Zoo

We live in a zoo. Below:

Calcifer, the tabby kitten

Rumney, the Siberian Husky puppy

Miss B, the very fat and old shorthair

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Animal Antics

On my way home last night, Scott called me to ask where I was. This is pretty unusual for him, and I cautiously asked, “…Why?”

“Because Jacks is out of his kennel, but it’s still locked.”

“Hmm.”

So I went and picked William up at daycare and swung home. Jacks was in the kitchen, under the kitchen, acting ashamed. I wondered, did he destroy something?

Turns out, he decided to try to chew his way through the metal bars on his kennel, resulting in a horribly swollen and bloody nose, along with his upper left canine (tooth) being snapped in half. The nerve pulp was exposed out of the nerve canal.

I called the vet, who said, “Ahh… yes, Jackson. Well, we have to remove it or do a root canal, your choice.” Great.

Later that evening, two of the sheep were found to have broken through the pasture fence and ended up in the horse pasture. Cowering in the back corner of the run in, terrified of the horses, I think they were more than happy to be dragged back to their own pasture.

Ahhh, spring is in the air, and it smells like broken fences and vet bills. Ooh rah!

The Simple Life

It is currently 8°F with a roughly 20 MPH wind blowing outside. I don’t know the equation, but with the windchill, it is beyond “freaking freezing” outside.

And as I was hauling water buckets from the bottom of the barn up the narrow 300-year-old stairs, into the chicken coop where my rooster has frostbite, and into the sheep stall where the sheep are all huddled into the hay, I thought, “Paris Hilton has nothing on this.”

I don’t know who decided “the simple life,” was that of a farmer. Whoever coined that term has never had to assist a sheep in giving birth to a lamb. They have never had to dig a hundred three-foot holes in the middle of the summer with an electric, bone-rattling auger. They have never had to send an animal they took care of to slaughter. They’ve never had to troubleshoot fencing with a particularly clever sheep. They have never had to resuscitate an animal from hypothermic conditions. They’ve never had to deal with medicine and wormer dosages. And on. And on.

I mean, life itself is not simple. So, whoever used the phrase “simple life,” city-dweller, suburban house-wife, or farmer, was idealizing and romanticizing life in an agricultural setting.  Especially in Maine.

I do find a sense of peace and comfort in sitting in the pasture in September, photographing my lazy sheep in my bare feet.

But… that scene occurs maybe three times a year. The rest of the time, we’re rolling hundreds-of-pounds haybales into the barn, fixing the constantly broken fence, hauling water buckets in freezing conditions, trying to time out the births of lambs, and wondering how to treat a frost-bitten chicken. Among myriad other dilemmas. I don’t really think it’s that simple, personally.

It’s actually pretty time-intensive and complicated. So is every other walk of life, but I’m just pointing out…

…Farming isn’t really that simple.

And I should go brave the cold again to take photos, but I am not going to.

Fiddling on Photoshop

Fiddling on Photoshop

I have been having fun with Photoshop. Here are my caveats:

1. I am highly inexperienced.
2. I believe that the most beautiful photographs are those which are unaltered from their original state.
3. Photoshop should be used creatively, not for self-image purposes. Take that as you will.