There is a long stretch of the year when we can hardly catch our breath. The schedule is booked solid. Chicks arrive in mid-February. The garden starts to go in early in March. Before you know it we are planting a fall crop in the garden, cutting the last of the hay and watching the birds fly South. Every day is long and it seems like we are always behind. Then it is November and you realize you didn’t make an appointment for the hogs. Shoot.
In November the sun rises after I leave for work and goes down before I get home. That’s ok. The cows don’t ask for much from us. There are no chicks. The hay is in the barn. Pigs need very little. We still have a number of projects around the farm but it is time to catch our breath.
It’s hard to take a picture of the cows in the dark but tonight the sky cooperated very nicely. The moon had just risen.
In the distance I hear the constant sound of fans drying grain in bins. It’s like the sound of a car coming down the pavement at speed but constantly in the background. Once in a while I hear a chicken negotiating for more space on the roost. In the center of the picture are headlights from my neighbor’s tractor. He’s doing his fall plowing, even at night as we are expecting some weather in the next two days. The sound of the tractor is hardly noticeable. You have to stop and listen to the world around you.
The cows are at the South edge of the property and can drink from the pond. They congregate under a grove of maple trees near the edge of the pond at night. The grove seems to hold warmth and the pond moderates the temperature change. I would prefer that they sleep and manure uphill but…you know. Cows today. Can’t tell them anything.
So my evening consists of walking in the cold moonlight to check the cows for any signs of bloat and just to say “hello”. Then I check the pigs for food and water, put on my pajamas and park my tookus by the fire. Similarly, my morning is just a walk to the cows and a peek at the pigs. Julie checks water and collects eggs later in the day.
This farming thing is so much easier in the fall!