Saturday, August 31, 2013

Tail End of Summer

Here we go toward Autumn. Waking up and thinking, "Has the weather changed?" Then realizing the day just hasn't risen yet. Coming home after my job in town and it's dark already. Already.

Peeling transparent apples for drying

But the days still lull with their golden light and their heat. The white moths flitting lustily among the cabbages and broccoli plants, laying eggs of green destruction. The first Vs of geese. The last of the transparents falling from the tree in the yard when I tell myself again, to get the ladder and pick them, soon.

We harvested steers this week. A bitter-sweet time. Such good animals. Such good food. I spend many thankful moments throughout the week. Now for the good steers, loading gracefully into the trailer. Now for the butcher and his swift respectful kill.
Dawson helps Grandpa on the fence
Now for the husband. For his husbandry, his witnessing of the end of life.

Now for the consumers, taking a share of the harvest, giving back to the ranch what feels like more than money, becoming in their own way, a part of our story.

Now for the land. For having a chance to know a particular place, for a chance to share it. With our children, our grandchildren, our community, our visitors.

Prairie and Wes at the fence 

They made it! Lake Legore

We were fortunate to have Jon and Prairie home to help. From trimming and freezing oxtails and beef cheeks, to fencing, sorting cattle, making meals, and lugging Wes around, it was all a big help and way more fun with them here.

Prairie and Jon decided to stay an extra day, to go hiking by themselves. So they went to Legore Lake. Highest lake in Oregon. Straight up and straight down. Not exactly relaxing, but still great.

Wes, Mike and Dawson at Wallowa Lake

Even Mike agreed to take the afternoon off on Friday. Probably one of our last days of swimming at Wallowa Lake.

The shadows of the passing clouds made it almost too cold to swim. But when the sun came out again, we plunged in, the luscious chill briefly taking our breath away, and afterward, floating, our bodies cradled in the still-warm waters of summer.

Wes enjoys his picnic lunch

From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef