As the ranch gate swung open this morning and the big Chevy truck growled into the barnyard, Tiger and Shy the barn cats, always waiting to welcome us, were nowhere to be seen. Without warning, a deafening bellow came from the direction of the cow barn followed by a scuffle as Sirloin, the little red steer hastened to be anywhere that Bella the Jersey heifer wasn't !!! The first unexpected bellow was followed by a constant cacophony of bellows, the whole valley resonated with Bella's frantic hormonal calls, poor Sirloin had nowhere to hide, Tiger the ginger tabby had taken refuge down by the creek and Shy was nowhere to be seen. Bran the Border Collie hastily disappeared into the relative quiet of the barn kitchen and little black and white Luke fled into a Luke sized burrow in the haystack. Clearly, nature had thwarted our scientific attempt to induce pregnancy....the man with the straw was going to have to make a return visit and poor wanton Bella was going to have another whole day to make the whole Pacific Northwest aware of her hormonal dilemma. I guess we just have to take advantage of peace and tranquility.....even momentarily as it is clearly short lived !
In the ranch garden, the corn is growing tall and strong. The beets are flourishing, the grapes have already developed little bunches of tiny grapes and the thriving squash and cucumber plants are spreading their tendrils across the soil. The strawberries are already ripening and the melon plants have doubled in size. Happily, the warm dry Spring has accelerated the growing season.....not so happily, the weeds, nurtured by the rich chicken manure somehow always manage to germinate, multiply and spread at twice or three times the speed of my cultivated garden. Doris the deer and her extended family will have to forgo their feasting on the fruits of my labors this year....Maureen's very fertile vegetable garden is safe and secure within the fortified fence of the erstwhile chicken pen.
Looking out over the ranch, the sun is setting. The glassy pond is quiet and still and the towering cedar trees are casting long shadows over the pastures. Mr. and Mrs. Canada Goose are taking their rapidly growing goslings for a walk down the farm road and the cuckoo clock has spoken. Must be time to draw to a close. Take care, keep safe and cherish those you love...M