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Posted 1/5/2011 4:53pm by Eugene Wyatt.

While it's still light out I go look at the sheep making sure they are ready for the night and I always take my camera.

Posted 1/3/2011 5:35pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Posted 1/2/2011 3:27pm by Eugene Wyatt.

I'm using a Nikon 50 mm f/1.4 lens (1/800 sec at f/8.0, ISO 400) here. At the stand last week I spoke to a photographer (he'd stopped to buy a Rosemary Lamb Sausage) with a Leica film camera mounted with a fixed focal length lens around his neck.  We talked photography and the difficulty of shooting animals.  He said  using a zoom lens is lazy because you remain stationary and frame with the lens rather than  by moving your body and camera to a different angle as you must do with a fixed focal length lens.

He's right! 

I hadn't realized how static my imagery had become using zoom lenses. I hadn't understood how by using a fixed focal length lens I could enrich my photographic language.  My 50 mm lens was always buried deep in my lens bag—but no longer—now it's  mounted on my camera in anticipation.  These new images are  not only more dynamic, they are fresher—almost like they were taken by another photographer.

Posted 1/2/2011 7:45am by Eugene Wyatt.
Eugene Wyatt
Sheep oats rose 10% in 10 days due to speculation; meaning we'll pay more for food in 2011 & the world poor will starve

Tags: Twitter
Posted 1/1/2011 6:56pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Posted 12/30/2010 4:51pm by Eugene Wyatt.

The ewes have been spooked for a week or so; at first I thought it was the howling wind but now that has subsided; we walked out beyond the far fence and found tracks everywhere.  Coyotes.  They hadn't crossed the fence as far as we could see but being just on the other side is too close. 

We checked the fence and made sure it was carrying a charge—it was—then we erected more fence and charged other lengths that had been off.  The idea was to be unpredictable; when the coyotes come back they'd see newness, they'd see change, they'd know that man had been there and they'd leave.

Pounding in the fence stakes today, I had the Beach Boys tune I Get Around going through my mind, particularly the line that relates to coyotes,

My buddies and me are getting real well known
Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

O and I do believe the bad guys will leave us alone.  I often believe that about adversity. I can't offer you reasons for my belief.  It is so because I believe it to be so.  I have believed this lyric ever since I first heard it, despite my former therapist, Albert Ellis, who would, if he knew, look up, shake his head, smile wryly and say, "Magical thinking."  

After my dozen or so sessions with him, along with reading everything he'd popularly written, I had an insight (for which he would take no credit, I'm sure) that A RATIONAL ACT CAN BE A CHOICE TO ACT IRRATIONALY: it's choosing freedom in the face of rational or public constraint, it's art,  it's like  novelist Jean Genet who chose as a young man a life of  petty crime according to Jean Paul Sartre in his Saint Genet, a critical biography; and of course, among other things, it's believing the Beach Boys.  

But O I don't want to see warm sheep blood melting that white, white snow tomorrow.

Tonight, just before I go to bed with Proust's  À l'ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleurs I'll drive out in the blackness to where I found the tracks today, roll down the window of the truck, stick my .357  revolver out in the cold air like a pistolero, like Gold Hat in The Treasure of Sierra Madre and  say to Humphrey Bogart as Dobbs like he's really a coyote, "Badges? ...I don't have to show you any stinkin' badges!" and fire in the quiet air frightening anything within earshot.

Saying, "I'm here bad guys, I'm here with my buddies."

§

The next morning: The ewes were out near where the coyote tracks were found; but they were relaxed, lounging around, chewing cud, gestating.  We expect the first of their 300 lambs in 2 months and 14 days.

Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

Tags: Coyotes
Posted 12/27/2010 8:31pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Last night we got about 18" of snow at the farm.  Sheep can't move when the snow is deeper than their legs are long which is about 12".  But they are quartered on a plain swept by the wind and this prevents snow accumulation. 

The leaders walk in a single file making a path for those who follow. 

Posted 12/27/2010 8:30pm by Eugene Wyatt.

Nothing is always, never is sometimes and when we get a color we don't like or one we already have we put Indigo over the top of it to make something new.

