Sunday, August 26, 2007
Look Through The Window
It seems to me that I haven't been writing about life around the farm enough these days ~ but as I have often complained (um, I mean talked about) here on the blog, slow dial up service and loading photos on the computer takes waaaay to much of my time (and I seem to be in especially short supply of that lately!) For example, this morning as I waited....and waited....and waited for Photobucket to load some new pictures, I knit three rounds of my current sock ;D On the positive side, I was doing something productive and in the grand scheme of things, I guess it really doesn't take that long and is free! So I really shouldn't complain.
Anyway, I am wandering off topic....
I snapped the picture above as I was walking the aisle of the basement of the barn. On the east side of the barn is this walk way that runs from the bottom of the stairs and behind the old horse tie stalls into the open floor of the barn. Three windows cut into the concrete look out, at ground level, and provide necessary ventilation for the barn. The grating that you see in the picture is to keep sheep from falling in (grin) I looked out and saw one of our prettiest ewe lambs from this year resting while the hens worked away, looking for bugs. The ewe lamb is one of Ainsley's daughters. Her twin sister is already at her new home in a beginning shepherds flock.
Here is another of this years lambs, one of the last born.
You either have to love this photo or think it is silly, but I enjoy it. This is Daniel, Violet's son, named after a dear friends little boy. He is just exquisite! Square built, clean face and fleece to die for!!! His faults? Ears that are a bit to big, and a small stature. His mama is our smallest ewe....who also happens to produce beautiful lambs and more fleece than any other ewe in the flock. Here is another photo of him resting and chewing his cud (the photo also gives you an idea of how sandy our soil is here):
Sigh....I'm not sure what to do with Daniel yet. He is to closely related to the majority of my flock (I have a lot of Violet's descendants), he is a half brother to our former flock sire, Joseph. I could wether him and keep him as a fiber producer...his fleece is that good, and he has a very nice personality. But fiber animals take a spot that could more productively be held by a ewe who is capable of producing both fiber and lambs, and it doesn't make good business sense to keep many of them on the farm. Now, if I only had another little group of ewes who were not related to Daniel - LOL - I would have my answer! Anyone have two or three nice old style Corriedale ewes they would like to provide me with?!?
Of course, the logical solution would be for him to be sold to lead someone else's flock....
What else is happening around Serenity Farms? Well, in what has been (up to this point) a very dry year, we have one of the best looking crop of soybeans around! Here is a photo of grandson Mason on one of our walks. I asked him to pose next to the beans and here he is, showing off a turkey feather we had found on our way. This was taken towards the end of July:
Finally, Alex and I try to accomplish one or two extra farm jobs as we are able. One that had gotten a bit away from us was digging the "bull thistle" from the pasture. Some of them were starting to flower! The ground, though sandy, seemed hard as a rock and it was tough digging! You can see Alex in the photo below putting some muscle into the spade. But we spent what really is an enjoyable evening walking the pastures, working amongst the ewes, making our pastures safe from this pesky weeds!
We have gotten some much needed rain these past few days. Our hope and prayer now is for a decent third cutting of hay and that we are able to hit that window of opportunity that will allow us to cut the hay, get it dry and raked, then baled without a rain on it! Will you join me in those prayers?
On Sundays, it seems my mind is often taken up with how grateful I am to be a farm girl, a farm wife, a farmer at all! To be a shepherd to a flock of sheep that I love, who earn their keep on this farm. To be even more specific I am grateful to be farming in this state of ours, Michigan. I think it especially as I prepare todays lunch for the family and pause to think about and be thankful for each part of it. On today's menu? Pork chops, from a hog our nephew raised. Scalloped potatoes, made from newly dug Michigan potatoes, dotted with onions from my garden and with rich butter, filled to the rim with whole, grade A milk! And the sage that dusts and flavors the pork chops? Picked from last years garden, dried and crumbled. Alongside this main course will be green beans from anothers garden and sliced Brandywine tomatoes from my own. For desert? I am thinking something with blueberries...
During the week, we often eat much lighter fare than this. But on Sunday, when we stop to be thankful, we take special joy and pride in this meal we are given.
I hope that you have a good week....