Friday, July 14, 2017


Our long-awaited reunion weekend is over. Funny how that always happens. We work so hard to get ready, and then it’s over in a flash, leaving us with a quiet house and wondering what to do with ourselves. Well, I wondered, but Mike took himself on a solo adventure. [See previous post.] And – my creative muse also went missing, so I think she left in someone’s car. Maybe she liked Emmy’s ideas better than mine.

Hallie and Nick were first to arrive Friday afternoon – yes, a week ago now – but Yancey, Kelly, and Emmy arrived shortly thereafter, having driven straight to the farm after stopping to watch Old Faithful at Yellowstone in the morning. Imagine that! Remember our series on how it took several days of travel for the Dobson Family to reach Yellowstone Park in 1926? And now we can make that drive in 8 hours. (Okay, it was a long time ago, but it’s still remarkable.) [See "Yellowstone 1926" in serial posts at right.]

Trampled rapeseed crop behind apple tree.
Bed space being a bit limited, Yancey set up his 3-room tent, and Hallie and Nick joined him in the yard with their 2-man tent. Mike slept in the hammock, which he insisted was more comfortable for his back than our mattress. Whatever. I think he enjoyed staying outside with family, but he did come in when the cool of night set in. Kelly and I stayed in the house. And son Clint came in from Lewiston both Saturday and Sunday but didn’t spend the night.

Where's Hallie?
We don’t have livestock here, but the hummingbirds made up for it by putting on quite a show for our guests. They are fun to watch. Well, I say we don’t have livestock, but Saturday morning as Emmy and I walked down the lane, I heard rustling under the apple trees. The deer love to bed down there, but this sound was heavy and plodding. As we stood there, Seven cows lumbered into the field and turned to stare at us.

Hallie in a sea of rapeseed.
At the time, Mike and Hallie were riding over the country roads on mountain bikes, but when he returned, he went out to see if our neighbors knew anything about these cows. He returned with the info that they belonged to someone who lives on the other side of the canyon but has leased grazing from one of our neighbors. These were “rogue cows,” the neighbor said, and the owner had been notified that the cows had escaped and were squatting on our place. Since the cows were causing some damage to the crop, we also called Farmer Kyle, but he already knew and had spoken with the owner.

Cows in the north field
Mike and I laugh because we get kinda excited about these things while everyone else just takes it in stride. No one ever showed up to get the cows, but early Sunday morning, while we all slept, they left as surreptitiously as they had come. We didn’t see them again.

The benefit of having livestock move through is the natural stuff they leave behind, so Monday morning Hallie and I went out to the field with shovel and bucket to gather some of it for our compost bin. KW

[I took the pictures of the rapeseed field from the master bathroom upstairs. Big as they were, the cows were hidden in the tall crop. Hallie also moved around in the field hoping she could make a difference. She's braver than I am.]

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