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We Did It!

Thanks to you, the barn is funded

Drawing by Rick ClementSo many thanks are owed to everyone who helped us raise funds and contributed so generously to our new barn project which now can become a reality.  We received donations totaling $21,685 from dozens of people and organizations, some donating more than once, and many donating in honor of special people or animals in their lives.  We are working out the final construction details and plan to have a barn raising party within a few short months!  This new barn will enable us to take in other animals in need of rehabilitation, give our larger animals proper medical treatment space, and  alleviate crowding conditions in the existing barn.  Fantastic work, everyone!  Updates will be posted on our web site and on our YouCaring page as construction gets underway.
~ Farmer Anne

New!  Angel Awards
There are so many people who do so much for the farm - but in the dead of winter, this month's award goes to Bill Duran of Alexandria, VA.  Mr. Bill collects donated greens and fruits from MOM's Organic Market, washes and sorts them, and drives them up to our farm every week so the animals have fresh food to eat, which is especially needed in winter. The favorites?  Tetsuro the pig loves cooked apples with squash and sweet potatoes; Rocky and Bullwinkle enjoy the big leafed items such as kale and collard greens;  the rabbits love the parsley and cilantro; and, of course, the goats like it all!  Bill is a huge animal lover, and runs a dog sitting business called Paws of Bill, LLC.
A long life after rescue
Chew Chew Bunny was on a bad path. More than 12 years ago, she was born in a filthy, outdoor hutch and when the hutch became "too crowded", the owners just opened up the doors and let all the rabbits out to "go free". Natalie Medina, long time rabbit owner and advocate, helped to trap and treat the little rabbits, who were infested with mites and internal parasites, and she helped us place them in loving homes. This rescued bunny, now a little old lady, still comes to board at our Bunny Motel.  Her adopter is Rick Clement, a long-time fan of Star Gazing Farm and a fabulous artist - many of his works are inspired by our animals including Rocky & Bullwinkle and Mr. Newman Goat

The Chronicles of Newman

“Quiet Nights”

[read this story online]

Corcovado. The word evokes a gentle, warm wind bearing fragrant blooms, making palm leaves rustle, and sun-kissed skin and skirts swishing around slender legs to the beat of Bossa Nova. Before I knew anything much about anything and wasn’t even tall enough to go on the rides at the amusement park, I listened to that word played on the record player (‘Courcuvahdu’) and escaped from hard New England work ethics and winters inside the gentle rhythm of Samba.  I studied the orange cubist patterns on the record jacket intently, and I’d lift up the record player needle to put it in the groove to play ‘Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars’ over and over again.  I didn't know then that many years later I'd live on a farm with a wonderful view of quiet stars. And the music – it could set you adrift in a small boat at sunset, down a tropical river you’d only ever imagine (fortunately I’d not yet read “Heart of Darkness” or I might have rethought that boat idea!).

Recently I had a Corcovado night at Star Gazing Farm.  Winter here is neither a gentle nor an  attractive time.  It’s hard. Chores take longer, paths are slippery, hoses and water buckets get frozen, the animals are anxious to get enough to eat to keep their internal furnaces burning and they crowd around my person, sometimes almost knocking me over and sometimes occasioning great cursing. Feet get cold in wet socks, the fire in the wood stove goes out, and dogs track snow and mud throughout the house and onto the sofa, which when dried, becomes a fine grit of sand everywhere underfoot and underbutt. 

So sometimes it’s hard to just stop and pet the sheep, so to speak. Normally I’m the only biped walking around carrying buckets of savory-smelling warm-soaked grains and vegetables so I get a lot of, pretty much unwanted, attention at feeding time. And when the weather is arctic, as it has been this winter, frankly  –  the feeding routine is done with as much expediency as possible. But on the evening in question it was warmer, a balmy 34 degrees, so I lingered.  Little old Miss Bea, now heading towards an incredible 20 years of life on arthritic legs and no front teeth, but full of good appetite and attitude (a few weeks ago I caught her vigorously head-butting Tigba the dog who dared to try to lick up some of her grain) was done with her hot meal and I lured her to the smaller shelter where I had stashed some of the good stuff for the older guys – chopped hay forage, easier for old teeth to get a handle on.  There is something at once primitive and child-like about the delight in watching an animal take the food you offer and snarf it down with relish.

I wandered back to the barn where, reluctantly, I had to give Bello the horse his nightly shot.  He’s a very patient patient and it’s both lucky and incredible that he just doesn’t get bothered by little annoyances like needles and catheters.  I apologized for having to do so many invasive things to him, explained it was for his health, and he nickered softly, looked at me, and started to lick and chew.  I leaned into him a bit, stroking his neck in the way I’ve been told to do, to mimic the way mares groom their young, and he did something he’d never done before– as I put my arms up around his 6’5” frame, he leaned his massive head heavily against my back and sighed.  It was pure Brazilian jazz.

Take heed, ye who are younger and vulnerable to the wiles of Cupid on Valentines Day, for he is so often wicked and his arrows poorly aimed!  As I age, I’ve happily found that while romantic love is quite overrated, ‘romance’ can be had quite without the benefit of that naughty, naked creature. A quiet night with a breeze softly blowing, goats sighing and chewing their cud, stars remote, peeking out through clouds, and an enormous, warm horse leaning against me - it brings out the samba, for sure.

'Till next time,

Farmer Anne

“The really magical things are the ones that happen right in front of you. A lot of the time you keep looking for beauty, but it is already there. And if you look with a bit more intention, you see it.”
__ Vik Muniz



Copyright © 2015, Star Gazing Farm, Inc., All rights reserved.
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Star Gazing Farm
PO Box 162, Boyds, MD 20841
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Tel: 301.349.0802

EIN#: 20-0882587
CFC#: 86412