Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Day in the Peaceful Countryside

The past few days, since I've been feeling well enough to get up and go outside a bit, I've noticed an irritating noise that Herb has been complaining about for a week.  It makes him quite grumpy!  We thought it might be a problem with the electric installation--a constant whirring, almost like a distant, ululating burglar alarm--perhaps as a result of the tornado's devastation of the power grid.  Before I called the electric company, I decided to check with my neighbor in case it was coming from their newly updated electric.
Good thing I did!  Can you imagine what kind of idiot the electric company would have thought me when they came out to check on our problem and found out it was just . . . cicadas!  (They might even have thought I was playing a "cicada" joke on them!)

I say "just cicadas," but they are terribly irritating.  They are not like the raspy, chirpy, musical cicadas we knew in France, which sang so loud you couldn't carry on a conversation in their vicinity.  These are much more "low key," but make such a constant, regular drumming that they are all the more bothersome.  Fortunately, they only appear every 13 years and only live for a few weeks, so I guess we'll just have to grin and bear it.  Too bad, though, that they didn't come out a week earlier and get blown away by the tornado!
We had plenty of noise going on yesterday.  Siobhan keeps getting under the fence wire, this time a permanent barbless wire on the perimeter of the fence.  She did it yesterday and would NOT let us near her, although she finally found her way back.  We didn't even try today.  We just let her wander around in the woods and up and down the road while we prepared the pasture we wanted to move the animals into.  While we worked, Siobhan would occasionally holler for her mama.
 "Holler" doesn't begin to describe what Sara was doing.  She was just plain bellowing!  Loud and long, over and over again.
Yep, BELLOWING!  She was one unhappy camper!
While Sara and Siobhan carried on a very moo-ving duet to the background accompaniment of the cicadas, our 2 HP lawnmower was quietly at work in the front yard.  :)  But we decided the girls needed to help us lure Siobhan into the Home Pasture, so we haltered them and led them around to the bottom gate, near where Siobhan was hanging out.
Angel and Brandy were thrilled to be in the nice big pasture and took off galloping up the hill.  As long as I know they're inside a fence, there's nothing I love more than the pounding of galloping hooves!

Once the horses disappeared through the gate, Siobhan headed that way to see where they'd gone.  We opened Sara's electric gate, and while Herb blocked her from taking off in the wrong direction, she tamely followed me and my pan of feed.  That's the way to Sara's heart!
Once Sara was in the pasture, Siobhan trotted right after her.  (Note to self:  As soon as we can get some hay, Siobhan is moving into the barnyard for a couple weeks of concentrated lessons on being caught and led!  We need to be in charge of this--not just hoping the cows will go where we want them!)

Siobhan headed right up the hill after her horse buddies--and discovered she's got some new pasture-mates:  Free-ranging Freedom Rangers!  She was quite fascinated.
Siobhan had a happy reunion with her horse friends (don't ask me why she likes Brandy the best because Brandy bosses her around.)  We could still hear Sara down at the bottom of the hill calling Siobhan--who was too happy to bother answering!
Sara finally came galloping up the hill to reunite with her wayward youngster . . . and things got lots quieter.
We headed on to finish evening feeding, and I noticed Esmerelda, who was Wren's favorite hen and as a result was chronically missing a bunch of her feathers.
I don't know if she misses Wren or not, but she sure doesn't miss his attentions!  She has her feathers back!  And I'm sure glad we didn't have his frequent crowing adding to The Farm Symphony!
Once I was close to the chicken coop, I could hear a delightfully quiet melody--a sort of murmuring chortle coming from Grace as she enjoyed a dust bath next to the compost pile.
We finished feeding, and while Herb went to pick strawberries in the garden, I headed into the house to fix supper.  The setting sun illuminated the back porch, making the red Knock-Out roses glow with a nearly neon light.  I paused a moment to enjoy the sight . . . and I suddenly realized it was completely silent for the first time all day.  No bellowing cow, no nagging cicadas, not so much as a chuckling chicken disturbed the peaceful countryside.

Ahhh . . . silence is golden!

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