Saturday, 27 February 2016

A dog can learn -- So can you

My dog points her nose away from activity so she can focus
Black and white chickens talking to my dog
         People told me that a Siberian Husky was a dog with a mind of its own. They said she would roam and never be good with chickens. Well you do not have to believe everything you hear. She has a mind of her own. She makes decisions, lives her own life and tries to respect me and the things I like to do.
        I talk to her a lot. She has seen me kill chickens and has eaten chicken feet fresh from a kill. She understands more than most people think she does. A good dog can learn and so can a good owner. The chickens and roosters use me and my dog as extra protection.
       The chickens push in to make sure that it is safe and then they hang out with the dogs. It is my theory that the chickens know a new dog in the neighbor hood would not want to upset the balance maintained by the alpha dogs and the chickens and wild turkeys that have already found a place in the pack.

A good dog sets an example for others

       Nanook does roam a bit. One neighbor even called her a wolf but mostly people on the back road love her. She backs up old and young dogs dealing with cougars around the house.
She loves children. She licks them in the face and moves slowly around in a protective way.
        One of the things that I have thought watching her behavior around other animals and people is that she is not afraid of very many things. She is afraid of guns, fireworks, and electric fences but that is it. She is very calm and trusting around people.  My good girl is always ready for an adventure.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Sore back rock stack

Rock wall building with my cousin on his driveway

Stones hold soil and allow for steeper banks

Stones must be sifted from dirt and can be stacked as a wall is back-filled
 So I have been stacking rocks on my cousins driveway improvement project. Some things it is nice to see before they happen. Somethings you can only learn by seeing happen, and sometimes it is good to remember that we all are just learning and living and trying to communicate what we can and can not see. I see rocks and I see lots of work for days to come.
Need rocks stacked? A little organization for your yard? I can see it, can you?
Up close and personal with some dirty rocks

Roots and rocks out -- makes a nice soil -- the chickens approve.

Splitting wood

First swing

Eventually it splits

Second swing leaves the piece of wood ready to pop.
So I was out splitting a little wood in the sun the other day thinking about instructional strategies. I am thinking about the simple pleasing task that I am engaged in. I recall that despite years of experience I have received valuable tips at key moments when they changed my way of doing things.
I am struck by the idea that a new idea means something totally different if given at the right moment. Like it or not it also seems likely that it matters who is sharing the idea. Just in case anybody out there feels open to a wood splitting tip hear goes.
First off a good splitting axe makes a big difference. Spitting freshly bucked rounds of birch in the early spring is also a good idea. But start by placing one round on top of another. Swing your axe with medium strength aiming for the far side of the round. Shown in the first photo.

This technique is safe and sets the situation up for a successful second blow. Any number of follow through strokes can be made to the near side of the round. The axe handle will not sustain as much damage as you cut through the round and you will be able to easily get the axe out of the round.
Notice that I never described hitting the round in the center. This is because I generally avoid it. The center will suck the axe in and make it hard to get out. Strokes to the sides draw a line across the center of the round. If it does not split once you have your line in, keep at it and use our new found experience.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Motivational Turkeys

Why are Turkeys so motivated
Wondering about survival, the seasons, biology and motivation. So life goes on. So we define survival and success for our selves. So we take responsibility for deviating motivations in our being. We take pride in being motivated in different ways. We like to find our own ways to strut our stuff.

Perhaps it is not so bad to be motivated in different ways. It also seems like a teacher can help students find find new directions of motivation. At the same time it seems like education is becoming less personal and it might become more and more difficult to understand students well enough to influence their personal motivations.
Sometimes they stomp around showing their feathers
The male Turkeys are putting on a show in my yard

Changing Seasons

 Nostalgia is so sweet and can strike so fast. A photo of a few weeks ago. The snow is almost gone. I love my dog and this place so much. The river is so beautiful. It gives and it takes -- this tree is a miracle in transformation. 
Nanook checking out the Slocan River

Even nature blinks