I opened the gate and quietly walked over to Fanny. She was laying down and didn’t get up when I sat next to her. I scratched her neck and she lifted her head so I could get underneath her chin. We stayed that way for a while, soaking up the sun.
Usually if one of the donkeys is laying down they get up when they see me. Maybe Fanny picked up on how relaxed I am. Jon and I decided to take a three-day weekend. We slept late did some gardening and I’m just about finished reading Naima Coster’s What’s Mine And Yours.
All day I’ve been telling myself that I’d get to my studio for just a little bit but it hasn’t happened.
Instead, I spent more time than I would have with the animals.
I brushed the donkeys and picked their hooves. I cleaned out the chicken coop, cleaned and put fresh water in all the bowls and buckets on the farm. I got the hens to eat some old granola out of one hand while the chicks ate out of the other. I took Fate to cool off in the pond then watched the sheep chew their cud.
Now I’m sitting on the front porch, the bamboo shades keeping me and Flo, who is sleeping next to me, in shade. There’s a constant breeze which the Swamp Birches,that we planted around the farmhouse, are swaying and fluttering in. They’re supposed to help block the noise from the road, but there’s too much traffic today with all the people heading home after the holiday.
A couple of goldfinches, bright yellow, hop from one birch to the next. When they land in the grass, they look like one of the wildflowers growing there. They seem so playful, I wonder if they’re young.
They reminded me of the nest I found under the Magnolia earlier in the day. It’s a small thing, the home of a few baby sparrows this spring. Made from thin pieces of grass it’s lined with donkey hair. I brought it into the house and put it on a shelf with two other nests, one that belonged to an Oriole. Maybe related to the deep orange Oriole that’s singing his loud and demanding song, which is impossible to ignore, high in the old Paper Birch as I write this.
I think I’ll just sit and listen to him for a while.