IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FARM today. Because, well, spring has sprung and it seems like everything is happening all at once. Lambs in the barn, brush to clear, gardens to tend, barn roofs to patch, etc. It’s all good, there’s just a lot of it.
I’m happy to report that the three lambs we have are doing well. Barbie, aka “Explodo Ewe” was due yesterday, but so far, she seems oblivious. The photo below is of Lady Godiva (lambs = Salt and Pepper) and Lady Baa Baa (with Chess, the black and white lamb in the middle). This is the first time that they have left the barn and gone up the hill to graze on real grass. That’s Pepper on the left, unclear what to make of Luke’s tombstone, which says That’ll Do, Luke, That’ll Do. (I wrote about Luke and the headstone in For the Love of a Dog, if you’d like to read more.)
Maggie, aka “Trisha and Willie’s personal trainer,” continues to steal our hearts, strengthen our legs and add immeasurable joy to Redstart Farm. Full of energy as only an adolescent working breed can be, she takes me up the steep hill behind the house three to six times a day, runs Willie into a stupor by the end of the day and is learning, learning, learning every day. “Oh. I shouldn’t leap up onto the dining room table and play with Trisha’s laptop? Chase the cats? Crawl under the gate to get to the sheep and work them all by myself?” (I’m happy to say that I was able to stop her mid-scrunch before she, as only a teenage Border Collie could do, got through the gate and wreaked havoc in the barn.)
I’m not sure who loves Maggie more–me, Willie or Jim, but even though all three of us middle-agers are besotted with love for her, we breathe a sigh of relief when I put Maggie in her crate for the night. Sometimes we alternate who goes up stairs for the evening and who stays down to play with Maggie. Willie always chooses early retirement. Last night Jim and Willie went up early (well deserved after Jim let me stay in bed until 8:30 Sunday morning–crazy luxury!) while I played fetch with Maggie in the house. She is one of those magical dogs who automatically brings you a toy if you toss it. No training, no encouragement, just an “auto fetch” from a dog who is inherently programmed to work as a team. Amazes and humbles me, I have to say.
Here’s a photo that Jim took of Willie and Maggie playing up the hill. I was working in the barn and asked him if he’d take the camera up with the dogs to get some shots. He’s a great photographer, as this photo attests:
The cats also appear to be thrilled with the warmer weather. Nellie, pictured below, loves to climb into vehicles so much that I do a “vehicle inspection” before anyone is allowed to leave. Here she is in the driver’s seat of the garden tractor, looking like she owns it. Maybe we can teach her to do the mowing?
Our only color this time of year is daffodils and green, green grass. But that’s enough to make the winter-weary citizens of the north happy!
What about you? What is your favorite sign of spring? One of my favorites is the dawn chorus of bird song that greets us every morning, but I don’t have a photo of that! How about those of you in the Southern Hemisphere who are leaving summer and going into fall? Where ever you are, I hope you are able to enjoy the changing seasons and store up what’s good for the summer (hot, yuck) or winter (brrrrr) to come.