Before Jon and I were married, I was feeding the animals on Bedlam Farm on the weekends as an exchange for getting to work out of a barn (which became my Studio Barn) on the farm.
I first few times I fed the animals I cried.
I didn’t know why, but feeding the animals brought up so much emotion in me. It was as if I was finally doing what I was meant to do. Jon always claimed that it was my nurturing instinct and I imagine he’s right, although I still don’t really understand it all.
I don’t cry when I feed the animals anymore, but it is an important part of my day.
I love everything about it, the way the animals come to the gate when I come out of the house, the gentle way they follow me to the feeders and allow me to be so close to them when they’re eating, never showing any aggression.
On the other side of it, I love to clean up their manure. Raking it into a small mound, and scooping it up in the big shovel then dropping in on the pile which will eventually feed many gardens.
And sometimes, like yesterday, I like to just sit and watch the animals eat. There’s something really satisfying in about the sound of them crunching hay and the calm and contentment that the donkeys and sheep exude when they eat.
“This is my social distancing mask,” Anne said through the mouth of the alligator in the parking lot at the post office this morning.
Anne is our friend and bookkeeper. She’s also a professional gardner, a fencer and mask-maker (she has an exhibit of her masks scheduled for later this year at the Valley Artisan’s Market in Cambridge).
Anne, who can be serious to the point of scary sometimes, had Jon and me laughing so much we couldn’t stop. Then we applauded her as she got back to her errands.
My masks can’t compare.
Zinnia is an expert at finding bones in the woods. It seems every few feet she’s digging a bone out from under the leaves and either trying to eat it or just carrying them around in her mouth.
Today, during our walk in the woods, she found this bone nibbled on by small rodents over the winter into the shape of an elephant’s head.
I don’t take home all the bones Zinnia finds, but I snatched this one up. I can definitely imagine using it in something I make, someday.
The sheep know that the grass is turning green. I’m not sure how. Maybe they can smell it.
But we’ve closed off the gates to the north and south pastures to let it grow. If we let them at it now, because the ground is so wet, they’d pull the grass up by its roots. So we let them graze in the back pasture where the ground is higher and drier and there’s plenty for them to nibble on.
It’s been getting warmer and raining a lot so soon the grass will be long enough for the sheep and donkeys to graze on. Then we’ll stop feeding them hay and they will be very happy.
Our Goose couple is back at Bedlam Farm. Fate always ignores them, but Zinnia will chase them when she sees them.
This morning she was too busy running after Fate and they were well camouflaged anyway.
It’s been a while since I walked in my neighbor’s woods. They are a special place and I’ve missed them. So I went back today and it was so good to stop at my favorite places and see the changes since I was last there.
I knew Fate would jump up on the moss-covered rock and thought that Zinnia would follow her so got my iPhone out and got this picture. It was a little surprising to see Fate and Zinnia are the same size now and how big Zinnia really is.
While we were out walking Jon and Bud were at home napping. When we got back, Jon was scratching Bud’s back who was in ecstacy.
The cats don’t want to come in the house anymore. Flo has found the front porch again and sleeps in the woodshed at night. Minnie spends her days and nights under the table on the back porch.
When I was taking my video this morning I saw the pussywillows starting to bloom and picked a few small branches. On the way back to the house I checked the chicken coop and found an egg.
All this and the warm rain reminded me it was spring even though the sun hid behind the clouds all day.
Jon always says that Border Collies are either working or waiting to work.
Fate will give up anything to work. She’s more interested in sheep than food or me. I don’t take it personally though.
When I’m in my studio she leaves me alone and lets me do my work. Until it’s time to feed the sheep and donkeys, then she lets me know it’s time for her to do her work.