Monday, November 06, 2006
Another Week in the Zoo
The Birthday Kids!
It's been a real Animal Week around here, for sure. Seamus had his 4th birthday on 11/2, and Dinah's very first birthday was 11/3. Amazing -- seems like only yesterday, I was looking through newborn puppy photos emailed from Wales and wondering which one of those puppies would be mine.
A flock of chickens dropped by on Friday afternoon to help celebrate. Dinah didn't much care -- they didn't appear to need herding -- but Charlie just about turned himself inside out trying to order them off HIS property. Seamus, who rarely barks outside, sang backup. The chickens were well aware of the fact that the boys were inside the dog-yard fence, and ignored them. Eventually, the neighbors who owned the chickens came to collect them, so the boys' brief career as would-be chicken herders came to an end.
Dinah Does Ducks!
On Saturday, Dinah and I took part in a herding clinic up at Little Dove Farm, put on by the Collie Club of Maine. We had the option to herd sheep, but Dinah was so fascinated by the ducks at the National Specialty that I signed her up for ducks just to see what she'd do.
She did a beautiful job! Not only did she herd them without eating any of them for lunch, but she also stopped and changed direction when told to. This was my first experience with ducks too, and I was so psyched I'm considering keeping a little flock myself just for practice. You can really see what you're doing with ducks (it's much harder when you're moving sheep).
Sorry that there aren't any photos to show Dinah at work. Some of the kindly Collie folks were taking pictures, so I know there are images of her out there. We just weren't able to take any.
Sue has a blog! It's about time, really. She's been writing articles for the front page of the POC newsletter for ages now, and now her observations on life with animals can reach a wider audience. Welcome to Blog-land, Sue!
More Music News
Last Thursday, Greg and I made the trek into Medford to hear his Consort for Viols rehearsed by the quartet from Longy. Turns out their name, not the name of the piece, is Long and Away. Anyway, they were nice, knowledgeable folks who will really do the piece credit by the time they have it all worked out. They had to wrestle a bit with new instruments and maintaining tune, but when they hit some of those harmonies, they were dead-on. Greg's thrilled to bits. I mostly stayed in the kitchen and worked on a sock cuff, but I absolutely love Renaissance music. Even though the viols were playing a 21st-century piece, they still had that lovely sonority of the Elizabethan era.
The next day, Greg made yet another journey back to Boston to hear the first reading of his arrangement of Arkadia for full orchestra. I've always felt that Arkadia as arranged for chamber orchestra was one of his best pieces, and it generated a lot of excitement among the people involved. Even some of the more avant-garde composers on the composition faculty raved about the piece. I hope there will be another performance, since I couldn't get away to attend this one. Greg says that he does have a good enough quality recording of the reading that he should be able to stitch together a creditable version from all the various "takes."
Two words: Not Much. The Oakley wrap left for LA last week, and I haven't had much time to make progress on anything else. The time I spent on the sock cuff during the rehearsal was about the only knitting I got done all week.