Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Country Happenings

The sunflower field has been plowed and harrowed. Last weekend, The Farmer began planting the seeds. Between Sunday and Tuesday, the rain came down in buckets. Nothing compared to the people in the Midwest, but more than enough to rectify the dry ground of last week. There’s a real possibility that the seeds all washed away or will rot before they germinate. There is a reason he never starts planting until late June – the field can quickly become a quagmire and you have to start all over again. Time will tell…..

Early this morning there was a loud knock on the door. That usually means only one thing – the sheep are out. I ran upstairs to find some clothes and let The Farmer do the “Come on in” thing. When I got back downstairs, I found out that the sheep weren’t out. It was just Brad Baker delivering our annual invitation to the Landowner’s Barbeque put on by the Vermont Coyote Association. It’s an annual “thank you” for allowing the hunters "the privilege to use our land for their sport."

I’m dying to go to one of these events, but every year, I seem to have some other obligation. Once again, I've got to miss it this year. It's such a social contrast to last weekend in NJ sitting around a pool eating chips and dip. I’m sure the menu will be similar, it’s just the people who will have different interests.

Two weeks ago, the coyotes knocked down the electric fence and killed two ewes and that sweet little black lamb that was born up on the hill that I told you about not too long ago. It seems like a fine arrangement we have with the coyote hunters – there’s always plenty of coyotes around and no matter how many they manage to hunt, more still prey on our sheep every year.

The sheep are working their way down the giant hill they are grazing. Every evening, the fence gets moved a little giving them more grass to eat. The coyotes haven't been back since that night a couple weeks ago. It's hard to keep everything safe - we just try our best and deal with what nature throws our way.


Luni said...

Yesterday, driving in Utah, we passed a man on horseback. "Look, a cowboy", we said. It was odd to see him riding on the shoulder of the highway. Then, after we passed him we saw a large herd of sheep grazing in the beautiful green grass between the highway and the railroad track. He was a sheep herder, not a cowboy, just making sure his flock of sheep stayed off the road. Thanks to your blog, we were familar with sheep, and we know that sheep can take a lot of herding.

Mrs. Staggs said...

I'm so sad to hear of the loss of that sweet little black lamb, our dear Mr. Russell Crowe and the other sheep. Nature does have a way of putting things in perspective, even here in the city where I watch crows steal baby birds from their nests and the raccoons eating the fish in my pond.

My heart goes out to The Farmer. I'm sure he too feels sad that your rooster met with such an end.

Anonymous said...

I am not a sheep farmer, but there are sheep farmers on our road and they all have either donkeys or llamas in with their sheep to protect the flock.

Couldn't you do something like that instead of aligning yourselves with coyote hunters? That just seems barbaric.

The coyotes are responding to a natural drive, the hunters are not, they do not eat the coyote I'm sure...