pictured, not pictured


1. One of my three ewe yearlings.  She and her sisters will be bred next month to a neighboring ram, Galileo. They are looking so good, if a little fat. They are tremendously efficient off even the poorest grass.
2. Goldenrod, bee balm and black-eyed susans. The hummingbirds take to the bee balm, the cows eat the goldenrod. I haven't seen anyone but the goats eat the black-eyed susans.
3. Spider-dew-webs everywhere in early morning.
4. To add chaos to an already full summer, we are building a barn....or rather hiring people to build it for us. Winter is nigh and the animals humbly require shelter from the cold.
5. My gorgeous sister milking my gorgeous -but muddy- cow.
6. These quadrupeds are back from their summer in the Western pasture. It is good to hear their synchronized bleats at bedtime again.

not pictured:

1. My small victory of being the only one who could convince the sheep to jump the stream while we were moving them to their new pasture. It is really incredible to feel useful again out there in the fields. I was an insufferable braggart for the rest of the afternoon.
2. The first raspberry from the 17 bushes that Rachael gave us as a housewarming. Some year, it will be many more.
3. The slow rebuilding of a broken bridge which has effectively made an island of the Western pasture.
4. Nick's pasture management of chickens following cows coming nicely to fruition with beautiful grass recovery and a decrease in cow flies.
5. The solar coop door we now have for the chickens. Opens at sunrise, closes at dusk. Saves feathered lives. Allows farmers a more leisurely cuppa joe in the am and a more generous glass of wine in the pm.
6. Baby Leland who dominates my Instagram feed but who graciously ceded the limelight to the animals for today's post.
7. A river of labor-day revelers that are descending upon us starting this afternoon.
8. All those extra hands for holding, and burping, and bouncing the babe.


be still

these are some very grainy photos I have taken with the computer camera.

Yesterday marked three weeks since Leland's birth. There has been a marked silence here, and I apologize for that, though I imagine any one of you who has been in the throes of a baby's first days and weeks can attest that the simple act of finishing a cup of tea is impossible. Milking your goat becomes daunting. Closing the chickens in before dark is not in the cards. And writing a coherent blog post is a pipe dream.

My midwives told me, repeatedly, that the quickest route to recovery would start with 2 or 3 weeks of being still. I managed for 2 weeks to heed this advice. By the beginning of week three I was practically cross eyed with being still. I love my sweet babe, but I don't think its any secret that newborns are a bit boring. There are only so many hours I can spend lying on the couch while he sleeps for the 18th hour that day. When he's awake you couldn't pry me away from his sparkly eyes and his kicking feet. But when he's sleeping I'm most tempted to run outdoors and get some work done as the farm, gardens, and summer try to get away from me. My mother has been here for the past two weeks and so I've been gradually reintroducing myself to the animals. In the past week, I've been feeding him and rocking him back to sleep and then handing him to his grandmother for a couple hours while I commune with my four legged flock. 

It feels good to be moving my body again. I know that these days with a newborn are the most precious and that I should feel most guilty about leaving him in the mornings while I run off to the life I had before him. BUT 1) I do feel quite guilty 2) I love watching him sleep and I love napping with his warm body on my chest 3) I also love running through the woods with my goats carrying nothing but a bucket of feed. 

I'm working on this balance of being a still mother with the babe and becoming a functioning member of the farm again. I keep finding my limits. After a day of tending to the gardens and the fields and nursing I was so dehydrated that I had to sleep through dinner. And then I was so hungry that both Leland and I pitched an evening fit. Two days ago I was bringing the goats back to pasture when Hawkeye scared them into running the opposite direction, I started to take after them out of instinct at a sprint but two paces had me bent over holding my crotch and leaking breasts.

And speaking of, its time to feed that sweet child of mine. Signing off. Hope to be back here again soon. 

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