A Day On the Farm

Hey, everyone! I hope you are all off to a good start of the week. Here, the rain seems to finally be slowing down. For two weeks or so we were promised rain but none came. Yesterday, however, it arrived with a vengeance. It didn’t patter–it rumbled. All day it drummed our roof like a pro and gurgled in the rain pipes. An honest summer rock festival a la Nature. As for me, well, I did absolutely nothing. I was so restless last night and dazed at the same time. Over two hours passed before I fell asleep. It was one of those in-between days that passed and left me wondering if I had been awake at all.

Today I am back on track. I started the day by writing myself a To-Do List and got some housework out of the way. Loke sheds hair like an entire pack–ten packs–and five minutes later there are hairs everywhere. I swear he leaves hair with every step he takes. And he is even done shedding the winter coat. Not too long ago I was nearly in tears and decided for my own well-being to throw the vacuum cleaner into a corner, close the door and forget about it. I challenged myself to just live with it. I used to vacuum every day, sometimes more, but the closer attention I payed it the more obvious the mess became. My honey would sigh heavily and vacate the premises. I don’t blame him.

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I’m a dog, I shed. Deal with it, boss.

Over the past few weeks I have had the camera with me a lot while working, but since I take so many photos and sometimes do a variety of different sessions in one day, I simply couldn’t share everything, even though I really want to. I would have to publish several posts a day and there aren’t enough hours for that. Editing alone can take anything from twenty minutes to several hours, depending on what vision I have for the images.

I mentioned earlier that we are forest owners, and I am currently awaiting more saplings so I can go out again and spend some full-days in the forest. Some of the wood we cut down we use to heat up the house and our own water. To do this, we have to put the timber through a cutter for the burner we have in a barn that used to house cows, pigs and horses. So a few weeks ago it was time to fill up the storage.

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One day I will learn to operate this, too, but for now my partner, Jay, gathers the timber from the forest.

While waiting, I played around with my macro lens a little, which I actually used to shoot all these photos with. Until I realised I had to get changed into my work clothes.

 

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Run, Lotta, run!
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Timber incoming.

Timberrr

The biggest pieces of timber are really heavy so I had no hope of getting those off the trailer. While Jay took care of those, I stuck to the small ones and operated the cutter. With the smaller pieces you can just let the timber go through, but with the thick trunks you have to continuously pause, reverse and forward until the whole thing is chewed up. Otherwise the cutter jams or the feeder gets clogged.

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I am constantly learning new things here and I love it. I have pushed a little for it, too, because I want to be able to step in whenever Jay’s father is unable to come here. The man is retired but after a lifetime as a farmer I can understand it has become a way of life, one you do not give up just because you have retired.
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And, of course, knowing we cut this wood together which keeps our taps running with hot water is a great feeling.
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I had to put the camera away after a while because the dust billowed like crazy and I didn’t want to risk even more dirt in my camera.

Since the sowing was done some weeks ago, we have been cleaning and greasing all the machines for storage until autumn. My job was to clean the cultivator, which I did last week. Jay had already gotten the worst of the mud off the big rollers, which made things much easier. I used a metal-bristled brush to get the rest off.

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I think half the dust landed on my glasses.

Jay and his father came driving past while I cleaned. They joked that I would be waxing it next. Haha Jay knows me well, of course, and my pedantic streak is the very reason I got the job. I did try to keep that in mind once I got the pressure washer out. This time of the year it isn’t uncommon for us to run out of water, especially if it doesn’t rain enough. But it sure was great fun!

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Not one day is the other alike, and getting to move around and do so many different kind of things in one day is only one aspect I truly love about this work. And even if it changes in the future, right now I am having the time of my life, and the now is what counts. Yesterday I wasn’t a happy camper, but today, by sharing this with you I have counted so many things I am grateful for. If you could pick at least one thing in your life that you are grateful for, what would it be?

Thank you so much for reading and sharing your time with me. I wish you all a great remainder of this day. See you soon!

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Dancing With Dust And Talking To A Dead Tree

Good morning, everyone! Another Weekly Photo Challenge from The Daily Post. Woohoo! Who is excited? I have seriously been full of excitement and anticipation. After looking up the definition of evanescent, I came to think of this tree in one of our forests. I got my images, and then ended up inspired on my way home and shot even more photos.