This color was dyed in a limited editions of 24 skeins.

Each worsted skein weighs 2 ounces (50 grams) and it is 140 yards in length; the wool comes from our superfine Saxon Merino sheep and is hand-dyed with natural colors on the farm.  Expect 5-6.5 stitches per inch using US 5-8/3.75-5.25 mm needles.

Available from the Yarn Store.

Posted 12/25/2010 11:21am by Eugene Wyatt.

As you perhaps know I am enamoured by the Proustian sentence;  marvelous explanations of it are to be found in this article that explicates by contrast the work of four English translators of Du Côté de Chez Swann: Moncrief, Kilmartin, Enright and Davis by André Aciman in a review entitled Proust's Way in the New York Review of Books, December 1, 2005. 

It will cost you $89.00 for a subscription that permits you  to plumb the NYRB archives 5 years and older.  Being a fan of Proust's writing you will be doubly rewarded by this article if you are also a fan of chastising wit. 

First we have Proust translated by Moncrief, then Aciman's commentary on it.

(H)e recited it with a separate stress upon each word, leaning forward, bowing his head, with at once the vehemence which a man gives, so as to be believed, to a highly improbable statement (as though the fact that he did not know the Guermantes could be due only to some strange accident of fortune) and with the emphasis of a man who, finding himself unable to keep silence about what is to him a painful situation, chooses to proclaim it aloud...

“With at once” (Proust’s à la fois) is, as I mentioned earlier, a typical move by which Proust opens up at least two prongs of interpretation. This allows his sentence to warn the reader that it is just about to bifurcate along parallel, complementary tracks. The trick of course—and Proust had mastered this better than any other writer—is to open up with an “at once” that introduces the first term of two (or more) parallel terms while managing to keep the reading voice suspended long enough so that when the second term appears, it is by no means unexpected but, in fact, welcomed, since room had already been made for it beforehand. This is what gives the Proustian sentence its stunning ability to deploy syntactic ambiguities and to resolve them along the way. This also allows Proust to open a rather long parenthetical statement that is not allowed to disturb the sentence too much, since, by the time the second term of the parallel construction is introduced, the reader will pick up the parallelism exactly where he had left it. “With at once (a) the vehemence” (quoted earlier) is finally resolved by “and (b) with the emphasis of a man who…” Enright, following in the steps of Kilmartin, keeps the parallel construction...

Lydia Davis takes an entirely different tack. She is reluctant to preface the parallel with the “at once x…and also y” formula. Such a construction would represent a stylistic maneuver that many contemporary writers might hesitate to adopt since it asks their readers to bate their breath and keep reading all the while anticipating an eventual second term. This move forces the reader to read contrapuntally, which means reading x in the present with an eye on a forthcoming y, which clearly interferes with the linear reading one expects from, say, newspapers, magazines, Harlequin romances, and living novelists I would prefer not to name.

Proust’s sentences imitate the passage of time syntactically. One reads in the present but is constantly invited to anticipate developments in the immediate future. Actually, one does not anticipate anything; one is only given the impression of having anticipated things. This impression is brought about at the end of every sentence by Proust, when we are sent back to a time when we guessed—or should have guessed—that something was being announced without being revealed yet. This ability to write things in three tenses is what confers the power of many sentences by Proust. Events are never linear in Proust.

Tags: Proust
Posted 12/22/2010 7:48pm by Eugene Wyatt.

These are the colors we like to dye where one color becomes another. The lesson to learn is when  something doesn't work out instead of stopping you can go further too—it's really a better way of stopping.  This color began as an ocher (Madder/Osage/Cutch/Pomegranate) that we didn't like and decided to overdye it with indigo and did. 

Last night I heard coyotes singing on the farm; I wanted to dye a color like their song.  If I never get that color I'll always have a color to dye or one to listen for.

This color was dyed in a limited editions of 24 skeins.

Each worsted skein weighs 2 ounces (50 grams) and it is 140 yards in length; the wool comes from our superfine Saxon Merino sheep and is hand-dyed with natural colors on the farm.  Expect 5-6.5 stitches per inch using US 5-8/3.75-5.25 mm needles.

Available from the Yarn Store.