Do or dare

Farm life has it’s chores – stacking wood for winter use, weeding, planting and covering strawberries with hay has been on the schedule this week. Now covering strawberries with hay sound pretty easy, but when you have to get the hay from a manger in a pen full of bull calves, it turns into quite a dare.

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Bull calves in their pen – picture taken this morning before feeding

My new Swedish friend, wwoofer Kristina, did not feel like going into the pen, so the task went to me. Very intimidated I ventured in and desperately tried getting to the manger. Since cattle spend a lot of their time feeding, naturally the calves were hanging out in front of the manger. It turned out to be an exercise in assertiveness. Me using my deepest voice to shout “move move move” while trying to lean on them to make them understand.

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Thelma, her bull calf in the back and Penelope resting

I got in front of the manger, filled my arms with hay, and now had to get out behind the calves to pass the hay to Kristina. I was only scared half to death that one of the calves would kick me…so I nearly ran trying not to slip in cow dung.

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New calf arrived Sunday night – no name yet

Getting the hay took several visits to the pen and many trips to the manger and back behind the calves. Little by little my confidence grew and when one of the calves started nibbling at my pants, they all of a sudden seemed friendly enough. I like to believe I made some new friends that day…and Kristina told me I had done a great job collecting the hay in such conditions. I guess she was really happy, she didn’t have to go in there.

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The lounge area of my little cabin

Almost as a celebration the hot tub was set up for last night. I took care of stoking the fire in the afternoon, and once night time and the dark had set in, we all changed into our swimming gear and jumped in. This was my first outdoor hut tube and what an experience! In the dark, with stars shinning up above, all we could hear was the frogs calling, while we soaked in the hot water and enjoyed the beautiful night sky view.

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Chilling a few Guinness for Kristina and I to enjoy after the hot tub

After work today I returned to Dean’s Bluff. I think I called it Gentleman’s Bluff earlier, but the correct name is Dean’s Bluff. The trail is pretty steep – 18% according to my iphone, but the view is definitely worth the hike. Not only a view of the farm and lake, but also of snow covered mountains and the sea. I will venture up there again as soon as we get a day of sun.

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View from Dean’s Bluff. Farm is in the right side corner

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