|Life on the farm is always full of surprises, and springtime is no exception. It’s a season bursting with energy, when you never know what’s around the corner. Sometimes you have to look closely, and other times, well, the action just slaps you right in the face.
Take last weekend, for example. I was sitting in my office, drowning in a sea of paperwork, while my two daughters, Rachel (10 years old) and Mary (17 years old), were out in the garden spreading mulch. Now, mind you, they’re no strangers to farm life, but even the most experienced farmers can get a bit too relaxed. And that’s exactly what happened.
In their mulch-hauling frenzy, hauling wheel barrow after wheel barrow from the mulch pile in the adjacent pasture, they left the gate wide open after one trip. And just when I was about to comment on how it was a nice quiet Saturday, I witnessed a sight that would make any farmer’s heart skip a beat. There goes my 10-year-old daughter, sprinting past my office window like she’s in a race, with our mischievous billy goat hot on her heels. I really think that goat saw that open gate as a personal invitation to escape.
|Without missing a beat, I jumped up from my seat, and there, right behind the billy goat, was my 17-year-old, wielding a rake like a medieval knight charging into battle. It was a sight to behold. Rachel tried to make a beeline for the walk-out basement that leads to our front porch, but that billy goat was determined. He cut her off and had her cornered, like a skilled basketball player guarding the hoop.
But fear not, for Mary was not about to let her little sister be trampled by a billy goat. With her trusty rake, she came barreling around the corner, ready to give that Billy goat a taste of justice. And you know what? That billy goat, in all his wisdom, realized the game was up the moment he laid eyes on Mary. With a quick juke move, he bolted back to his pasture, having had enough excitement for one day.
Ah, life on the farm. As if goat escapades weren’t enough, there’s the matter of the grass. It’s growing faster than a toddler eating Kinfork beef and cheddar cheese. I’ve been rotating the cattle daily just to keep up. They’ve already made their way around the entire farm once. But let me tell you, folks, the grass isn’t the only thing sprouting around here.
Last week, as I was getting ready to move the cattle to a fresh pasture when I noticed two Meadowlarks nesting right in the field. It was like they were saying, “Hey, we’re here to keep an eye on you, buddy!” And if that wasn’t enough, as I strolled back to the barn to put away some fencing supplies, two pairs of Barn swallows nesting inside began chirping at me. That evening, when I walked out onto the front porch, I heard my first Whip-poor-will of the year, calling from the edge of our pastures.
Working with nature is a gift every single day. Sometimes the living creatures announce themselves with song, and sometimes they announce themselves with thundering hooves. We are here for it all and appreciate the reminders to keep our eyes and ears open to the world around us.
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