A Rural Life

“As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration.  I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children.”

~John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the United States of America

(Quote Source: quotegarden.com)

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I agree wholeheartedly with John Adams!

Patience

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”

~May Sarton (1912-1995), Poet

(Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/maysarton133734.html)

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Sunflowers reaching for the sky on a small Minnesota farm.

Is it time to unravel?

“Differences simply act as a yarn of curiosity unraveling until we get to the other side.”

~Ciore Taylor, The Conversation Starts Here: A Perspective of Self, Culture, and the American Society

 

(Quote Source: goodreads.com)

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A variety of sheep grazing peacefully together in a Minnesota country field.

What’s in a Smell?

“Nothing is more memorable than a smell.  One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains; another, a moonlit beach; a third, a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a midwestern town.  Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.  Hit a tripwire of smell and memories explode all at once.  A complex vision leaps out of the undergrowth.”

~Diane Ackerman (1948- ), A Natural History of the Senses

(Quote via quoteland.com)

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A lovely cow sniffing the fresh blooms of spring.

Contented Eagle

“We’re so busy watching out what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

~ Bill Watterson, (1958- ) American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes

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This bald eagle was sitting on a bundle of hay when I arrived and he was still there when I departed.

Almost time for planting…

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?”

~  Edward Giobbi  (1926- ) American artist and cookbook author

(quote via egreenway.com)

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Farming equipment awaiting the return of warmer weather.

Only One Hour Old!

“I had always planned to make a large painting of the early spring, when the first leaves are at the bottom of the trees, and they seem to float in space in a wonderful way.  But the arrival of spring can’t be done in one picture.”

~ David Hockney (1937- ) English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer

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The farmer told me that this sweet little calf was only one hour old!

I must agree with David Hockney.  There is no way that just one picture could ever hope to capture all of the amazing things that happen in the spring.

Guardian Donkey

“You can’t test courage cautiously.”

~ Anne Dillard (1945- ) American author and Pulitzer Prize winner

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Meet one of the defenders of this Minnesota cattle farm.  Donkeys are not fond of canines and this dislike extends to coyotes and wolves as well.  Western ranchers have used donkeys to guard herds and ward off predators for years, but this is a relatively new practice here in the midwest.  The Minnesota farmer who owns this handsome fellow has another donkey as well.  He shared that coyotes and wolves have become a greater problem for him in the last ten years and his pair of donkeys have been extremely beneficial to keeping his cows and calves safe.

Aging in Nature

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.

~Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, (1909-1966) Polish poet

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All across the United States there are beautiful old structures that have withstood the elements of nature and the test of time. Even in their various states of decay such architecture still provides interest to the landscape, protection to local wildlife, and a reason for pause and reflection regarding man’s use of our planet’s natural resources throughout history.

Highland Bull

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Highland cattle are a Scottish cattle breed. They have long horns and long wavy coats that are coloured black, brindle, red, yellow, white, silver or dun, and they are often raised primarily for their meat. (Source: Wikipedia)

I came across this fine gentleman while driving on a back road in northern Minnesota.  Look at the length of his horns!  He has only to turn his head slightly to scratch his haunches.  I watched him do it, but the angle did not allow for a very good photo.  Maybe next time I can catch him with my camera?

During this busy holiday season, be sure to purposely pause and take notice of the wonder that is around you each and every day!

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes are large birds that live in open habitats, so they’re fairly easy to spot if you go to the right places. In summer look for them in small bogs, marshes, and prairies across northern North America and the southeastern United States. In winter they form immense flocks in places like Bosque del Apache, New Mexico, and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Texas. Their bugling calls are unique and can be heard from miles away—they can help alert you to this species’ presence, particularly as they pass overhead on migration. (From allaboutbirds.org)

This is a photo that I took of Sandhill Cranes in October.  Aren’t they handsome birds?

Sandhill Cranes foraging for food in a Minnesota farm field.
Sandhill Cranes foraging for food in a Minnesota farm field.