Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trip to visit Lambs

The pleasant days have led to many short drives. We have coffee where we stop. Yesterday we were on the lake in the boat. It felt wonderful.

An operational farm, part of our excellent park system, was visited the other day. We go to hear the chickens cluck I tell my brother. He understands. We grew up with our neighbors keeping chickens, including a rooster that crowed at the crack of dawn. The big red barn satisfies something within Al and me. Farm buildings with their bright paint are in our pasts.

It was restful on the farm except for the disturbed small rustlings from the chicken coop. The sun had a good sleepy kind of mildness to it. A rock conveniently placed near the grazing sheep became my footstool as we sat awhile and watched. It was so quiet the sheep cropping the succulent blades of grass could be heard. It was pastoral and timeless.

Most of the lambs are somewhat grown. A few are smaller. They're the cute ones we particularly come to see.

Perhaps the smaller lambs were born later in the season. Occasionally one of them baa-ed as it realized its mother had moved away out of sight.

The lambs as a lot seemed content to leave the foraging to their elders. They lay for great periods of time, looking like they were nodding off (surrendering to naptime it occurred to me), at peace in the sun-warm hollows at the bottom of their green hill.

The sheep caused me to think of our old pals Mickey and Pepper. The two sheep were from two different summers in the country. My dad, probably thinking sheep could solve the constant need to mow lawn, "rented" these sheep from a neighbor. We had Mickey first. Pepper came another year.

The experiment with either wasn't wildly successful. I don't think they were super whizzes at what they were borrowed to do. Neither was with us very long. We kids, who liked the sheep very much, adopting them as pets since we didn't have any of our own, parted with them with sadness and pats of affection. They returned to their owner not much fattened up on our grass I'm afraid.

Mickey wasn't a favorite with dad. Mickey outdid the neighbor's rooster in the noise department. He was just as loud and earlier. He woke dad up. This went on each morning of Mickey's rather short time with us. Mickey also bleated and cried if it didn't have company around, as when the bunch of us went swimming.

The two sheep haven't been thought of for ages. My brother says he forgot Mickey and Pepper altogether. It makes him want to walk down the road with his wife where sheep are kept, a road they haven't taken recently.

Meanwhile, spring is in more than sheep folds and the ardent desire to be out and doing. The flowering trees have bloomed all at once making a lovely spectacle. It's what I imagine springtime in England, New England and North Carolina all together would look like.

Al has devoted time to cutting grass and tackling dandelions. He enjoys having a project and the yard gets to be definitely that at this time of year. Everything is looking nice. The bleeding hearts are in bloom. They are beautiful.

Ro Giencke - May 19, 2011

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