Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Walk in the Light

On this morning officially ushering us into winter's darkness, there was a bright side.  After feeding the horses inside because of the rain, I could enjoy my usual early-day walk in the light for the first time in weeks. 

That was good.  

Also, yesterday's efforts to open some new walking areas in the woods made for a nice change of pace.  My route usually takes me to one of the pastures, usually along fence lines and then mostly along the boundaries of our yard.  

This morning I walked the hayfield and then headed to the newly brush-hogged area through the woods just south of the house.  It's a little rough walking in some spots because those areas are somewhat marshy and under water for several months a year.  

Still, the walk was exhilarating, and it was nice to see where I was going.  Of course, I had a canine escort from start to finish----five doggies weaving in an out, with the four high-energy Border Collies occasionally racing head-on my direction.  That always makes me a little nervous because sometimes they don't turn quickly enough to miss me.

Yesterday was a very good day.  The weather, although overcast most of the day, was delightful---perfect temperatures and a sense of calm throughout the day.  

I spent the majority of my Saturday aboard the old Ford tractor with the brush hog on behind.  While I was doing that, Bill was off cutting wood near Priest River.  

The woods area here on the Lovestead got a touch-up yesterday, and I used the lawnmower to open up a grassy area so that two of Bill's young trees near the yard are no longer hidden.  

Then, I headed to the pastures to mow the taller dead grass and the weeds.  I cannot adequately describe the wonderful feeling this "chore?" gives me every year, but it's as good as it gets.  

In yesterday's case, there was a sense of satisfaction that most of the winterizing work around the place is done and that having the luxury of time to do my brush hogging only adds frosting to the cake. 

And, my shiny, new, gold-plated ($600) driveline on our ancient, rusted ($100) brush hog works like a charm.  Thank you, Tony, our fix-it man who keeps our equipment running throughout the year. 

And, now, rather than a hodgepodge of dead weeds and grass, the areas now look neat and tidy.  Sorta the same feeling as cleaning up a messy bedroom. 

The sight of those manicured fields punctuates a season of scurrying and hurrying to get hay in place, bedding for the stalls, equipment put away, flower beds cleaned, etc.

Plus, there's nothing more relaxing than breathing cool fall air and taking in the surrounding beauty in the woods, the fields and the entire countryside while driving that trusty old Ford tractor around and around.  

In between projects I took trips to the house to see how our football teams were doing.  Not a great day for the Vandals or the Cougs, but our Broncos proved once more they're for real.  

Throughout the game,  Boise State dominated Hawaii, which until yesterday stood Number 1 in the nation in passing. It was also Kellen Moore's best day ever as a quarterback---507 yards of passing. 

I considered my brush-hogging time as the best way to enjoy the extra hour we gain each time we "fall back."  And now that we have reached the threshold of our annual journey into the darkness, routines will change around the Lovestead.  

Horses will be in the barn to stay the night  by 4 o'clock until even that time is too late.  In past years, that time gradually recedes back to 3 p.m.  I'll be cleaning barns every morning and once again developing that "upper arm strength" while lugging the wheel barrow out to the manure pile.  

It's all work, but I welcome it.  I have come to realize that outdoor farm work provides my daily emotional and physical nourishment, while having nothing to do and having to stay inside starves me of energy and enthusiasm.  

Since that is the case and since we're an hour closer than we were at this time yesterday to the darkness of the day,  I'd better get on my way.  

Have a happy Sunday.

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