Sunday, September 26, 2010

Selle Valley Critter Choir

I just looked out the window and was surprised to see the gloom.  It must have suddenly set in because just an hour ago, there was promise of another beautiful fall day.  Maybe it's just some passing fog.  Hope it finds its way somewhere else cuz we've dealt with enough gloom for one year.

Earlier when I went out to take the horses to pasture (one fewer this morning with Lefty gone), I started charting the day ahead, which, this time, would not be mostly spent sitting.  

We sat in the pickup from home to Spokane and back, with Lefty making a liar out of me.  He screamed with one whinny only just four times the whole trip---when we left the driveway, when we parked at the veterinary hospital to pick up the Coggins test, when we got gas at Cocolalla and when we arrived at the equestrian center.

Lefty turned out to be a pretty cool customer, making the trip smooth and stress-free for all.

After leaving  equestrian center, we did some more sitting at Jimmy C's in Athol where we had fun reminiscing about Bill's  Boy Scout Jamboree experiences at nearby Farragut.  Bill really enjoyed the "all-you-can-eat" fish and chips, and I tried to eat my huge burger covered with 8 dill pickle slices and four big pieces of bacon.  

Then, there are the French fries.  The cooks have found the right formula for deep frying cuz these big fries are crisp, flavorful and not greasy. 

Bill liked his plate of  fish and chips and managed only one extra filet beyond his original serving.  I asked the restaurant just how many filets the big eaters have downed.  She said usually up to six and sometimes as many as eight.  Well, these filets are the size of a big boneless chicken breast, so you can imagine what those stomachs must endure.

We had a brief break from the sitting after arriving home.  Bill went to the woods, while I picked some beans and worked on a project in the north garden.  Then, we received a call from Willie telling us that the Boise State game started at 5 rather than 6.  He had invited us to watch in his digs with his digital big-screen TV.

The grandpuppies joined us on the couch as we ate some more----this time pizza---and watched the game.  The Broncos made some major mistakes which cost them lots of penalty yards and an unhappy coach, but they won the hotly contested match-up with Oregon State.  The game was exciting from beginning to end. 

Enough sitting for the weekend.  This morning after thinking about what I wanted to accomplish for the day, I figured no better time than right now to get started.  So after the two trips down the lane, I went to the car and grabbed the two bags of grass seed purchased earlier this week at Co-Op.

Being out of range from the barn radio, that's when I started realizing the the Selle Valley was alive with music of the critter variety.  First, there were the calves over toward Taylors.  There comes a time in the fall, sometimes the same day when mother cows and calves on farms all around us are separated.

On this morning, it seemed, that a select few babies wanted their mommies, and they wanted them badly over there to the east.  I chuckled to myself as I walked to the north garden where grass will replace dirt.  

After seeing the garden under water through June this year, I've decided to follow another strategy with that plot of land.  Plant grass and build planters to go on the grass.  Have the garden dirt up high instead of beneath the sea which comes flowing from the north any time we get too much rain.  

So, I'm working on the first step and will plug away at that area throughout the fall.  While sowing grass seed in the early morning loveliness (much nicer than it looks out my window right now), the sounds around the Lovestead intensified.

I think the bawling calves cued up the rest of the critters to get a little choir together.  And, this morning, the Taylor's rooster got up early to join in.  Meanwhile, off to the west, the new neighbors' rooster, which knows when it's time to get up, was crowing away.  

In between the bawling and the crowing, I heard a sort of hybrid sound from a hybrid critter.  It was probably coming from one of Rex Finney's mules.  They've been pastured at Seth Burnett's little farm to the southwest of us. This interesting sound mimicked exactly what its owner happens to be----half and half.  

I've never heard a "whinney----EEEEEEAWWHH" before, but I heard it this morning.  It seemed like a very first attempt at spitting out something, anything to be a part of the noise action.  And, that cued up Lily.

She has a whinny which sounds a lot like a baby horse, so I can always recognize her calls to any horse or mule who will listen.  Lily and the Finney mule did a brief duet, while the roosters kept up a steady rhythm to their crowing.  And, the calves bawled on. 

So much for the pleasant, peaceful silence of an early morn, but it was fun for me as I scattered that seed.  I don't mind the Selle Valley Critter Choir one bit because it serves as another semi-melodious reminder of just how much fun it is living in farm country.

I do mind the fog, though, and I think I'll go outside and yell at it right now to float on to somewhere else.  And, may if I yell loud enough, the critter choir will  join me. 

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