Despite personal ups and downs, life at the farm has a way of continuing onward, regardless of the conditions and circumstances. Thank you, to all who sent your memories of Nanoo Nanoo and your condolences following her death. The two of us were touched by your outpouring of comments and private messages. I am sure that in her own unique way Nanoo Nanoo would not want us dwelling on the sadness of her passing.
As testimony to those thoughts, it is fitting that recently new life is being celebrated daily in and around the barn. I am finding egg shell halves on the floor of the barn nearly every day. The barn swallow chicks are hatching. Shortly we shall see their fuzzy, yet otherwise naked heads peeking above the lips of the nests, everyone eagerly anticipating the arrival of meals.
The flock is nearly finished grazing the third pasture. It is a long, quiet walk out there in the early morning to set up the new fencing for the day’s grazing. There seems to always be something new to experience, during the trip out and back or while I am moving the temporary fencing. A few mornings ago I met up with a very serious and determined skunk, rumbling across the second pasture. It seemed to have realized that it had not gotten back out of sight before daylight and was making a comical beeline to the rubble of the old lime kiln on the western slope of that pasture. I suspect the skunk has taken occupancy of one of the woodchuck burrows in that area.
The next morning I was greeted by the appearance of an Eastern Mockingbird in the thicket next to the pathway into the third pasture. For us, a Mockingbird is a rare occurrence. It would be nice were they to grace us with their presence and songs more frequently. Not to be outdone, this morning a young White-tailed Deer fawn was stationed in the grass of the very first segment of pasture next to the barn. As soon as it noticed me it very quietly and smoothly melted down into the grass. That sighting was Mother Nature’s confirmation that it is the end of May and that the fawns are being dropped, seemingly everywhere.
The plants and trees are way ahead of schedule. We began grazing the flock earlier than normal. The hayfields are ready for cutting, at least three weeks earlier than normal. Luckily I got the vegetable garden planted timely this spring. The transplants seem to be happy about that and a lot of the seedings are germinating well.
The Gallery has now been open since May 18th. Prior to the opening, Gretchen and some of her dyeing buddies spent nearly a week dyeing yarn and roving with natural dyes. The resulting colors brighten any space, especially the gallery. Since that time Gretchen has been doing smaller dye projects every weekend while the Gallery is open. The first weekend was devoted to the blues of indigo dyeing. This past weekend centered on the reds of cochineal. She will be doing additional dyeing throughout the season. The schedule is posted in the Ewe Turn, (the right hand column: Upcoming Events). Anyone who is interested in the process is welcome to stop by on those days.