I filled the wheel barrow with everything I thought I might need to put up the mesh fencing. I was stringing it along the wire fence that’s already there.
In the spring the sheep are always looking for greener grass and will go though the fence to get to it. I can always find where they get out, because there’s wool wrapped around one or two wires.
Our four strand wire fence used to be electrified, but there’s so much water in the pastures now, it just shorts out. And ever since the electric company came and cut away the brush from the power lines that runs along the same border as our fence, there are more places in the fence for the sheep to easily get through it.
The mesh fencing works well. I stick the poles in the ground and tie them to the fence that’s already there.
When I was about an hour into it, I saw the heart in the tree. Then I spotted the wildflowers. I hadn’t put my iPhone in the wheelbarrow, so I went back to the house to get it.
It was a beautiful day, and I was glad to be out in it doing good work. I was enjoying putting the fencing up, figuring out where it needed to be, how to best tie it, and making the property secure so we don’t have to worry about the sheep getting out.
Good fences are so important when you have animals, especially if you live on a busy road like we do. And there are always problems with fences, no matter how secure you think they are. With the freezing and thawing ground, the flooding streams and wetlands, fences and gates are constantly shifting and moving.
As much as I was enjoying the work I was doing, it is tedious and after a while, can get boring. But what keeps it interesting for me, was discovering those things like the heart in the tree. In the five years we’ve been here, I’ve never seen the wildflowers that grow along the fence line.
I went back to the house to get my phone, because it wasn’t enough for me to just see these things, I wanted to share them with all of you.
When I saw the heart in the tree, I knew I had to put a picture of it up on my blog, that so many people would like to see it too. I also knew that if I put up a picture of the wildflowers, someone out there would be able to tell me their name.
And once again, I see how the boundaries between my art and my life are fluid. So even when I’m crawling through thorn bushes and picking ticks off my stomach, while putting up a fence, I’m thinking of my blog, my art. I’m thinking of sharing my photos and writing about my experience.
When Jon and I first got together over ten years ago, I didn’t want to be responsible for doing any of the farm chores or maintenance on the house. I had a part time job and wanted to spend the rest of my time focusing on my work. Gradually over the years I’ve found those things I can and want to do around the farm and house.
This morning Jon and I walked the fence line. I wanted to show him what I had done. I was proud of my work. Fixing the fence is not the same as making art, but the pictures I take while doing it, writing about it and posting it on my blog, is.