Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A June Morning

A June morning... The world is silent, save for the footsteps of me and the English Shepherd dog beside me, as we go to gather the cows for morning milking. The dew is heavy on the lush green grass that comes up to my knee in height. A light mist is peeling off the landscape, exposing the mountainous range that surrounds my every turn. The cows are lying down in their paddock; chewing cud in contentment, unwilling to rise just yet from their methodical chewing. Randall Linebacks these milk cows are; and every bit as rare as they are beautiful with their gray roaned sides and black points. Waiting for the cows to consider getting up and starting their day, I scan the property line. The chickens are three paddocks behind the cows, and I can hear them clucking and beginning their busy morning. Rare breeds they are too; a colorful mix of shapes and sizes as one looks in and finds Pumpkin Hulseys, Icelandics, Ko Shamos, and even a few Ayam Cemanis. 

The dog beside me whimpers in anticipation and leans against my leg; both desiring to work, and also to please me and do what's wanted. With one word of "hush" the dog calms down but continues to shift its gaze from the cows to me. Watching... Watching.

Behind the two of us in a far paddock are the hogs. Still more rare breeds, the hogs are mostly red Tamworths; fine bacon pigs are they. But there are also a few other pigs with them... Some Herefords, and the occasional Large Black. They will slumber through the June morning until I wake them with breakfast; fresh, warm milk straight from the cows. The pigs always wake up with a start. Jerking forward with startled, guttural "Harff! Harff!", they turn circles looking to see who and what has disturbed them. But for now, in this quiet morning, they still sleep... 

The flock of turkeys begin stirring in the pale morning light; not fully waking until the sun is juuuuuust a little higher. Some of these birds are permanent residents as breeding stock; others will be the main dish come November 28th. Following the pattern that seems to abound on this farm, these turkeys are also breeds that are not commonly known about. With names of Fall Fire, Sweetgrass, and Tiger Bronze, they are stunning birds that can't be found through an ordinary hatchery. 

The handful of Miniature Hereford beef cows,the small flock of Texel sheep, and the dairy goats are the only animals here that have no claim to being rare. The mini Herefords were chosen since that's a breed that a single girl and her dog can handle by themselves. The Texel sheep were picked for their amazing meat qualities, and lovely fiber. The dairy goats always have been here. And always will be. :) A gentle mix of Nubian and Saanen goats, their appearance as a herd is pleasing to the eye.

I scan the property line that quiet June morning, and take all this in, in a span of about three minutes. The milk cows lumber up onto their feet now, preparing to make the walk to the dairy parlor. My dog watches in silence; its tail beginning to wag in anticipation at the beginning of a work day. I open the fenceline and let the cows out. They know where to go. The dog follows behind; ever sure that its presence is what is guiding the cows to the barn. Together we all walk through the tall wet grasses of that quiet June morning. Not a sound save for our footsteps. And right then, I realize just how beautiful life is...


Above is a blurb about an envisioned morning of my future farm. My farm that is slowly growing here at GSF. Such a morning may not come to pass for some time yet. Maybe one year, maybe three years; maybe five. Who can say? But it is a dream I'm working towards. It may change slightly as times passes; different breeds may find their way here, but the undertone will most likely stay the same, And that day will come soon enough. A girl and her dog, starting the day with the milk cows...


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, I love that post. One day I'd love to visit your rare and thriving farm.
All the best,

Anonymous said...

Having a vision is the first step to the reality.....KNOW it will happen.

OneOldGoat said...

Just wondering, have you ever read Gladys Taber? I think you would like her.

Beth - Old Goat