|Long shadows heading into fall|
That first morning on Hattie's farm, I looked out my kitchen window and saw the shadows of the house and barns stretching far out across the grain fields in a light so early, flat and bright it felt like magic. Now every fall, when light arrives in the morning, with certain smells of ripening, of harvest and putting away, I remember my first morning on my first day on this beloved farm.
Over Labor Day weekend, Jon and Prairie came home to help move yearlings and put up food. Gabe was finally getting a day off from the Somer's fire and we had a long list of jobs we wanted done, fencing, herding, and canning the bounty from Prairie's garden. I added swimming, hiking and music to the list so we didn't lose sight of our other goals.
|Pairs on the summer range|
We divided and conquered. Our first day together, Mike went to the Zumwalt to check on cows and calves and work on fence.
Jon and Prairie and I pickled beans and roasted tomatoes and took the boys to the lake.
|Gathering ingredients for stone soup|
|This is how you make it|
Next day, we got together with Gabe and Cammie and moved the yearlings. We had to fix some corrals first and the bees were not happy to be disturbed in their nesting in gates and brush piles.
|What's the plan? (Will we ever know?)|
As usual, we figured out what we were doing while we were doing it. As Jon says, too many cooks in the kitchen.
|Tacking up sheep wire|
|Grandpa's truck always has books|
The boys wandered the corrals, then helped gather the steers, and finally they took up residence in Grandpa's truck with the books and snacks.
|Aunt Prairie reads|
After that it was home to lunch, and the makings for apple and peach pies.
|Mike and Sara at McCully Creek|
On Jon and Prairie's last day, we took a hike up by McCully Creek. All too soon, they were headed back to Portland, wishing they had a few more days, time enough for a trip to the canyon and some of the last river swimming of the year.
|Prairie saw this cool caterpillar|
|Prairie and Jon, wishing they could stay another day|
I'm happy to say, Mike and I did just that. We hightailed it for the Imnaha and got there in time to work up a sweat picking fruit and pulling weeds. As the moon came up, we floated in the cool river, barely warm enough for an evening swim.
From Sara at Magpie Ranch, home of Bunchgrass Beef