Monday 21 May 2012
Fenceposts and Augers
Today we had a very special guest.
Our friend Martin from Flashlights and Arrows was enlisted to lend a hand.
In honour of his first working visit, I had him dig fence posts holes.
Now, you may think it cruel; digging holes in rocky, forested ground, in the heat and the bugs.
But, Martin is an enthusiastic outdoorsman, always eager for an adventure in the woods.
The ground was predictably unforgiving.
The auger is really for forming the hole rather than digging it.
The shovel and the pry bar did most of the work.
While our guest slavishly hammered and excavated rocks,
I slipped away and pretended to cut fence posts.
After a long and desolate Winter, I forget how much vegetation grows in.
It feels like a jungle with the humidity and mosquitoes.
Martin got into the explorer spirit, swinging and slashing with an axe.
Even the chickens fit in, foraging among the dense undergrowth like their ancestors, the jungle fowl.
And the kids were watching for monkeys.
There is some debate surrounding the effect that climate change will have on this region.
It could become temperate rainforest, but it could also dry out.
The signs of change are very tangible this year;
the high temperatures, the lack of rain, the significant reduction of biting insects.
Though I expect that the tourists were thrilled by the hot and sunny weather for a Victoria day weekend.
Our weekly schedule is a little different than most.
We tend to work through the weekends; after all, there is an agenda.
That is not to say that we don't rest.
We simply make more time in between to enjoy our friends, family, and surroundings.
The rhythm of the farm dictates when it is time to work and when it is time to relax.
The animals must be cared for regardless of the day of the week, and the deadlines are inflexible.
But once everyone has been fed and watered on a rainy Tuesday morning, we have the luxury of taking a break and reflecting on what has been accomplished.
Good help is always welcome with the many projects underway.
Not everyone is willing to work on a weekend.
Martin had offered to help with the fence a while ago, so it would have been insensitive not to include him.
I have offered to help him with a wind damaged part of his property.
Bartering labour between friends is a great way to get together to socialize,
as well as for getting some work done.
Everyone has unique skills to share; we are all richer for trading them.
The fence is more than halfway around it's circuit.
With some determination and a break from interruptions, the fence will be a completed project soon.
Once in place, the chickens will be contained in their own part of the farm.
Controlling the chickens addresses many issues and will allow other projects to go forward.
Of course, there is always great satisfaction that accompanies the completion of a big job.