 2~ Breathe deeply.
If I have just scolded my dog for eating a stink bug and then licking my arm they may slink away but there are no hard feelings, a minute later they are back by my leg for a pat on the head or a belly rub.
Lesson 3~ Forgive and forget.
Have you ever seen a dog nap during the day? They REALLY enjoy it, especially if they’re in a sunny spot.
Lesson 4~ Nap, because it feels good.
Every morning when I open the back door, my youngest dog always sprints the fifty yards to the back fence to catch the squirrel that ALWAYS springs out of reach at the last moment, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to get it again every single morning.
Lesson 5~ Just because you fail, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep trying.
Lastly is the dog belonging to friends of ours that was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. While she is given daily meds, you would never know that she was given six months to live. She runs like the wind, plays like a pup and just loves her life.
Lesson 6~ Live in the moment.

So, who would have thought that dogs could teach a person something about how to live a life to the fullest and be a better person?

In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog. ~Edward Hoagland

Did You Ever Have A Dream?

Did you ever have a dream? Dreams are good; though converting them to reality often takes hard work.

Several years ago Elva Buddenhagen, of Berryville, VA, the wife of Rev. Ralph Buddenhagen and pianist for Bluemont United Methodist Church (BUMC), had a dream.   Her dream was to create a music and worship event where people could come together, clap their hands, lift their arms up to the sky and sing praises to the Lord.   Elva was the instigator and catalyst of the first few hymn sings, before our Lord suddenly took her home.

Sunday night her dream continued.

Judy Anderson of BUMC has picked up where Elva left off.   With Judy’s guidance and meticulous attention to details, the bi-annual event (Spring and Fall) has grown into a multi-generation, multi-congregational, hand clapping, praise filled celebration of song and music.   What a joy it was to have all gather at the historic Bluemont United Methodist Church Sunday evening.   We sang, we clapped, we stood up, we sat down, we listened, we enjoyed, and we were filled with the Spirit.

It takes planning to assemble a successful event.   As the story goes, this how the planning started.   Judy was ‘just hanging around’ the new House of Light Christian Bookstore in downtown Berryville (there are no coincidences—mind you) and she just happened to meet Andrew Davis, the leader of the Audience of One, a praise band from Crum’s UMC church.   Curious, Judy went to hear them play at their weekly Saturday night worship service (every Saturday night @ 6 p.m.)   Judy wasted no time in extending an invitation for them to   come and be a part of the Spring Hymn sing.   They said YES!
One group booked.

Next she called upon Tammy Lanham of the Berryville Presbyterian Church.   She and her daughter Olivia had shared their talents with BUMC in the past, this time Tammy also brought along their Youth Bell Choir.

Now Judy had three.

From the Shenandoah Retreat, Judy invited back The Third Generation, The Largents:     Max, on guitar, Shelvy on electric guitar, and grandson Gavin, on banjo—maybe next time he will bring his dobro.   Locals like to remind him that he played on their stage before he became a Nashville star.   Tannis…you were missed.

That’s four.

Then from Pine Grove came Bluemont UMC, resident Lay Leader, musician and Christian song writer Mike Elsea.


The talent keeps coming—next on stage we have Robbie Thompson, the gifted musician who makes playing the organ looks so easy.   How well he multi-tasks on the organ, making beautiful music with focus on his feet, fingers, reading music and still managing to give the audience a smile.   What talent!         (I hear he gives piano lessons too).


And last but not least The Men for Christ, founded out of Bluemont UMC but now claims members from around the area including Berryville, Boyce, Bluemont, and   Pine Grove to name a few.   Not only to they perform in church hymn sings but they can be heard at the VA Hospital and at local nursing homes.

The music? To list a few songs:   He Lives!; Leaning on the Everlasting Arms;   Victory in Jesus.     The Audience of One played “I’ll Fly Away” for the closing song.   Needless to say by then we were all on our feet, clapping our hands and joyously singing along with the band.
“I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away/when I die, hallelujah, by and by, /I’ll fly away”
Booking complete, programs printed, spring evening cooperating, pack house, one woman’s dream carried on.

Thanks Elva.
Thanks Judy.


