Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rainy Weather and Empty Pastures

We went 3 1/2 months with no rain, and boy howdy did it get dry around here. The ground cracked open in ugly ribbons. The dust made clouds when you walked the pathways in the pasture. The grass was brown and stiff; seemingly lifeless. And then we hit mid-September, and the skies opened up at long last. We've had a lot of rain these past few days, and I'm loving it. Today we got a flash downpour that reminded me of monsoon season down in New Mexico (don't really miss that... LOL.), and while it was tempting to dash outside during it (I'll never grow up on that score; I love being in the rain!), I instead stayed in. 

These days of rain have caused an amazing difference in the pasture grass already; it's greening up at a stunning rate, and everything is starting to look lovely again! I went outside after the downpour and snagged a few random shots... Just to celebrate the wetness of it all. Hehe. It was even cool enough for me to don my Carhartt coat, which was an extreme pleasure! ^_^

Apples from our trees! They're finally ripe and ready for picking!

I loved the reflection on the wood!

Raindrops on a clover... I thought it was awesome that the drops were so perfectly globular. 

And as of this morning, the livestock count around here is down to only a handful of goats. Ruby, my heifer calf, left today; leaving the pasture starkly empty. I'll be taking down the electric fencing this week, and then that will be it. The land will officially be fallow ground.

 It's quiet around here (well, except for Summer's screaming, but she's leaving in two weeks, so then things really WILL be quiet!), and rather lonely... Gyp and I used to go into the pasture each day to work on our herding skills (such as they are). Summer and Ruby were both dog broke, and each one offered a different style of herding challenges... Summer would circle me closely like a shark, which gave me the opportunity to work on Gyp's directions (circling us clockwise and counter clockwise). Ruby often times didn't like to be caught, but instead preferred to kick up her heels in play and run all over the pasture; so Gyp learned to "head" stock (instead of circling, they face the stock and try to stare them into being still). Let me tell ya', this dog may enjoy circling sheep and goats, but he LOVES heading bovines. There's a wild, silly, intensity that he throws into his heading; zooming around Ruby in a wide arc, trying to lock onto her gaze, and getting right into her face if she got stubborn. He would even take nips at her heels at times, one quick, gentle bite right below the dewclaw and then he'd slam himself to the ground so as to miss the inevitable kick that came afterwards. 

Ruby would let Gyp do his thing until she got tired of the game. Then she'd stand beautifully still while I walked up and worked with her. She really didn't care two hoots about that canine, once she was ready to be done. Gyp would sit at my side while I worked with Ruby; his tongue lolling, and a huge grin splitting his face. Oh that dog is happy around cows... 

But now everything is quiet. The heifer is gone, and Summer is leaving in two weeks.

Soon it'll just be me and the dog. Out walking through, silent, empty pastures...


Beth Rankin said...

Changes...while they can evoke a sadness are only changes. The sadness comes from the sense of loss of what has changed. I prefer to focus on the next phase. You have such an adventure ahead of you. And when you return (assuming that this is where you will be next, although who knows what opportunities may arise) then the new life here will be different again from the phase that is ending. All good enriching life!

Anonymous said...

Those apples look lovely...yum.

Lindsey said...

So Summer's a screamer, is she? That'll take some getting used to since all my other girls tend to be quiet, even my Nubbinzes. :-)