Summer goes by quietly at our farm

There are so few things we can hold on to, no matter how tight our grip. Summer is most definitely passing for another year.

I watched from the back pasture as a huge flock of geese gathered overhead, some flying in from the north, another flock joining them from the east. As I walked back toward the barn, I noticed yellow leaves fluttering from the enormous black walnut trees in a sudden, gusty breeze that blew through.

Fencing project

We have finally completed a long summer re-fencing project here at the farm. It has been in the plans for awhile now, knocked off course a time or two, most notably when thieves stole $2,000 worth of woven wire fence. Just this past week, the final step of the big job was finished, when a new board fence was placed near the east side of the barn.

Individual pastures

The various pastures each have an individual feel. My fainting goats are in a pretty meadow with a well-established grove of shade trees. The Haflinger mares and their fillies trot about in a large, open hilltop; their beauty commands the attention of everyone who visits.

Another large pasture holds the city horses who came to live here, happily munching green grass, gathering in the low dip over the hill in the shade of majestic, old trees once their bellies are full.

Our long, rectangular pasture west of the house holds our American Quarter horse and her beautiful filly, born this spring. Topper, our calm, impressive black Welsh pony, seems happy to be back home after spending the winter and spring as a perfect pony at a therapeutic riding center.

Doug planned the pasture fencing project so that, by swinging large gates open, each pasture opens to another and another, so that livestock can conceivably be moved from the farthest pasture on the farm to the original one beyond the barn.

Peace and quiet

The best thing about living here is having the peace and quiet of a beautiful farm, while serving as hosts to a great bunch of animals.

As we walk from one part of the farm to another, Channing and her growing puppy, Holden, follow us with that gleeful attitude that great farm dogs carry, seeming to ask, “Hey, what’s up?”

When new friends visit, they seem astonished by how peaceful it is here. “Wow, you have so many animals, and yet it all feels so laid back and easy,” a first-time visitor, Mike, said to me last night.

This farm is meant to be shared, we feel, and the friends of our children enjoy being welcomed. There are so few places in their world this tranquil, and it feels right to open our place, and our hearts, to each of them.

About the Author

Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college. More Stories by Judith Sutherland

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