Thursday, May 22, 2008

My bliss

My bliss came in the form of Mary Ellen, a reel mower, a chicken coop, and some "Jesus Light."

I had spent a large portion of the day working in our barn, cleaning up the chicken coop. Then at 3:30 my independent study student who lives near me came over and we looked at her work. About 5:30 Mary Ellen came down to the barn and joined us (yes, I had class with my student at my barn!) When my student left a little before 6 Mary Ellen and I discussed what I wanted to do for my bliss exercise and I said I just wanted to hang out at the "farm" and enjoy where I live.

Recently we bought a reel mower, you know, the old-fashioned kind that doesn't take any power except muscle power. You can read about how to operate one here... So Mary Ellen got that out and started to cut the grass around the garden and I sat on my butt and watched her. She was like a little kid with a new toy! She used to use one when she was young and since we want to lessen our dependence on things that don't come from our own farm, we decided to get one. It works great! It is actually easier to use than a gas push mower. Plus it is quiet and you can work at your own pace. And I would pay any amount of money to see the look on her face as she was mowing! She was having a blast and since there was not a mower engine running we could actually hold a conversation. I even got off my fat ass for a bit and mowed some!

After we didn't want to do that any more we went up to the barn to kibbitz with the poultry. They have recently decided that roosting on top of the 6-foot fence on the inside of the barn is just dandy. Of course, occasionally one will hop down on the wrong side of the fence and be loose in the barn without a clue as to how to get back in with the other chickens! Thankfully they are hand-tamed and we can catch them easily and put them back inside. We even had a screen door installed so we can leave the side door open for better ventilation and they can't get out of the barn.

Any way, we just fed them some cracked corn and generally enjoyed their company for a bit.

Around 7:30 we were planning to go sit in the plastic Adirondack chairs we bought at the evil Wal-Mart early this spring when we turned off the barn lights and started to close the door. It was then that I looked back to make sure everything was OK and I saw the "Jesus Light." It was sunlight coming through a gap in the barn and catching dust motes in the air still stirred up from when I cleaned the barn earlier! Mary Ellen and I both walked over and stood in the light looking at the streams. They were perfect! It was a moment that will be in my memory always. She asked if I could get a picture of it so I went up to the house and got my camera, completely expecting that there would be no way that I could capture the essence of this experience. (Even though I am a photographer to the bone I really believe that some things cannot, and should not, be captured by a camera...) But I went and got the camera and by the time I got back, most of the majesty of the light was faded, but I managed to get a half-way decent image - at least it is an artifact that reminds me of what it was like in reality. You will not get the same feeling from it we got because you were not there. You really had to experience it to "get" it, but here's the picture.

So after that, I decided that since I had the camera I would put down some corn and get some videos of the chickens and turkeys. They turned out GREAT! Enjoy!

This is Lazzie. She is a White Laced Red Cornish Game hen and she is our feathered dog. She follows you everywhere chattering on about her day and even likes to be petted (sort of - at least she tolerates it) and even picked up and held. She is especially fond of Mary Ellen.

And this is one of the roosters who likes to roost above the gate. That led to some interesting shot angles!

And finally, here is the "coop cam" where we put down some cracked corn and set the camera on the ground and let it go!

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