Cast off to the fields!
Cast off to the fields!

 

Footstep born five weeks early and coming out into the spring garden
Footstep born five weeks early and coming out into the spring garden

Every spring I can’t help but be reminded of the strong relationship between farmers and the seasons. Spring of course is the beginning of the cycle. The season of optimism. Farmers forget their troubles of winter. There is the frozen water, the cold machines that take so much coaxing to get going, the broken and frozen manure chains that had to be freed and fixed at twenty below zero. The cows were not especially happy at the feeding delays and not being able to go out doors because of the ice and wind chills that could freeze their teats, as well as the barns that would freeze without their large warm bodies.

Yes, farmers forget all this and are lured to the fields by the warm spring air and brilliant green. The farmer must be the eternal optimist, always thinking that this year will go better than last, and willing to gamble again with mother nature as this years crop is planted.

The growing brightness of the spring skies and sweet smell of growing propells the farmers to the fields. The herds and flocks are cast far and wide over the green hills. Strips of land are plowed and make patterns that will change a little bit each day as seedings and planted corn grow and change the landscape while summer comes on.

Footstep eating spring clovers at one year old
Footstep eating spring clovers at one year old

The herds eagerly pass through an alley after milking and bypass several closed gates. As they reach the pasture of the day and step through the gate, the line of cows or sheep spreads out happily in all directions. The pasture has been growing for three weeks since it was last grazed and is full of fresh tender grasses, clovers, vetch and trefoil about six inches high. The pasture calls the hungry herd and in the warmth of spring they are cast off to the fields, away from the barns, out into the fresh sweet air to eat and relax in the fields. The cooler evening air is also a pleasure to all and the sky is accented by high fluffy clouds in the setting sun.

The pasture contains the freshest and healthiest of nutrients and typically the milk turns golden after eating this freshest of feeds.

I am struck by the pattern the sheep or cows make as they spread out in the field. This is one of my favorite sights and I am pondering some batik that will be inspired by this theme to add to my collection of farmscapes.

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