First, let me introduce you to Old Birch.

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This tree seems to be veiled in somewhat of a mystery. It may be a little obscure due to my editing choices, but the tree is actually dead. And it has been dead for quite some time. Decades? Who knows. I asked my partner what killed it and he says nobody knows. I asked when it died–nobody knows. One guess is a storm did it. Another, a disease. But it’s the only tree that is dead, so one would think a disease would have affected the trees around it. Come to think of it–the rest of the forest appears to be keeping its distance.

Regardless of this birch being dead it still stands. Over the years, my partner’s father has wanted to cut it down, since every time there has been a storm, branches come crashing to the ground, right across our road. Well, all the branches are gone now. And my partner has forbidden its destruction. It sits in a part of a forest that he wants to preserve as is. And, hey, if this tree has withstood storms when healthy ones around it have met their demise–that calls for some admiration. Or just fascination.

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How can a dead tree be worthy of so much attention, though? If you ask my partner, he will tell you he likes to look at it.

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It is definitely eye-catching, don’t you think? Look at all that fungus! (Tinder fungus–hoof fungus?)

My partner offered another theory, on how long ago it died. Since no one really seems to even know when, perhaps it wasn’t long ago at all. Once it died, though–that was when they noticed. Before that it was just another tree in a forest of hundreds upon hundreds. There is a saying, that you can’t see the forest for all the trees. Here it’s the other way around. They couldn’t see the tree for all the forest. Um. It sounded better in my head.

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After leaving Old Birch and walking home, I started second-guessing myself. How do I present a dead tree as evanescent? A protected tree, nonetheless. It isn’t going anywhere. I looked out over the fields, dust danced around my shoes in the sunset, and… Yes. I have it. Thank you, Old Birch.

I set up my tripod again and started dancing with the dust. Lilli and my partner should have seen me–they would have thought I had lost my mind. In their eyes I am reserved and calm, not one to exclaim emotion. Except for when I stub my toe or bang my knee. I curse, then I laugh.

My thoughts, then, on evanescent is this: However fleeting or fragile anything is, it can live on in our memories. And this is only one of the things I love so much about photography. We can capture a moment that might never, ever occur again–at least not exactly the same way–and immortallise it. Today, I immortallised myself realising it’s fun spinning around in the dust and watching it billow and dissipate in the wind. When inspiration strikes, of course, and after talking to a dead tree.

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Healing, Soothing Sunshine

When I went to bed last night I basically ordered myself to stay in bed today. Time to get better, time to let my body recuperate. Morning came… and I tried. I really, honestly did. How could I stay in bed though when every single nerve ending was jittery with energy? Isn’t that a strange feeling? Have you experienced that? You know you’re sick, you feel it in your nose, in your throat, in your chest and joints. Yet, somehow, you are on your way out the door and into glorious sunshine.

And it didn’t end there. I raked one-quarter of the yard (which, granted, took me a few hours, because it’s a huge yard), cleaning up leaves left from autumn and a ridiculous amount of Loke’s poop.

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I stepped in it! (Who wants to show off dog poop, right? Well, me.)

I went outside an hour before lunch time, and then again just past 3 p.m., after taking my daughter to a friend’s place. I stayed there until I was done with my quarter. Almost till 6 p.m. Madness, right? My nose was running the entire time, but crazy as it seems, I feel so much better. All that fresh air, probably hundreds of sweeping movements with that rake, and a little play time with Loke in the pile I gathered–was the best medicine.

My guess is I will sleep like a log tonight. But first–more photos. I wish you all a lovely day (or evening/morning, depending on where in the world you are).

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I kept getting weird grid marks when I edited, so after playing around with all kinds of settings, I got myself an oil painting. It looks pretty neat.
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When I reached down to gather two armfuls of leaves Loke looked so hopeful that I couldn’t resist. I ended up spreading it out pretty nicely and had to rake it back in again, but Loke loved it.

 

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And the leaves loved my jumper. So do I. (Later this evening my daughter found leaves in my hair. Whoops?)

 

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Lots and lots of thank you kisses from an overjoyed dog.
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And that’s it. See you tomorrow, beautiful gardening gloves, you.