It’s been dry here. Any rain in the past few weeks has been random–and light.
I have two creeks on my farm. One of the creeks starts on my farm, way back behind the second upper pasture, from springs in a huge cliff. This is the creek that is seen in most of my photos because it’s the creek that runs through the upper pastures, the sheep field, down along the driveway and through the back barnyard, and on into the cow field. The other creek runs through the field on the other side of the road, then goes under the road to join up with the creek that starts on my farm. Where the two creeks join is in the cow field, which keeps the cows in good water because the creek that comes from the other side of the road is a larger creek with more water. I’m not sure where that creek starts, but not on this farm.
The creek on this side of the road, the one that starts on my farm, doesn’t have much backup of water coming at it since this is its inception, so I’ve found it dries up quickly if there’s no rain. I do, however, have dozens (who knows how many) natural springs on my farm. West Virginia is the land of water–it’s out there, if you can bend it to your will. Finding springs isn’t difficult. Just go out on a dry day and find water where it shouldn’t be. The bottom of hillsides, rocks, those are good places to look. It’s the bending it to my will part that is the problem.
Adam and Robbie have been out here on several different random days helping me around the farm. When I say I have “hired men” I feel like my great-grandmother, but it’s a good feeling to know I have general farm help to call upon when I need it. They will move cows, move horses, put up hay, build a milking parlor, re-coat the barn roof, dig up old stumps, fix fences, make a creep feeder, show me where the mulberry, sassafras, and pawpaw trees are, put a cart together, haul hay, let me out of the milking parlor when I lock myself in, and make me laugh–a lot. I’m glad I found them. (Thanks, SarahGrace!) They’re generous with their time and their knowledge, and they even teach me how to do things for myself, which is only marginally dangerous to their job since they do many things I won’t ever do. When they’re coming, I start making a list. Sometimes they do things that aren’t even on my list. If they see a thing needs done, they do it.
The other day they were here doing some other things for me and asked for the tractor key. I was busy doing something else and gave it to them without asking why. They came back to the house later and Adam said, “We dug out a pool for you by one of your springs so you have water in your upper pasture now.”
It didn’t take long for the spring to start filling the pool with water. They got Patriot and the donkeys and we walked them back to the upper pasture, where there is still plenty of grass, and now plenty of water, too.
Adam took them down to the pool to show them where the water was. Patriot had an exuberant splash-attack in the pool as soon as he laid eyes on it.
Water = happy horse.
As we walked back, Adam pointed out all the pawpaw, sassafras, and mulberry trees in the upper pasture.
Several mulberry trees. TONS of pawpaw trees. And the sassafras trees are thick, too. Robbie said, “That’s why they call it Sassyfras Farm.” He always calls it Sassyfras Farm. He cracks me up.
I’ve also started tractor lessons. Here’s Adam, showing me how to drive the tractor. (Kelly Walker was still here the day he gave me my first tractor lesson and she took the following photos.)
I’m hauling hay in a truck, riding a horse, and driving a tractor! Somebody pinch me, I think I’m a farmer!