Thursday, July 26, 2007

Word Pictures

I've been thinking about all the facets of life that I'm unable to post a picture of. Some are too far away from the house, like the wild turkeys and their babies strolling around the pastures, unafraid of the goats and sheep and donkeys. Often we have sixteen at a time. Other faraway visitors are the deer who frequent the north pasture, hopping the fence, staying a while, and hopping another fence to leave. We've had a rabbit in the driveway just up the road from the house. It seems to be eating dirt. I know some birds do this to get grit, but rabbits? I've left some lettuce in the area after it was there and it disappeared so I'm hoping the rabbit got it. I know a lot of people have problems with rabbits in the garden, but I don't. Probably because of all these dogs. :<) To me, rabbits are magical. Ever since I read Watership Down, I have thought them a wonder. To me they are a little bit of England, even though my head knows there are plenty of them over here. We rented a house in Gloucestershire many years ago and in the evenings we'd walk out to a field and watch what seemed to be hundreds of rabbits.

Another daily occurrence it is impossible to photograph is the goats changing pastures all on their own. We have two main pastures, the south and the north. Tom switches the animals every few days, but when they are in the north pasture, those goats don't like spending the night away from the barn, so they jump right through the electric fence and go back to the south pasture, all on their own. This is very adorable to me, and I've felt so kindly toward them because they must cross our driveway to get from one to the other and they don't veer off into the lawns and flowers. Except, now I don't feel so warm about them because they have, on a few occasions, eaten my daylilies on the lawn and eaten down three (!!) young trees, a couple Duchess Apple trees and a crabapple. We think this happened because there is another cute thing I can't really photograph. Sadie believes in her dog heart that she is a farm dog, par excellence. She runs along the fence barking away at the goats and sheep, mostly the goats. We think she has been instrumental in "keeping them in their place." When the cousins visited, the dogs had to spend a lot of time inside because we were busy and gone a lot. That is when the goats began getting out. We think Sadie scared them into staying inside the pasture. And Ben plays a part too. He charges that fence from afar with great speed as if he is ready to kill. He always stops, but if I were a goat it would scare me. Sadie's tactics are strictly her bark. We think they got bold when Sadie wasn't out so much, but they were able to get through so easily because the charge on the electric fence was low. Tom and our son, who is working for us as his summer job, have been doing a lot of brush cutting along the fence lines. Any brush touching the fence lowers the charge. So between clearing the fence, and those two black dogs, the goats have stayed in the pastures other than the trek between them each day. I'm looking kindly upon them again.

I wish I could have shown you the swallows feeding their babies in the nesting box on a telephone pole which they come back to each year, just like Capistrano. And I wish I could show you the daylilies right outside the kitchen window from the reading chair, but there is screening in the window and they would be just a blur.

As I write this, I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, Home For The Holidays. There is a wonderful visual sequence at the end of the movie showing all the events which were never captured in photographs.


  1. You don't need a camera to help us see your home; you draw wonderful pictures with your words.

  2. I'm very new here, so didn't know that you lived in the UK, once upon a time. How lovely that must have been. I so love to read of and see pictures, etc. of the English countryside. -happy sigh-


  3. What a nice, nice thing to say, Catherine Mary!

    Mari-Nancy, I didn't live in England, I'm sorry to say. We've been there on vacation three times over the years, and the last time we rented a house for a week with our then young children.


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