Bleak Beauty

farm-in-snow

“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds.”
Thomas Jefferson

“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” ―E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

An August night’s rain brings a soft morning to our acreage. As the men go off to work and early football workouts and the girls awake at a camp on Lake George I spend a few magical moments with the animals and land I’ve neglected for the last few weeks. I won’t notice the weeds or the fly tapes in need of change. I’ll just dash off for my camera before the sun rises too high in the sky.

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The sheep are the first to notice my approach.

 

The mama goats complain now and the babies we lock up for the evening (so we can get first dibs on milk each morning) complain as well.

Blue Jays take over the mornings where robins have left off and everything is soft.

 

Duck Rescue/Release

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Chip looking pretty regal.

You may remember Chip-Chip as a tiny duckling rescued from our cat’s and dog’s mouths. He lived for a few weeks in my bedroom, then the garage , then the woodshed and finally in our pond. He’s free to go but for the time being he prefers waddling after me in the garden and having a chat. One day I was scolding a daughter for lopping off the head of a Brussels sprout plant and noticed Chip sitting at my feet (he’s very quiet when he wants to be!). I couldn’t stay mad about the sprouts, could I?

Chip is far friendlier than the domesticated ducks we raised and eagerly gave away (we still have two Khaki Campbells Sophie and Ferdinand–our one daughter calls him Ferdiler for some reason). he gets bonus points for coming when he’s called and napping on my lap. I see him stretching his wings now and again so he may leave us someday, but for now we’ll enjoy him.

“Every great and commanding movement in the annals of the world is due to the triumph of enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”

– Charles Spurgeon

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BONUS QUOTE: Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.
–Vince Lombardi

**Our new ram lamb Fergus looks fairly confident that he will not be served up as supper (I plan on keeping him as a second ram for breeding–lucky boy!)

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