The Road to Wisdom

When our son was six and our daughter was two my family moved. We moved over the mountain from a place I will call Oz. You know the Oz of which I speak, just follow the yellow brick road. I lived there for twelve years and the ‘keeping up with the Jones’ mentality and HOA’s were only a few of the reasons we left ten years ago. Some friends of ours had preceded us here to Clarke County and when I came out to visit them I felt like I had taken a step back in time. They joked that it was Virginia’s best kept secret, but to me it was no joke. People here actually looked you in the face and smiled as you passed them on the sidewalk, they even held doors for each other. Those niceties had faded from Oz long ago. Now in Oz you are lucky to get through the queue at the local coffee franchise without being blatantly ignored or sneered at, and the customers are even worse. One of the biggest reasons we wanted to move was because of our children. We wanted a life in a real community, to raise them in a less materialistic place with a less frenetic pace.


While there are wealthy families here, it isn’t as blatantly obvious as in Oz. There, it’s an in-your-face kind of obvious and they like it that way. Here it’s more of the landed gentry type. We have a friend here that wears a tweed jacket with the leather elbows and a tweed cap, AND IT TOTALLY SUITS HIM, but I digress. Our friends here are all different socioeconomic levels, some lower than us as well as many higher. So, our children have an honest-to-God perspective of what it’s like being a middle-class family, albeit on the lower side of that than a few years ago. I’ve told my kids that even if we were rich they still wouldn’t get all they ask for because I feel that if you are handed everything, you appreciate very little.


So, yesterday, my son brought up the subject of his getting a car and as he’s speaking to me I see insurance premiums of astronomical proportions dancing through my head, not to mention deer and cows bounding across the road like some sort of Disney horror movie. As I pull my attention back to my son and the actual words coming out of his mouth, I hear him say that he wants to get a job to pay for his insurance and if he pays for half of his (used) car, would we please pay for half and all manner of mature and responsible things. Suddenly I’m hearing the choir music that accompanies good-parenting moments for me…. ok, and the times my husband says, “You’re right.” (I’m sorry, I was raised in the sixties and those cartoons left their mark). Seriously though, I was proud him for being so responsible and I told him so. I couldn’t help but wonder if this conversation would be the same if all those years ago we hadn’t moved away from the land of entitlement and all things glittery. Then I told him, we can talk about it further AFTER you are a licensed driver and I love you dearly but I’m not taking you to DMV for the third time for your learner’s, it’s your dad’s turn.

This Morning I am Pondering the Truth

by Laura Stevens

So this morning something happened that has me pondering the truth. What is the truth? Can the truth be an abstraction or is it just a hard line, with no gray areas? Can something be true at one time, but later turn out to be false? Or, true to the best of your knowledge?

My mother once told me at a very young age that I was honest ‘to a fault.’ I didn’t understand. She always expected us to tell the truth, so how could you be honest to a fault? The way she explained it to me, it meant volunteering information that was not asked for and may be unwelcome. So I had to learn to count to five before saying something and give myself a chance to think before speaking which I believe I have mastered after forty-something years.

I learned how to tell white lies, you know… the ones so you don’t hurt feelings. Say one of your good friends, obviously excited about the new outfit she purchased, asks if you like it and you say “Yes.” Meanwhile you are thinking, “I like it, just not on you.” Or your husband or brother mentions his hair is starting to thin in the front and you say, “…just a little” when it’s really moving faster than a receding tsunami wave.

So here comes the back-story…
When I was seven or so, I had a parakeet that was occasionally allowed out of its cage. It disappeared one day and my mother told me the window had been left open and it had accidentally escaped, when in fact she didn’t know what had happened to it. When she discovered feathers under my sisters bed a week later and realized the cat ATE my bird, she didn’t tell me because I had finally come to terms that Blue was happy and free…in central Washington state…in the winter. Hey, I was seven. Anyway, when I found out the truth years later, I was really angry with my mother for lying to me and decided I would never lie to my children.

Bombina-Bombina - Photo by Marek Szczepanek

Last year for the fifth grade science fair, my daughter made a habitat for a Bombina-Bombina, a fire-bellied toad. She named it Sam. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. In spite of the need to feed him live meal worms and crickets, I became almost as attached to Sam as she did, so when I didn’t shut the catch on the door and Sam escaped she was furious with me and I felt terrible. We were both in tears as we searched the house, but Sam’s little body was never found and when one of our dogs threw up the next morning we assumed that the dog had eaten Sam and as traumatic as it was, at least it was a quick death.

