Lisa Bondurant

My photo
I spend my time raising kids, gathering eggs, cutting wood, scoping out trees for tapping, making syrup in the last days of winter, watching my garden NOT grow in the summer, writing, wishing that there were more hours on the clock for sleeping.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tiny Visitors and Stormy Nights

   The  gray bands of Irene were whipping over head and and the sky glowed pink, but the earth lay in deep shadow. I don't know what made me notice such a tiny bit of life in the cloaking shadows, but some how I did. He was just outside the nest boxes inside the fortress that I call my chicken yard. No bigger then a blade of grass and in mortal danger if he stayed in there till morning when the flock would pour out to graze on the morning bugs and dew drops. I scooped him up, so small I could barley feel his tiny sticky feet on my skin. My son waited just outside the fence, almost lost to shadows as well. He had ignored my orders to stay inside out of the rain and had run out into the dark after me. Now he jumped up and down beneath a ridiculous little blue parasol, talking endlessly about how he brought it out to protect me from the hurricane.
                                  "Come on", I called. "I have a most wonderful surprise for you."
"You do," he asked. Forgetting his speech on umb-bwell-uz  and mommy needing to be protected beneath his, he ran after me towards the golden lights of the house. Inside I called the other kids around and slowly opened my hand....

They had never seen a newt so small, in fact they had seen very few in their lives. The newts had virtually disappeared in the years my kids had been alive. Spraying for Gypsy Moths and over use of other pesticides had threatened the tiny lives that shared the forest floor. As a child, I had seen the orange newts by the dozens on any given walk through damp woods. That was then, so now it was a huge deal that I had come upon this tiny, fearless creature.

I felt blessed to have him visit us!

I told the kids he was light as a feather brushing my hand. They begged to feel him walk upon their hands and giggled with delight when he did. He looked up at them in a curious manner and they whispered among themselves about newts being friends of fairies and other magic creatures of the woods.

When he had walked the length of tiny hands, we carried him back out into the night and released him at the edge of forest and field beneath a black raspberry bush. The storm clouds danced above the oak trees and hummed through the branches as our tiny orange friend crept deep into the thicket of thorns and found shelter for the night.
"I am worried about him in this night", my eldest said.
"I am not" I told her. "Did you see his little black eyes? He is fearless and brave for such a small bit of life light as a feather".
I waved to the clouds above and told the kids to think about how these were the clouds formed a hemisphere away off the coast of Africa. I told them how they swept across the vast Atlantic, soaking up energy and water to speed thousands of miles across the tropics and finally to smash into the continent and dump their mighty rains onto our green mountains, making our oak trees dance...

...they like to hear things like that normally. Normally, but not tonight! Tonight they are ignoring my lesson and whispering and giggling about the magic of a tiny orange newt, snug beneath a berry bush.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rockingham County Fair, What Dreams May Come...

I remember the fair at the old location north of town
  old wood buildings painted with feed & seed signs on faded planks and the harvest moon rising gold high above the ferriswheel and corn fields casting the mountains in coal black shadows against indigo liquid skies.
 The scene was a story book page, a real life Charlotte's Web, a storybook I could live for a night. The images and memories of that old time fair grounds blazed into my young mind and haunted my dreams with fits of giggles. I had always believed there was magic lost when the old grounds were left behind and new shiny buildings replaced weathered planks.
Would the new location  build dreams and write stories for new young minds. 
I do not wonder any more.
To them it is still a story book that they get to step into every year.
A place where you can talk to animals and know they understand every word.

A place where you will meet a real life Wilbur

                                    Where a farm girl pampers her prize hog

Where you can meet celebrities
Snooki the pig

Where every turn turns a new page of the story
Prize winning pumpkins

                                                    and revel new magic never seen before 

Bees cooling the nest on a hot day
Bees going into the hive

Willy Wonka of honey making

Adult canning entries 

Blue Ribbon dreams for all ages

I'm so proud!

So very much to see and dream of winning!
The land of beauty queens ...thank you Miss Katie for your kindness!
Miss Virginia  Association of Fairs

Quiet time before the crowds

And then the crowds

Washing cows before show time
Fluff and dry

We should all be treated so good!
Ladies in waiting

Greeting everyone who comes by
My favorite little piggy

                           Dreaming of being Grand Champion ...

                        Meeting friends...

                                                                                                                                                                                                     ...and new best friends that love your stories!

Where we may dream to fly like birds...

                            What dreams may come...

                                                                               ... at the County Fair all dreams may come

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Toadally Cool!

So I was walking in from the back field just at deep dusk, thinking of how nice it was that it had finally rained again after so long a dry spell. I was thinking how I wished I would see a toad because as the climate has changed her with global warming we hardly see any like when I was a kid and my children have hardly seen any toads. As I thought this I walked around the corner from the driveway to the porch and looked down
there was a toad and I was in mid stride...
my foot landed on the board ramp and it hopped  from about a foot away landing right onto my foot and stopped...

...but of course I couldn't run to get the kids, so I yelled and yelled till they finally came and brought the camera.
He stayed there for about 5 minutes  looking up at us, turning his head from side to side, then hopped off and looked around at the circle of us.

Toadlly Cool!