Retrospective thirty-eight (April 2015)

Given the way in which blogs are presented, I am convinced that posts which reside more than a scroll or two behind the most recent are doomed to languish and be forgotten. Because I believe there is value in looking at contributions from days, weeks, and even months ago, I present a gallery of images from April of 2015. Hovering an image will reveal its title. Clicking one will take you to a carousel view and you can either move through the collection or click the links to read each post in its original form. This is the thirty-eighth in my series of retrospectives. If you missed any of the others, you can find them all by clicking Retrospective in the tag cloud in the sidebar. As a postscript, allow me observe that seeing these images this morning was poignant, for they document the very last spring lambing at the farm. We surely had a long, and successful, run.

13 thoughts on “Retrospective thirty-eight (April 2015)

    • Most of the flock was sold at auction Elke. However, a few did go to a young women that we know. As it happens, we just heard from her a day or so ago … and she reported that the ‘our’ ewes had lambed successfully just a few weeks ago. Thanks for asking.

  1. Your comment about missing the farm “life” but not necessarily the “work and worry” reminds me of my stance toward sailing. People often ask if I don’t miss it. Of course I do, but those perfect nights on an easy downwind run are rarer than people imagine. Sailing — especially ocean sailing — is hard work, and a total commitment is necessary. Farming’s much the same. It’s not a “life-style choice,” but a way of life. Different things.

    Like so many phrases, “animal husbandry” seems to be dropping out of favor, but I like it. It’s a way to include much more than the mechanics of breeding and feeding in animal care. I learned early on the pleasures of the cattle and swine barns at the county fairs — which is exactly where I learned that you can love on that calf you’re currying all you want, but the end is pretty much nigh. Reflecting on it all, I’m certain that some of toughness I can call on when necessary is somehow grounded in that life. Though we weren’t living on a farm, everyone in Iowa was influenced by ag, and it was a blessing.

    • Both observations are right-on-target Linda. You are correct that farming is absolutely a way of living. To do it right, it cannot be viewed any other way. Twenty years were enough for us though. It’s now time to chart new courses. You also are correct in that farm life teaches a number of important lessons. Our daughters are aware of this and thankful for that part of their educational experience. Thanks, as always, for your meaningful feedback. D

  2. All delightful pictures, David. All babies are sweet and cute. I am not sure I could farm animals as I am much too sentimental and even get attached to the squirrels and chipmunks that raid our bird feed.

    • I do understand this argument. It was one of the first of many difficult lessons that we all learned on the farm. Surely, we recognize the individual squirrels at our feeders, and she has named one of the many Chickadees ‘stubby’ (for his total absence of tail feathers). I hesitate to upset but I do recognize that humans are omnivorous and that we have a very-long history of animal husbandry in support of that habit. In my mind, putting an apple seed in the ground is, in many ways, similar to putting ram and ewe on pasture. Both actions result in a living thing. In one case an apple and, in the other, a lamb. My emphasis is on the word living. The consumption of either, for the purposes of our own nutritional support ends a life, and that can be difficult. It is, however, one of those inescapable realities of being the sorts of organism we are.

      • I once had a discussion with a hunter on this topic and readily admitted to my hypocrisy as I do eat meat. There are some things that many of us would just rather not witness or take part in although we do benefit from those actions. Most organisms on the planet derive sustenance from other living things … even some plants. I think that some of our food having eyes makes it a bit harder for those of us with easily bleeding hearts. It’s just easier to go to the garden and cut a head of lettuce than doing the same to a chicken.

        • Both of your recent comments are well expressed and make good points on both sides of each of these contentious issues. No arguments. Not one. I believe I may have suggested before that it would be good if we formed a group, calling it MAC (middle-aged-curmudgeons). What do you think?

          • Not sure about that. To loosely quote Groucho Marx, I’d never belong to a group that had me as a member. I say loosely because when I Googled the quote, there are at least a half dozen variations attributed to him.

    • The farm ‘life,’ perhaps … the farm ‘work and worry,’ no. We both miss the animals themselves very, very, much. This is our first year without spring lambs in nearly a quarter century. In any final analysis, however, we both agree that we can do without the various stresses associated with a life of livestock farming.

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