Thursday, May 7, 2020
The pink dogwood in bloom.
It’s an absolutely unbelievably gorgeous day. It just could not be more perfect. I think it’s about 72 degrees, the sky is a clear, glass-of-water blue, and the grass is finally long enough to ripple and glint in the gentle breeze. The mountains are out, still snow capped, decorating the horizon to the North and East.
The girls and I spent an hour cleaning out the mama barn in preparation for the goats’ kidding, which ought to happen within a week to ten days. This year, we have three pregnant goats: Polly, Christmas, and Lilac, who is a first freshener this year. Polly and Christmas have both thrown quadruplets in the past. I hope they don’t do so again, but if they do, Paloma is eager to take over bottle-baby duty. Hopefully Lilac will just have one. It’s always a bit of a gamble with a first freshener, whether she will take to being a mama well or not. The truth his it usually works out better if I stay hands-off and let the mamas figure it out for themselves, but it’s always a challenge to do that. Watching baby goats try to stand up and nurse is probably the single most frustrating thing on the planet, and the urge to interfere is strong.
The garden is going well. The first salad greens and radishes are just about ready to harvest. It’s almost time to move the chile plants out of the greenhouse, which will make room for tomatoes. Maybe even melons? My cucumber starts have not done well, though, and I don’t know why. I may have to buy a few starts, and if I want to do that, I’d better hurry up because vegetable start season is almost over.
We are expecting the farm store to call us any day and tell us the turkey poults we ordered are in. I ordered half a dozen “mixed rare breed” turkeys. I’ve never found raising meat chickens to be worth the expense and mess, but turkeys are both profitable and delicious, if we can keep them safe from coyotes.
Life feels almost normal - to me, anyway. This is the best time of year on the farm, and the best time of year in the Pacific Northwest. May days like today - sunny, serene, flower-scented - are the reason we suffer through the long, dreary months of November through February. More than usual, I feel the need to pause, recognize my blessings, and appreciate the ordinary beauty of my corner of the world.
Hope and I were talking today about the state of the nation, about the disruption and the uncertainty, the fear and the despair for the future we are all feeling. She said “these are shitty times.” I agreed with her and said “yeah, compared with five years ago, these are shitty times indeed. But compared with almost every other time in all of human history, these are wonderful times. Look around you.”
Look around you.