I’ve been joking with family and friends that this column has become more of a ‘this week on the farm’ update, as opposed to the well rounded, all-inclusive country-living column …
I’ve been joking with family and friends that this column has become more of a ‘this week on the farm’ update, as opposed to the well rounded, all-inclusive country-living column that I might have originally planned it to be.
There’s so much to talk about on the farm, as things constantly change and we are outdoors all the time.
I do plan to sprinkle in some independent articles as I continue to share my take on the natural world around me, but for now, it’s springtime and there’s no shortage of things to see, do and write about.
Personally, I’d love to be writing about a new turkey-hunting adventure, but with a basement full of transplants and a garden plot full of unfinished fence and irrigation—on top of a full-time job—well, let’s just say the turkeys have been safe from me.
That irrigation issue I mentioned? It has been quite the project. I recently wrote about the water line I had installed; it spans about 700 feet from a nearby bass pond to the water tower that was put in last year.
At the top of this water line however, there is a length of pipe that had to be anchored out into the middle of the pond. It captures water and not mud or air, lest it sinks or floats.
Where this pipe exited the pond, there is a connection that had to be secured around a power take-off (PTO) pump on the back of one of my father-in-law’s tractors.
All of this happened to be in the middle of the pasture that was occupied by steers.
As I stood in the mud attempting to make my connections to begin priming the waterline with water, the steers noticed my commotion from afar and came as a group to check in on me. Every time previous to this, when the UTV had come with tools, they normally chased it, thinking they were getting fed. The tractor that was now idling and pumping water through the PTO pump had sparked their catlike inquisitiveness, and in no time at all they had surrounded it.
Fortunately for me, they were all well-handled animals from which I needn’t fear poor behavior, and they were simply there for entertainment.
As I cleaned up my tools and supplies, they made for pleasant company. Even after I began walking downhill to the water tower to check the flow of the new water supply, they followed not far behind, helplessly nosy.
As I reached the bottom of the pasture and crossed the fence, I left my bovine friends behind and continued to my destination. Along the way, I stopped at a tractor I recently acquired, a future project that at the moment has a large bird nest under the seat.
I noticed the nest along with two others around my garden recently and was going to remove the nests, thinking they were from last year. When I got there, though, I realized there were occupants to whom I was obliged to allow continued sanctuary on my unused equipment. I believe they were robins, based on the bird I later saw swooping to and from the nest.
Coincidentally, one of the other nests I saw near my shed had blue eggs in it, which further pointed to my suspicions of a robin takeover.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the small baby birds open their beaks and stretch and squirm within their nest, currently unable to open their eyes.
I was less thrilled as I watched other birds flying up to the eave of my shed and plastering mud across the top of my door. Until then I thought I had inadvertently sprayed grass clippings or dirt at the building with the lawnmower, but couldn’t imagine when I would have done that. Now, with the culprits caught red-handed, I felt my new tenants might be a tad messier than I would have hoped.
My wife and youngest son soon joined me to begin work on transplanting some vegetables and they also lit up when they saw the baby birds. I suppose their parents could cash in on the cuteness generated by their offspring.
The way out here our work provides as many inherent joys as it does explicit benefits. Arguably more since I don’t even pay myself for the gardening yet. It’s nice to think there are these companions, both wild and domestic, which are somehow equally a part of nature. They share not only a place to live but a place in our lives as we occupy our own piece of the proverbial puzzle. I think life would be lonely without animals with whom to share our time.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here