Sunday, August 1, 2010


“Today’s hike will not be as long but probably more strenuous,” announced Mike as he arose at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday (July 29). “We’re going to hike the perimeter of the farm. Are you coming?”
I love to tramp the perimeter at least once a season. By 6:30 the three of us were out the door – Mike and Nellie wearing their backpacks while I carried the camera.
We’d had a brief rain shower the night before, but initially the grain didn’t seem wet. We soon learned we were only walking in a protected spot. By the time we were 20 minutes into the hike, our left pant legs (on the grain side) and boots were sopped! It was uncomfortable but not cold. We kept moving.
The first photo just barely catches Mike as he makes steady progress along the edge of the field. You can see the elderberry “tree” with the white “fuzzy” clumps that will develop into berries. While this tree looks good, the elderberries here aren’t really accessible. The bushes we use were hit by the crop-dusters spray and don’t look good, a common occurrence according to Idaho Fish and Game. But – we know where we can find some elderberries in a more sheltered location.

I found it tough-going and as I paused to take pictures, I fell farther and farther behind. It didn’t matter. I knew where I was and my purpose was fulfilled – to see this beautiful morning reflected on the landscape. In the distance I could hear cattle lowing. Once upon a time there were animal sounds in this place. I called to Mike and a covey of Hungarian Partridge flushed, taking all of us by surprise, especially Nellie. She stood on point for a long time as if hoping to redeem herself with a straggler. It didn’t happen.

Anyway, Nellie knows a thing or two, and one thing she knows is that she’s not officially hunting. If she were hunting, Mike would have a gun. Eventually she forgave herself this lapse and moved on. Encumbered by her pack, she was nevertheless a good sport.
Here’s a picture of the house and grounds over the top of the barley in the south field. We continued our trek around the perimeter of the homesteads, coming out on Dobson Road. Mike decided to walk out to “Curfman’s corner” to round out his practice session. Miserable in wet jeans, I walked back to the farmhouse. I said to myself that by the time I reached the house, I would be able to see him coming down the lane. This proved to be the case.
I hated to leave the farm on Friday, even though I knew I would return today (Sunday). At this time of year the fields change so rapidly. Turn my back for a moment and I feel out of touch. The barley is quickly losing its green-ness. The wheat is golden brown and looking cooked. Just a few more weeks until harvest. The hummingbirds have drained the feeders, so I made more nectar and refilled them, but they have yet to come. Maybe they’re gone now and won’t be back this season. (Oh! there's one now!) I did so hope they would put on their little show for Nick and Hallie when they come in from backpacking later this week. I gave my little raised bed garden extra water on Friday before I left, but the beans were looking parched and glad to see me. And I picked several cups of raspberries. KW

No comments: