Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mornings On The Farm

Sometimes the most interesting things happen during the day when we are doing the morning milking. Now, admittedly, I am not a morning person. My body would prefer staying up to the wee hours of the morning as opposed to getting up with the birds. Yet I can appreciate the utility of getting an early start on the morning chores around the farm, especially during the hottest months of the year. Rising at the break of dawn to milk means getting all the animals fed and watered before the great fiery orb we rotate around has a chance to scorch the very earth we inhabit.

Those early hours are also a window into the natural world that surrounds us, and gives us a chance to connect with it on a deeper level, especially if we are open to it. One recent morning, we headed out into the pasture where the milking does were grazing down the irrigation ditch (a great way to deal with ditch management that is low-impact and requires no heavy equipment). As we walked with the two dogs and chatted, a motion at the corner of the eyes stopped us both in our tracks. Three beautiful mule deer bucks in velvet were grazing about 50 yards away from us, on the other side of the goats. We stopped in our tracks, silent, as we watched them notice our presence. Two decided to trot across the pasture and a fence, and hide in the trees. The third took our measure, sized up the dogs and does, and went back to grazing. While it would have been great to watch them graze, we had to milk, so on we went with our task. The entire time we milked the girls, the bucks grazed; the two that had previously run returned once they determined we were not a threat. A meadowlark serenaded us as we worked and the deer grazed.

It was a magical setting, and an awesome way to start the morning. I was wishing I had brought my camera so I could capture the moment, but I would have to carry it with me everywhere to memorialize all the little moments we experience on a daily basis. And I am admittedly a little lazy in that regard; as well as not wanting to bust the technology while wrestling a pig or goat, or chasing down some cows. Maybe I will have to work on that, as well as other things in my life. I enjoy those mental pictures, and there are some I would love to share in a single image. In the end,I may not be a morning person, but I can certainly appreciate the beauty of the day.