Farm life is all about routine. Everyday begins and ends the same way, with varied projects sandwiched in-between. It is interesting that even the critters around here know the routine. They understand what comes next and take issue if we stray.
First thing in the morning, even before we eat breakfast, all the animals are let out and fed. Steve walks Rebel out to the cow pasture to eat and to run off some of his boundless energy before it gets too hot. The cows keep a keen eye on Steve as he then walks over to the guinea coop to release the fowl for the day. They know their turn is coming soon so they pace expectantly back and forth near their fencing.
As Steve makes his way through the pasture, I can be found watering the plants in the greenhouse and letting out the laying hens. I don’t know how these jobs became “ours”, but we just seemed to fall into this routine. Our final task is to bring cut up cucumbers, squash and eggplant out to the cows and to say good morning. It is a pain in the ass to food-process veggies every damn morning, but they love this special treat……I know, spoiled cows.
This morning, to the cows delight, they won the weekly lottery. As they watched us driving up in the RTV, they were expecting only their treats, but they spied the white plastic posts we use for their electric fencing loaded in the back. Moving day……or as they call it mooooving day (couldn’t help myself). Just the sight of those white posts make the cows giddy with pleasure because they know it means fresh pasture is about to be theirs. They prance and dance while mooing wildly, never taking their eyes off of us.
Moving cows to a new site must be orchestrated perfectly so they end up in the correct section of pasture. Have you ever tried to coax a 700 pound bovine out of a pristine field of fresh grass where they don’t belong…….I have and trust me, it ain’t easy. After several mishaps, we now have a foolproof system. Steve unhooks the wire fencing while I attempt to fool them into believing the fence is still in place by holding it taut. They eye me suspiciously and make a move towards me, always testing, those girls are. I hold it tighter and try to put on my “I’m the boss of you" face. Inevitably, I am so focused on keeping them contained that I slip and slide in multiple fresh cow pies.
Steve signals the go ahead and I lower the wire fencing, giving them a clear shot at fresh, tall greens. They charge through running at full speed while kicking up their hind legs and throwing their heads side to side. The pure joy in their movement makes me grin from ear to ear. Honestly, it never gets old. Then, with heads down they munch like crazy on the feast before them.
I always take the opportunity to just sit and watch for several minutes. It is in that special moment: sun barely up, the pasture cool and smelling of fresh morning dew, the cows murmuring in complete contentment, that I find true peace in my world.