October 30, 2013

From the Dirt Road News Desk

With October winding down and the arrival of November at our doorstep, I thought it time to give a few updates from the Dirt Road snow globe.

What say you?

A week or so ago, I discovered we had new neighbors in the north pasture.  I have eagerly awaited the opportunity to seize a Kodak moment.

Here they are:

The white donkey is a male ("Jack") and the traditional brown donkey is a female ("Jenny"). Until I can make time to call Mr. Stanley to inquire about their official names, "Jack" & "Jenny" it will be.

They are rooming with the 30+ Black Angus cows & calves in the north pasture(s) and I couldn't be happier about it. Fingers crossed they give the coyotes (roaming four-legged pestilence of the Dirt Road mammal world) a full blown run for their money....or rather existence!

It is a Southern tradition when new neighbors move in, we rush to greet them with accolades of welcomes and shower them with foodies.  So I am working very hard to welcome them and ultimately, gain their trust by spoiling them with alfalfa cubes whenever I see them.  I think it may be working since today when they heard me talking with the sheep and eventually *saw* me, they began hee-honking with what seemed to be excitement ("....hey lady, you brought us some treats again, right?"). {insert winking}

In other news, a new ram has arrived at the Dirt Road Farm to be a suitor for the girls.  He's just visiting for a couple of months in order to help the farm set up lamb-housekeeping in 5-6 months.  He wasn't exactly thrilled when corralled for pick up and transport to the Dirt Road.  In fact, the little ram made it very clear that he did NOT like the likes of me by stomping his front foot.


And refusing to exit the vehicle.

I finally had to wrestle him out of the Goat Tote and physically place him in the pasture with his temporary harem of ewes.  It took him all of three seconds to realize he'd died and gone to ewes-gone-wild Heaven with nine new babes to romance.  I hope he enjoys his stay - quickly; he has until mid-December to get his romance on and then he will return to his home in Monticello.

Meanwhile, Buttermilk is somewhat confused and seemed to be suffering from hurt feelings earlier today - as all his gal pals have been all. about. the visiting ram.  So I took measures this afternoon to console and treat him to some - sheep treats (not sold at your local PetsMart - but there are such things that exist).

I'm already beginning to wonder (or is it worry?) about how to convince the visiting ram to voluntarily load onto the truck for his journey back home.

Somehow, I am not foreseeing voluntary in his vocabulary.  It should likely prove to be interesting....

And finally....

The cotton fields are being harvested.  

The fields I've watched grow all summer and mature into Fall - walked through and marveled over - will soon be sparse and barren - waiting for Winter's arrival.  Such is the ebb and flow of the seasons that surround the Dirt Road.

All Saints Day is upon us and shortly thereafter will be Thanksgiving, the rush of shopping, gift giving and celebrating Christmas. In 62 days, a new year will begin to unfold.

In closing this all too newsworthy update...

It's been a year.

South of the Gnat Line
Copyright  © 2013
All Rights Reserved.

October 26, 2013

Life's Ecstasy...

"Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough." 

- Emily Dickinson

October 21, 2013

October Cotton Fields

There is nothing quite like walking knee deep through a magnificent cotton field.....this year's crop is almost shoulder high in some places (shoulder high for me anyway).  This is a field full of tee shirts and then some.

Photo: Harriette Keen Jacobs. South of the Gnat Line.  Copyright © 2013

Words can not adequately explain the majesty of the silence while standing in the midst of acres and acres of cotton awaiting its harvest. These fields that surround me here along the Dirt Road have decades and perhaps a century or more's history of cotton that has been grown - much picked and harvested by hand in the years behind us.  To recognize and reflect upon the human hands that have hand-turned the soil here is a must; it is also a must that we never forget.

Walking through October's Cotton Fields. South of the Gnat Line. Copyright © 2013

South of the Gnat Line
Copyright  © 2013
All Rights Reserved.

October 17, 2013

Cabin with a View

“The fireflies start at the ground and merge to the stars up above. It’s really like you’re sleeping under the stars.” - Nick Olsen

Photo by Jordan Wayne Long
This is a must see, must read article about a couple who built a cabin in the woods with an incredible view through a wall of windows.

Be sure to watch the video produced by Half Cut Tea.  Exceptionally touching and inspiring.

October 4, 2013

Please Keep the Light On

"The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before."

- Neil Gaiman