Sea of Grass

June 4, 2021

With the dawn of June, the grass rolls in like waves on the sea.

What to do with the abundance? It can be either grazed, mowed, or trampled. We do all three. The flock of sheep will be in this field in two days. They will eat much, trample more, and leave behind the pernicious ironweed. We await the custom hay-maker to exercise his magic on other fields. We feel like we are wasting grass at this time of year. The only way not to do so is to make hay or increase numbers of livestock. But then one has to feed the livestock through the winter, when grass is at a deficit. Does one stock to supply of the spring-flush or the winter deficit? It depends on objectives. We strive for middle ground. 

Below are trampled grass and standing ironweed. It is interesting how sheep largely avoid that specie. We haven't found an effective solution to ironweed, other than mowing and goats. But goats require more management than mowers, so for now we favor the latter though are keeping an eye on the former.

Along with a sea of grass, we have a river of sheep. There are about 300 head in this picture. We are bringing them into the sorting pens to "band" the boys and eartag all the lambs. This season, we are putting red eartags on female lambs with the year inscribed. We use orange eartags for the males, but no date, as they won't be staying on the farm for longer than a year. Females may be around for another eight or nine. Chris and Scott are becoming able shepherds.

After working lambs, we moved the flock to a new paddock. Upon inspecting its net fence, we found this leatherback turtle caught in it. He had one of the strands of electric netting in his mouth, and was receiving doses of electricity. We were able to free him, but turtles do not readily relinquish what lands in their mouth, so that took some prodding. Very shortly thereafter, he set off on his way to wetter ground. 

We live among wildlife, which is one of the pleasures of life in the country.

Susan and I enjoyed a river of love visiting grandchildren this past weekend. Here is nine-month-old Lyle Zema, partaking of his first pork chop. He is a born bone-chewer, which places him in an ever-diminishing population. He and I agree that one of the great pleasures of life is chewing on a bone. Below is the meal that spawned the bone. 

May a sea of abundance wash up on your shores.




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