Thanks to the dog, who really needed some exercise, the three younger kids and I took a good long walk yesterday. Everyone was allowed to take three or four pictures of whatever captured them . . .
A tree that caught Girl one’s attention.
From Boy two who ran ahead to try and find beautiful things first. He didn’t quite manage the focus, but I liked the way he set things up with the leaf.
What about you? I said to Girl two. What do you see that is beautiful? We walked at least another 5 or ten minutes through thousands of leaves. Then . . . stop right here, she said. Where? I said looking around at the trees. Right here, she said and pointed down at her feet.
Two different young photographers were desperate to capture this. It looks like the prairies in the books you read, they said.
It takes about 45 minutes to get here. Boy two begged for the destination because he said he had to photograph the, “Rows upon Rows,” his official name for this section of the forest.
“Rows upon Rows,” the hoped for destination so he the girls the seemingly never ending rows of trees.
These are Girl two’s perpetually backwards boots. She swears it doesn’t hurt her feet and she likes them that way. None of us had felt like a walk. Only the duty of the dog got us there. More than an hour later, we all came home happy and content from the tips of our toes to the top of our heads. As Girl one pointed out, if you actually get out into the woods, no matter how much you didn’t want to go, you never, ever, regret it.
Girl one, from outside: Mom, we don’t have to worry about when Anabelle is having her calf anymore.
Me, not getting it: Why’s that?
Girl one: She already had it.
Me still not getting it: Are you sure?
Girl one pointing: Look
So very, very happy news. Anabelle pulled this off in twenty minutes. She was lying down pregnant when we drove in from seeing friends, and calf was out by the time we changed our clothes to go outside. All pictures are of few minutes old calf with very new mom. In case you can’t tell, we bred Miss mostly Charolais (pronounced Shar-lay) Anabelle with a Black Angus. And also in case you can’t tell, Black Angus cows can be the colour of night. Which would, by the way make an excellent name for the new calf, but it has been rejected. A few hours of political jockeying was followed by an intense hour of name discussions. We finally went to bed. Rejected names include: Joey, Pierre, Felix, Night, Knight, Prince, Sir Eliot, Tumnus, Obsidian, Space, Pupil, Burger, Burnt Marshmellow, and others. Under strong consideration are Buster and King, although there is a lobby going for a name we haven’t thought of yet as long as it isn’t Buster or King.
Mondays is farm project day. It gives my husband and I chance to see each other for free. Also, keep things from falling apart around here. This week the project was to clear the old road that winds through our woods. Now instead of a path you can walk, stepping over logs and around things, there is a clear road to drive a tractor through.
There is really nothing like taking care of the land that you own. It was a nice feeling sitting on the wagon as my husband drove it through our reclaimed road. We were doing a test drive for the birthday party hay ride we are planning later this week. Testing was a good idea. We found two problems. The first, came approximately 5 seconds after I told the driver to trust me to keep his eyes on the road ahead and to trust me to watch behind us, when a tree with serious curvature of the spine made itself known. The wagon, shaped like an L, was completely flat except for a five foot panel at the back. The base of the wagon passed the deformed tree just fine. Unfortunately for us, at about the five foot mark, the trunk grew out into the path. “Stop,” was not shouted energetically enough and the back wall of the wagon was relocated rather quickly to the mud of our new road. Wagon shape has moved from capital L to lowercase.
Problem #2 was more easily solved. Three cedars with trunks four to five inches in diameter made the entrance back to the field a little narrow for our wide wagon. I suggested we wait to get the chain saw, but the manager of the operation decreed that his bow saw would be good enough. A little effort later, he was right about that too. It was a very good day for him.
Getting the old road I’ve been nattering about since spring would have made me happy all by itself, but there was more. As we cleared the path, there was a log lying across it too heavy to pick up. We sawed it in sections and kicked at it. One of the rotten pieces came off the top half of the log as I lifted it. Lying there a Queen bee. I’d never seen one before. But there she was, all groggy and hunkered down for the winter, surprised by all the light. Twenty years ago I might not have stopped, but thank goodness one picks up at least a little common sense along the way. I went and found a tiny see through plastic case that once held fasteners of some kind or another and put her majesty inside so the kids could see when they got home.
Her plastic kingdom is now on the kitchen counter beside the pumpkins, where she will reign somewhat stupefied until further notice.