This Barred Owl has been dispensing counsel.
The newsletter written on January 6 about events a year prior prompted a few acute responses. Two readers accused the writer of being a communist, and asked to be removed from the subscription. While such status was neither sought nor earned, it does raise questions about how to go forward in our cultural quest for equilibrium.
Shortly thereafter, I was in one of our barns hooking up a piece of equipment, and felt eyes boring upon my back. I was obviously alone, but couldn't shake the feeling of being looked at. Finally, after scanning the horizon all around, I awkwardly looked up, and found penetrating eyes coming into view from a far corner. There sat a Barred Owl, who is nocturnal by nature, and was patiently staying awake, perched in the rafters, awaiting my attention to whom to dispense much-needed counsel.
Since I had never encountered an owl face-to-face, but knew of their legend as fountains of wisdom, and since I had just been accused of being irrelevant, it seemed like a prudent moment to seek advice. So, summoning composure, I dared to ask finally, "Mrs. Owl what do you make of these accusations?" She stared back without responding, until I squirmed uncomfortably.
She then offered in slow cadence, "You humans are so silly and foolish. Your lust for manna always leads you into conflict. Sooner or later you will accept your place in the universe, which is not very high." This discussion was not looking good and I think I was beginning to shake a little. "So, what I recommend," she continued "is you replace your governing system. What you seek is referred to as S-air-fection..." Well, of course!
She seemed to expect my confusion, and then explained, "S-air-fection is a form of governing that honors soil, air, and affection for all living things. Humans have done poorly in this regard. Offices of the highest land are filled with sage stewards, not opportunists. To correct the problem, owls and avian hawks populate the Supreme Court; Mother Trees inhabit the Senate; the House of Representatives is populated by plants of the prairie; and the Executive Office is staffed by dolphins and seals."
She then slowly winked, gathered her great wings, let something loose that landed on the concrete with a splat not for from me, and glided away into the ethers...
We are doing what we can to clean the air and honor the soil. We have calculated that between our controlled grazing and planting of trees, we are offsetting the pollution of 600 cars per year.
The white tube between rows of planted trees is a piezometer, in which water-saturation of the field is measured. We have 30 of them spread throughout our expanded wetlands. We will break and plug the tile-lines of these fields at the end of April, and then start taking measurements of water retention.
We are also bringing water into wetlands by inserting gravel "swales" into diversion levees, as in the picture below.
We didn't expect to have lambs this year, but one testicle somewhere escaped the "banding" process, so here we are. They are being born earlier than we would like, for lack of growth of grass, but I think all will be well. They are awfully cute.
The picture below looks like a pot of spaghetti sauce, but it is filled with delicious items, principally our Roma Meatballs and slices of pan-fried eggplant. They are a great combination.
This is the last weekend before Easter, so if you are wanting some lamb for the occasion, make sure to apprise us with orders.
We have also set dates for Farm Tours. They are: Sunday, June 12 and Sunday, September 25, from 11-3. Light lunch is included. Children under 12 are free. Take note, and sign up via the website.
Bob and Stephani will be at the Madtree market on Sunday, while Susan and I head south for two weeks. This will be the longest we will have been away from the farm in 15 years. We are grateful to Bob, Stephani, and Kathy for securing all in our absence.
May we follow the wisdom of our friend in the rafters.
Drausin & Susan