“It’s a warm rain.”
April showers main difference from March is now we have crossed the grass growing line on the thermometer. As the grass shoots up I have started taking the first steps in rotational grazing by locking the sheep out of the main pasture. Before doing so I walked the back pasture to make sure there was enough food and found plenty of grass; not the sweet orchard grass but plenty of tough and nourishing fescue along with blackberries which the goats have taught them to eat. So the gate is closed. Much ungulate distress ensues and the sheep spend two days laying by the gate. but slowly they start foraging because they need to eat continually. Now they go all day on the hill unless I forget to close a gate- then they are in the yard.
Two weeks have passed and they still complain bitterly; their bleating protests contradicted by their rounded bellies. This is the season of good living for grazers. While starting phase two of my project digging post holes I find a rock shelf in my field where the water seeps out. I went looking for dirt and found the bones of the mountain on which I rest. In the west the skin of earth is thin most places. The farmer kept the rich thick bottom land and sold off the hill sides after clear-cutting them. The bones of the ancient forests may be found above us in the woods. Fencing completed. I open the pasture gate and the sheep run in their awkward stiff-legged way to their beloved orchard grass. Bees explode from the hive with Elan to forage on the blossoming apple trees and wildflowers. In the late day you can hear the grass grow and the honey flow if you listen. Setting aside the “rakes and shovels and implements of destruction”, a wish I still smoked passes through me; sitting always seemed easier then. The sun sets over the coast range above the little church across the valley. In summer this happens here every day. Six months of darkness is over six months of light beginning. By the end the sun will drag on and the first clouds and rain will fee welcome, but for now it is perfect. Sitting in the field surrounded by contented grazers a honey bee feeds on a dandelion. The funny part of farming is one really doesn’t build anything; rather the labor is creating the conditions for others to labor to excess and reap their bounty. We are both beloved Persephone and her benighted husband all in one. Today though is a day of sweet flowers and green grass, fresh water and blue skies; it is good that not all days are so fine for one could grow tired of such beauty.
Not for awhile yet though.