Category: The Figure 8 Ranch

Meditations in White

I’m writing this on Sunday morning, during the first real snowstorm we’ve enjoyed this year — though I almost didn’t believe it was going to happen. I stopped believing the weather woman about 2 months ago.  This was a deliberate act of rebellion because riding the prediction roller coaster was damaging my nerves and upsetting ...

Bee Lives Matter

Historians and archeologists tell us that human beings began collecting wild honey about 10,000 years ago. Evidence shows up in ancient North African pottery, Egyptian art, and honey in jars has been recovered from the tombs of the Pharaohs.  By 600 BCE the Picts of ancient Scotland – naturally it was the Scots – were brewing ...

The Greenhouse Mouse

I have been at war with rodents for most of my life.  I am presently doing battle with a particularly clever mouse in the greenhouse who has, in full disclosure, managed to outwit my considerable efforts to end his life early and with extreme prejudice. This lifelong, low-intensity fight for dignity against rodents has resulted ...

March Madness

March did not come in like a lamb, not really, but it’s finally here and with it we begin another promising round of spring work on the Figure 8. As usual, I’m entertaining big dreams of an extraordinary harvest – 500 lbs, you may recall, remains the gold standard — and to that end I’m ...

Notes on a Greasy Napkin

I like to write in diners. I like it because I always hear something marvelous about politics, or the weather, and also because there is something inspirational in the smell of bacon, the comfort of a worn-out booth beside a picture window, and the reliable goodness of hashed browns, two eggs over-medium, and a side ...

A Meditation, With Horses

We don’t make as much of Christmas anymore. Each year the tree gets smaller and we put up fewer lights. It isn’t that we’ve lost the spirit of the thing.  Mostly, we just fall behind the season. We aren’t alone.  By mid-May the last of the late Christmas cards usually trickle in, bloodstained and dusty, ...

A Fistful of Dollars

I’ve seen this man before. He’s Mexican, late middle-aged, soft spoken, and there is a shielded focus in his eyes that betrays the uncertainty of a life spent mostly standing over a trap door. His name is Armando. A couple of years ago, while sitting upstairs in my office working, I saw him ride down the ...