Thursday, November 17, 2011

hunting season

The boys came past in hunter orange today, one to walk the north windbreak from the north toward the yard, the other to start in the west windbreak, then proceed through the grove and walk through to the north windbreak. I don't know if they got a shot off. If they bagged anything, I didn't hear about it.

The old pheasant rooster took off awhile after they had given up, starting from near the yard and angling sharply up past the leafless box elders and cottonwoods, trailing behind him his raspy rusty scream as he cleared the tops of the Austrian pines. Not today, not today, he seemed to be saying. I am sure he was the same one that wintered partly on our yard cleaning up after the sows for some of last winter after the snow covered the entire farm to over a foot deep. Wily old bugger!

We don't have to leave the farm to hunt. That says a lot. Our farming is more generous to the wild things than it used to be. I am not taking up hunting anymore, but am taking real pleasure in noticing our large variety of birds and being able to find unfamiliar plants in the pastures and fencerows that I have to work to identify. Wild things are part of our farm's community.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The season is winding down now. The cattle are on the cropping acres, cleaning up, the hog buildings have been repaired, well enough we hope. We have manure to haul, a little light tillage if we get the chance and we need to close up our new sow feeding project for us to finish in early winter. Time to relax for just a bit. Actually part of the relief from farming this year is the rush to put final touches on a book of essays we hope to publish by the holidays. We will make it available on the website when we get that far. Meanwhile, enjoy what is left of fall! Stay warm