If a tree falls in the woods … why does it always land on the neighbor’s fence?
It’s said that good fences make good neighbors. That’s because you don’t want your neighbor’s cattle herd trampling all over your soybean crop. Which happens a lot on our farm because eventually a tree limb will fall and bust open a fence line and the cows will come through the hole thinking the grass is greener on the other side.
Some mornings I wake up to find half a dozen steers staring in my window. That means a fence is down somewhere and I’ve got to call the neighbor to come fetch his livestock again.
Ah, the mystery of life! Especially the mysterious life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly.
Our good neighbors, Mike & Lida, have been busy raising Monarchs all summer and we were invited to be foster parents to a bunch of caterpillars.
The Monarch caterpillar is a very picky eater. They only dine on milkweed. There are many varieties of milkweed, like Whorled, Common and Swamp, and the plants like to grow in open meadows and on the margins of woods. But these are also the places that are heavily subjected to herbicides, and so there’s a severe decline in wild milkweed and hence the butterflies. Where goeth the milkweed, so goeth the Monarch. No milkweed, no Monarch.
It’s been storming for a month now. Big, rolling storms that ride in from the southwest on fast moving fronts. These late summer storms can be dangerous, spawning tornadoes and fierce winds. Makes you keep a wary eye on the sky.
Usually by now the weather has dried out a bit and we can slow down our endless mowing chores. But this year has been exceptionally wet and steamy and the grass is still growing tall, practically overnight.
Hoo boy – it’s been a month of mishaps. Is Mercury in retrograde or something?
A couple of weeks ago our much anticipated high-speed internet was finally installed. It lasted two whole days before we ripped the cable off the house with the RV.
Yeah, the cable guy hung the wire too low and it snagged on the roof of the RV the first time we passed underneath.
We have very slow internet at the farm. When we moved out here there was only one option to connect to the world wide web and that was by Pony Express. Oops, I mean satellite dish.
Not that I want to name names (Dish) but smoke signals would be faster than the internet service provided by this unnamed company (Dish).
I’ve been fooling around with pipes lately. Tobacco pipes? Bagpipes? Nope, plumbing pipes.
We built a log cabin at the farm some 20 years ago and the plumbing system has been a constant source of failure. Pipes leaked, faucets didn’t work, water lines froze. All these problems were the result of doing the plumbing ourselves. We’re really bad at it. No skill at all. Add that to the non-standard, we-made-it-up-as-we-went-along indoor plumbing system and you get two decades of failures.
Old Annie was a dog that lived on the farm some years ago. She was gentle and kind and pleased to have company on a long walk. We would follow Annie through the woods, down to the creek, and all around the farm. Inevitably she’d lead us to a spot and stop. It would be an old stump or groundhog hole. Her tail would wag happily and she’d look up as if to say, ”See? Isn’t this great!”