Friday, June 15, 2012

OMG - I Lied! + Scenes from our Damp Pasture

Did I just type that? I must have a teenager living with me who has one more half day of school before summer vacation. So here we have it.... really, I promise.... the last photo of a peony for 2012. I discovered this pic in my iPhoto library and couldn't let it go away into the disappearing library without posting. Poor little last pink peony in a spooner at my very hardworking sink.

Yes, spooner, I said. I don't know where I heard that term but probably from my friend Sally. All I know of "spooners" are that they were used in Victorian times to hold spoons. Does anyone else know any more history? I picked this one up, most likely, at Brimfield although I cannot remember when. What attracted me is the color...... a lovely turquoise shade. When I have friends for tea (which I must admit is not too frequent), I put my teaspoons in it. Naturally. It's a spooner afterall. 

It has been a very wet May and June. The gardens and fields are very green and the weeds are growing like nuts. We haven't had a problem finding grass for the sheep and lambs to eat because it is all growing so fast. We're going to look back on this month in envy in August when everything dries out and the grass slows down as the sun sinks lower in the sky. Taking photos of sheep when it is misty and drizzling always yields nice results.

The sheep are talking about Ann Shayne's new novel Bowling Avenue. I've ordered it and if it is anything like the blog, it should be funny. Ann has a swanky new website for Bowling Avenue. Totally love the turquoise cover of the book - matches my spooner. Great art. And she got to pick it! That's one of the perks of publishing yourself. Love her new publishing name "Chenille Press." Only a knitter......

This is a photo of one of our pastures in training. This old apple orchard lies south of our farmhouse. It is all fenced in now and the sheep graze under the trees eating what grass and weeds that grow there. If we had enough money, we would pay someone to come in and cut all the trees down, take the stumps out and then have beautiful lush pasture for the sheep to graze. I can imagine it in my mind - just like the lush pastures in England covered with pretty white fluffy sheep. It is a beautiful sight.... albeit in my mind.

But we don't have that much money and The Farmer only has so much time to cut trees down. He's a really busy guy and he is loving these very long days. Haying has begun and when there is a good stretch of weather, he is on his tractor all day long making hay for next winter's sheep feed. As the saying goes "Make hay while the sun shines."

The difference between me and The Farmer is this - I want things done and completed immediately. I'm not the most patient of women. Cut down a tree? Clean it up, chip it, and cut it into firewood. But I'm not the one with the chain saw. (I decided long ago that I did not want to cut down trees - I'm just not that good at judging which way it would fall and it is a very dangerous hobby. The Farmer has been doing it since he was a kid and he knows what he is doing.) So I just go along for the ride. The Farmer thinks about his "200 year plan." He thinks about things progressing slowly and making small and manageable improvements. When I see the tree laying there, I think "what a mess." He thinks that in a very few years it will rot and while it is there starting to rot, it is enriching the soil and holding the soil in place as the grass starts to grow with the new light coming through the trees.

And really, the sheep don't care about all the downed trees and limbs they have to step over that aren't cut up.  They just want their mamas and to have a drink.

Kate has started showing interest in the sheep again. For a month or so she was refusing to go into the sheep pasture with me. I think a mama sheep must have charged her and scared her when it was protecting its lamb. The lambs are bigger now and the mothers are a little calmer and not as worried about their lambs. I can see Kate's little wheels spinning in her head, pulling on her instincts that were passed down to her through her Border Collie genes. It is darn interesting to watch and observe.
We'll be at the Amherst Farmers Market on Saturday from 7:30 to 1:30. I'll be cooking up some of our lamb sausage for samples. It is "The Taste of Amherst" which is a big food and music event on the Amherst Common. Should be a fun and busy Saturday.

It is the end of World Wide Knit in Public Week. I'll be doing that too, as per usual, on Saturday at the Amherst Farmers Market. Have you participated in any WWKIP events?


Bonnie said...

I'm jealous of your rain. We haven't seen any in weeks.

Charlotte Tree Removal said...

Your range looks gorgeous! Sheep are looking heavenly, got any more pics? God bless, and happy gardening!!

-Tony Salmeron

Adaliza said...

Love your orchard - I keep planting more apple trees and now we have 4! Not quite an orchard and no sheep, but Flora duck and the 2 collies enjoy the shade in summer! Your old blue & white jug has found a good home. I have so many favourites with chips & cracks, but can't part with them. Enjoy the last of the very last peony!

Susan said...

I have my great-grandmother's spooner. :) It's nice to see something else that I could do with it!

Robin V said...

My favorite posts are those in which you have pictures of sheep, and talk about different perspectives of managing a farm, and share dog stories, and just ramble wherever you feel like it... Like today!

Thanks for sharing a peek into your world.

SaraGL said...

I LOVE spooners! I inherited a couple from my mom and pick them up when I see nice ones but I don't see them often at a price I'm willing to pay, especially on the West Coast. My mom kept them on the table filled with our everyday silverware, maybe to make it easy for 5 kids to get what they needed themselves!
I do the same even though our kids are grown and gone, just out of habit, I guess. It's so practical!
Now that you've got me curious, I think I will see if there's some history about them online...

Caffeine Girl said...

Could you send some of that rain to Wisconsin? Keith says the corn is dying of thirst.

Sheep are the prettiest farm animals, I think.

Elaine said...

We're really quite parched in Chicago. No rain for a long time and temps in the 90's. I'll bet the sheep enjoy the tree pasture because they can find shade if needed. I had a spooner at one time and it was a beautiful green. I wonder if it was a giveaway for something.

Vermont Designs said...

My spooner (didn't know that is what it is called!) sits on the counter next to the tea things and is in use all the time. Just a clear glass one, but I have used it for 30 years.

Can't have too many peony pix. My last ones are dropping petals on the floor as I write.

Nicole said...

That photo of the sheep amongst the trees is beautiful! The lush green really makes the sheep pop!
Knit, Nicole, Knit!

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