Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Early Morning Light

Some days early rising is compulsory. Our primary aged children attend school three days a week in the community where our bush property is. We have to leave by 8.15am in order to get there in time for the start of school. If we are staying the night the animals have to be dealt with before then.

Hailey has to be milked – she will get a day off while we are away. It always drops production a little but we don’t want to miss two in a row. The pigs need a heap of food and their water topped up – especially today when it is going to be 35 degrees.  The guinea pigs need fresh ground to chew and the dogs need some exercise before being chained up while we are away. The chooks can manage without us for a while and the other animals have decent summer pastures and dams.


When I first emerged with my milking pail and washcloth it was just after 6.30am. As I sat next to Hailey amid the rhythmic streams of cascading milk the mist was rising just enough to outline the tall trees at the base of the mountain. I wished for my camera and wondered whether pixels could do justice to the beauty of the scene. As the light strengthened and thinned the mist the animals become more vocal and important business of finding food could begin in earnest. By the time I fetched the camera the sun was almost out and the mist was sinking into the valley.

Down at the pigpen Blanche, Petunia and Maud were very excited. They were drooling over the containers of rotting fruit, pig grower pellets and kitchen scraps.

Curly walked determinedly past, his tongue half out and making a snickering sound in the back of his throat. Honey's tail was wagging eloquently of her desire to be served. Curly repeatedly rested his head on her back; they exchanged sniffs of vital parts and stamped feet while circling around each other.
Fifteen seconds of action and half Curly's work for the year was completed. Five months to new kid. Hopefully a doe as Honey and Curly have the best dairy genes. Maybe that elusive big udder and decent sized teats might be the result of that early morning tryst. Any later rising and I would have missed it.

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