Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some of my new friends and activities

Milking. I am going to post this and head over to the stable to try to master milking - I am not a natural - but it supposedly takes a lot of practice.

Ok, can you believe that this creature exists? Lots of them in fact.
They spend most of their time practising head butting each other - head to head or head to bum or head to ribs, this while climbing anything available. It is mesmerizing to watch.
The sheep are milked in batches of 5 and moved from their main pen to a holding pen as the batches are finished and then they are all sent back - but it gets crowded in the holding pen close to the end of milking.

This is Ryan the only make goat. He is very intimidating.
The goats are very nice. We haven't taken them out to pasture yet, so I mostly see them eating like this.

There are lambs too but as incredibly cute as they are, they simply can't compete with the kids (in my opinion).

This kitten is my favourite. He/she has the sweetest trill of a meow.

The cats are always lounging around on top of one another.
They are outdoor cats and allow only a quick single-stroke pet ... nothing more.

Prince Petulio is one of the most noble characters I have ever had the pleasure to acquaint myself with. Like Dago, when he greets me he places his two front paws onto my abdomen and stands staring calmly (searchingly?) into my face with his soulful and utterly heart-breaking eyes. Petulio is old and broken-down looking and has a quiver in his jaw and a sore leg but he jumps up on a hay bale in a flash where he positions himself to reign over the stable.

Dago the dog is trained as a sheep herder and is a wonderful friend too.

The fruit trees are blooming.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It has been 5 days now and I have been learning incredible things about cooking, sheep, wall building, gardening, harvesting wild vegetables, preserving food, all things related to living well off of the land - I haven't had a cheese-making lesson yet (in a few more days) but I have spent a lot of time in the stable with the sheep and goats. We feed and milk them twice a day, and although I have not at all mastered milking, I am trying and I very much enjoy all of the stable tasks. Here are some photos. I have much more to say but I have less free time than I expected.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Here at the farm

Well, I am here on an impossibly beautiful farm in the foothills of the Alps.
I can't write anything about it without gushing. I am in my dream - awake.