Being back home on the family farm was pleasant as usual. I love being there this time of year, when summer is growing old and hints of autumn are emerging around you. The Queen Anne's Lace was growing tall, some of it already gone beyond. An occasional tree had forged ahead, adorned in fall foliage. The goldenrod had grown lanky, in some places standing as tall as me. Apples were abundant on the wild apple trees, offering up a tangy treat when we happened along.
As we walked in the pasture the scent of crushed reeds and mint were heavy along the brook, while the sweet scent of freshly mown hay and warm horses wafted over it all. Some mornings we woke and found we needed to don sweaters. Other days we were hot and sweaty, making plans to head to the river. Nights were often crisp, the frost creeping down from the mountains in a steady advance toward the river valley. Mom and Dad worked long hours in the hayfield and we did our best to help where we could. We took advantage of any breaks to walk in the pasture, ride horses, go for a buggy ride and even go moose watching.
A Sunday evening walk in the pasture.
Jesse was not the slightest bit hesitant about petting the horses. He kept calling them doggies, though. He'd say, "Hewwo, doggy!"
My nephew, Truman. Each flower that was thrust under his nose he would sniff this same way and then dutifully exclaim, "mmmMMMMmmm!"
Renie and cousin Gabriel- Gabriel lovingly offered to hold Renie's hand and walk with her when she was giving me a hard time. It worked like a charm. They trotted along happily together.
The girls took Uncle Derek down to the brook to show him the bridge they built across it. I know you can't see any water in the picture, but it's there. I was really struck this time by how the Little Brook is disappearing!
Kids loaded into the buggy for a ride. Dad recently bought this buggy from an Amish neighbor. I felt a little guilty riding around it, worrying that the folks in the cars passing us would think we were some rebellious group of Amish in our wordly clothes.
We rode in the buggy up to my Uncle Dennis' place to see the horse we met last year. We were able to see her the morning after she was born. See how she's grown into a lanky teenager?
Kennedy and Renie on Duke
Julia on Duke- Julia and Kennedy both learned how to ride independently this year. If I ever get up the energy I'll post a video.
Renie on Babe
Last year I took this picture at the Big Brook. I was astonished at how low the water was.
This year it's looking much better. I was grateful for the deeper water when I slipped and fell this year. I was happily snapping pictures from the far side of the brook when Renie, who was playing on the other side, announced she was pooping in her panties. I panicked. "Wait! Wait! I'll take you into the woods to do it. Don't do it in your panties!" So I went running, jumping from rock to rock- all spry and agile, fleet of foot even, when suddenly my foot slipped and there was no hope of recovery. Down I went into a six inch deep pool, managing to avoid any serious injury to myself. I jumped up as quickly as I could, remembering my camera in my pocket and knowing that Renie still had to poo. I handed my camera off, grabbed Renie and rushed off a ways to strip her for pooping. I got her pants off and held her up in position. "Mom, I don't have ta poop." Are you kidding me? I was completely soaked head to toe and no poop to show for it.
Kids getting a ride in the tractor bucket, a practice that was ended when Grandpa hit a passing car with the (empty) bucket. Mom and Dad had been in the hayfield all day long and had just unhitched the mowing machine and were parking the tractor for the night. Nobody was hurt, but the guy's car was damaged pretty badly. There was a dent that ran the length of the passenger side of the car. It took off the mirror and smashed the back window.
Mom and Dad mowing the hay.
That's right, I threw some bales. Kennedy would roll them down to me and I would load them on the elevator.
Kennedy on the hay wagon.
Devon and cousin Maxx in their nest on the wagon. And yes, that is Julia in a swimsuit in the background. NOT the recommended attire for haying.
A shot of the barn.
And sadly, no pictures of the moose turned out. We did load up one Sunday evening and go wait for her to emerge in the usual spot. We even brought the pick-up truck to pile into and popcorn to eat. We were not diappointed. We got to watch her for a few minutes until she wandered off into the woods again.