Karma is a strange and wondrous thing…and really annoying.

I was sweeping under furniture in my studio this morning and found a strange, hard little object. It was Sam. How he made it through four rooms is beyond me. Six months has passed since his escape and now I am faced with the same dilemma my mother undoubtedly struggled with. The sad fact that Sam’s death was not the quick one that we assumed, puts me in a quandary… do I rip open a wound that has seemingly healed and tell her the truth of his demise? Do I avoid ‘volunteering information that was not asked for and may be unwelcome?’ Not to mention the fact that she’s likely to be mad at me all over again?
I guess I have to tell her the truth…and call my mom and apologize.

Livestock Killed Southeast of Berryville

Living in an agrarian environment we are keenly aware of the dangers and hardship that come with this lifestyle.   We also benefit from being surrounded by the wonders of nature.

Coyotes are one of the many hardships it seems.

(Click to enlarge map)

Recently the conversation around the Sunday School table started out like this.  “The dogs held a coyote at bay that was trying to get a new born calf last night.”

The conversation continued, from another member, “Well, I hear llamas are good guard animals, they are nocturnal, and do not like coyotes, and will stomp them.”

My head is spinning with all this wealth of information.   I have so wanted to hear a coyote story and now I have one right here, within a mile of my house.

A fresh sighting. Coyotes here on my mountain! It gets better.

no images were found

Where I stop for my morning coffee, I causally threw out that we had had a coyote visitor near my place.   The response was, ‘Yep, they’re here’ —- Matter of factly confirmed by a local hunter, just like that!

The legendary Eastern Coyote here in our Clarke County. One knowledgeable gentleman who I often see in the mornings at the corner coffee spot in Purcellville, Jeff Brown, was kind enough to share photos he had taken around Upperville using his night vision camera.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry for the coyote (it’s worth the read):

“The coyote (pronounced /kaɪˈoÊŠtiː/ or /ˈkaɪ.oÊŠt/[2]) (Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America. There are currently 19 recognized subspecies, with 16 in Canada, Mexico and the United States, and 3 in Central America. Unlike its cousin the Gray Wolf, which is Eurasian in origin, evolutionary theory suggests the coyote evolved in North America during the Pleistocene epoch 1.81 million years ago alongside the Dire Wolf. Unlike the wolf, the coyote’s range has expanded in the wake of human civilization, and coyotes readily reproduce in metropolitan areas.”

Sounds like coyotes have been here for a long time. We’re the new neighbor it seems.

Then there was an email that Clarke Daily News received from Anne Watkins of Briggs Road yesterday. Ms. Watkins owns Kittery Point Farm near the Shenandoah River southeast of Berryville.

“This past Saturday night or early Sunday morning (March 12 or 13th) either dog’s or coyote’s got into the pasture with my few sheep and heavily pregnant goats and murdered three goats and all three sheep.” Mrs. Watkins wrote. “Two goats were also found mortally wounded and later died.  Four of the goats were heavily pregnant. I will now have no babies this spring.”

Mrs. Watkins said that all of her animals sustained bite marks to the legs and throats. No barking or other noise were heard on the night of the attacks.

“This is a warning to all Clarke County residents” shared a saddened Mrs. Watkins. “Devastating and very distressful to me especially since several of these animals were bottle raised and my pets.”

Sad: There will be no goat kids frolicking in her pastures this Spring.   Sad.  Several of the animals were pets, bottle fed from birth.   It appeared her animals had been chased through the fields and killed but not devoured.

Typical MO (modus operandi) for coyotes, three of her goats survived.

A few of Mrs. Watkins's goats survived the attack - Photo Janice Coon

A Warning:   Take care. Spring is here. The wild things are now awake after the winter chill. They are hungry and searching for food.

The Lesson:   We treasure living in a rural county, with rolling hills, flowing rivers, lots of trees, open fields, and, fresh air to breath. We, the humans, and our domesticated animals are only a part of the Big Picture.

Our Quest:   To find a balance that we can live with.

To error on the side of caution, I have informed my cat that it might be best if he stays inside for awhile — at least till the spring feeding frenzy passes.

Hmmm… if only we could convince the coyotes that stinkbugs are a good source of protein.

Kittery Point Farm goat shed - Photo Janice Coon

Kittery Point Farm pasture - Photo Janice Coon