Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's been snowing everyday and there is about 8 inches give or take on the ground with a thick enthusiastic substratum of autumn mud underneath. Temperatures have been oscillating on both sides of the freezing mark all week and so what manifests with each daily dusting is an true artform; a heaving layer cake of powder, slushy ice, hard ice, liquid mud, and semi frozen dirt.

A nice break to my solitude came last week when Tmagazine came to do a fashion shoot. They were excellent sports; navigating our snowy mud (shall I repeat the layers for you?) in their petite fashion sneakers with never a complaint but some odd requests: I found myself in the yard digging up fall foliage from under the snow so they could create a more autumnal looking shot setting. I love this uncanny aspect of the fashion world, I really do. They cleared out and I was alone again sitting in the gloaming left to ponder their remnants: a half eaten foiled packet of poptarts and a lone glove warmer - of the gel pack variety. I consider stashing these items in the WORLDS END celebrity fashion archive which is also home to a half pack of Camilla Nickersons Marlboro lights.

This morning, chores as usual with three new inches of powder and my canine sidekicks. They both have their own agendas up in the field. Nea is on vole/mole patrol and occasionally will catch one under the snow or behind a stack of wood. She barely chews them - I watched her a few days ago and wondered about what it's like to be swallowed alive. Best not to dwell on such things.

Georgio stalks sheep from outside the pen, desperate to be put in to work. Occasionally one or both of them will tire of their usual tasks and wander up to area X where dead sheep are brought to compost or where we lock up the skulls of culls to be picked clean by bugs over the course of a year. If you've never been to area X its because its not on the general farm tour. We lost a tiny sickly lamb in October -- her mother died of mastitis in June. It was her second time with mastitis; three years ago she had it and survived. When you save a sick sheep it feels like such a victory that culling them later seems odd. But a mentor of mine told me straight - if she has mastitis once, she's prone to get it again, and she was right. Patty died early in the summer, and as a result her twins were slow to grow on just grass. The tiny female got sick and succumbed as soon as the weather got cold. We buried her as deep as we could in area X but the dogs love a long game and a few weeks later when they would not come after 20 minutes of calling for them I hiked up to area X to find both wide eyed and covered in mud and putrefying flesh.

No matter how much I try to cover this spot with soil, wood, sticks etc the dogs sneak up there and get into it. I now keep a small blue pail and a bar of our coffee mint soap near the sink to wash dog heads with. Sitting on the couch last night, a dog on both each side of me I caught the faintest whiff of rot from both directions, and shrugged. I've been alone here for a week and with a limited economy of energy, one has to choose ones battles wisely. 


another runaway said...

Ain't no visuals like 'putrefying flesh' visuals

LPC said...

You have exploded me.

Joanna said...

Sarah, you are such a good writer. I'm so thankful there are people like you in the world who can put feelings into words made up of 26 alphabet letters. Stay warm!