I expected a fun day on Friday and it started out that way, with a couple hours of farm chores with all our happy critters, lunch with one of my farming/canning/quilting friends, Dee Dee, and then a trip to Home Depot for supplies for my next DIY project (more about that soon). I noticed the dark sky in the distance when I set out for home and, with Farmer Bob out of town, I always get a bit nervous about big storms that might blow trees down on our fences on Fox Trot Farm.
We live about 15 miles from town, so I had plenty of time to watch that dark sky the whole way home, and it was plain to see that I was heading for it. As I got within a mile from home, I started dodging debris in the road….tree limbs and leaf litter, and I got more worried. Around the last turn in the road that borders The Back Forty, downed trees blocked the road, so I turned around and headed for a gravel road to detour back to the farm and around the downed trees. Wow! Mother Nature had given all our trees a good sweeping, and everywhere there was a mess of twigs and small leafy branches all over the yard and on the back deck.
I started checking all our animals. Dog kennels fine, Claire & Avery (the petting lambs) and Rosie & Daphne (the dairy goats) fine, chickens and rabbits fine, cats fine, Turk and his rams looked good, honey bees in their houses and buzzing…..and then I went to The Back Forty. Here is what I found:
With sheep on one side of the fence and Clarence and Peanut Butter on the other, what to do???? The sheep were all over the new leafy tree in their pasture and were happily crunching on the leaves, but that is an oak tree and oak leaves are toxic to sheep! Clarence and Peanut Butter wandered up and looked over the crumpled fence and thought about getting in there to have some fun chasing sheep. (I can read their minds, you know.) Thelma looked back at them and said, “Don’t you even think about that!” As for me, I raced for my golf cart (A.K.A. farm buggy) and back to the house to get my phone to call for help. This was an emergency that needed lots of hands and a chain saw!
Look at this crumpled mess and the size of the tree:
Our farmer friends Amy and Ed (who are also our farm sitters) came immediately, as did our farmer friend and neighbor, Francis, with his chain saw. Francis and I stopped by the house and got Farmer Bob’s chain saw while Ed and Amy started cleaning up the mess in the pasture. I wish I’d have been able to see this, but while Francis and I were at the house, Amy said that Peanut Butter had fun. (Here is an old picture of Peanut Butter, the Imp Pony:
Amy and Ed said that Peanut Butter jumped the crumpled fence and raced around the sheep pasture. He knew he didn’t belong there and just had a ball, until he saw the sheep and headed for them, intending to have a grand time chasing them. Well, Thelma was having none of that and headed him off, chasing him away from the sheep. Amy said Thelma dodged Peanut Butter’s kicks at her and they raced around, and Ed opened the gate and Peanut Butter ran through and out of the pasture. Whew! They closed the gate, and looked up to see Peanut Butter leap over the downed fence and back into the sheep pasture! The race was on again, and I guess it was about that time that Francis and I arrived with the chainsaw and other fencing tools we might need. I went over the fence to chase Peanut Butter out, fussing at him all the while, and he jumped back over the fence and out of the sheep pasture, and I chased him and Clarence off to leave us alone and stop that foolishness. We didn’t need that kind of help, but it WAS cute to see Peanut Butter being that devilish little pony that he is. I’m glad he was able to have such a good time, with nothing bad happening in the process.
Here’s Thelma. She doesn’t look so ferocious when she’s being this cute, does she?
Ed and Francis got the tree cut off the fence and, it being a high tensile fence, it sprung back up. Amy and I threw our arms up in the air and cheered and, even though it was still crumpled, it was standing, and we pulled it up and I wired it to the post. When he gets home, Farmer Bob and Ed will go back and stretch the fence back out and staple it back to the post. Until then, it’s tall enough that Peanut Butter won’t jump over it again.
Francis has pretty bad arthritis, and I hope he’s not feeling the worse for wear today. He sure has been a blessing to me more than once over the years! Ed and Amy came back to the house with me and we shared icy cold beers and traded tales on the back deck. (There’s nothing more refreshing than an icy cold beer when you’re hot and sweaty, in my book!)
It was way after dark when I finished my chores, and I decided to walk with the dogs (Brody, Chloe, Blaire & Carly) rather than take the golf cart. Everything had quieted down, I couldn’t possibly have gotten any messier than I was and, as I scooped up the rooster and hen that were huddled against the outside of the hen house and tucked them safely inside for the night, I reflected on the day and how wonderful it is to be busy, have good friends who are always there when you need a hand, be healthy and strong enough to rise to daily challenges, and to live in the country on a farm with such a variety of animals to care for.
It will also be wonderful when Farmer Bob is back home. 🙂