Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Playing Hooky

Orchard grass in bloom

Got the Farm Side to write. Every week for over a dozen years and at least once a month for fifteen. Sometimes it is a lot of fun...sharing the beautiful and funny, the tragedy and triumph of life on a small NY farm.

Sometimes it is work, writing about issues and events from the big screen of agriculture. Not as much fun, but I feel it is important. The mainstream press probably doesn't even see the largest percentage of the trade news that comes across my screen. If farm writers who work for conventional news outlets don't share what theylearn, who will?

Anyhow, this is one of those less fun weeks, writing about the takeover of Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, by a Shanghai-based Chinese company...scary huh? 

Got up at 4:30 to work on it in the quiet (a rare commodity around here) and to check on a cow that is due to calve. 

Lakota, and Blitz, who was kept down in the yard to keep her company, were both fine, chewing their cuds and lying in comfort. Everybody in the barn seemed okay. Cruise had not jumped out of her stall...what with the new board added to make it higher. Why is it that the nicest looking show calf Liz has had in years has to be such a complete and utter idiot?

Then nose to the grindstone,  fingers to the keyboard, I have a huge folder of research, so time to get at it.

449 words of my thousand a week, done and partially proofread. I started this on Sunday when I began to read some of the details of the situation. What a mess. 

Anyhow, half done at least. Should I finish up with Smithfield and do the second half on another issue or beef it up with more data...decisions, decisions.

Next comes a big mistake. You should never look out the window when writing a serious piece.

Or at least not at 5:30 in the morning when you live on the corner of Paradise and Heartstopping.....

Out to the sitting porch, coffee, cell phone, binoculars, and camera hanging off me like tentacles of technological octopi. 

And darn it, it was worth cutting class. That fool bird that sings all day from before dawn to almost dusk, is not an errant catbird stuck on monotonous. It is a red-eyed vireo.

It is also loud. It nearly drowns out the other birds, but I still hear the phoebe, willow flycatcher, cardinal, robin, catbird, cedar waxwings, Baltimore oriole and such...

Hooky is a fine sport. If I could bottle June mornings and sell them in town I would be rich. And if I run out of time I can work later when the boss goes out to get feed and not waste the best part of the day studying and writing essays. I think that's what I'll do.

Orchard grass


TenMile said...

"Why is it that the nicest looking show calf Liz has had in years has to be such a complete and utter idiot?"

There is absolutely no truth to beautiful dumb blonde jokes. None.

joated said...

Red-eyed Vireo: (On an up and then down scale.) "Here I am! Where are you?"
Sung over and over from the highest branches where it hides, nearly motionless, in the leaves. Very frustrating on the birders part. You know what it is but can't figure out where it is.

Keith Wilson said...

Sounds like the Vireo might have been looking back at a red-eyed writer...

Too many red-eyes on that morning porch!

Woodswalker said...

Girl, I think you have your priorities right! It's always a good idea to abandon the bookwork for birds. How many June mornings remain to us, after all?

Rev. Paul said...

That's as eloquent a justification for playing hooky as I've ever read - and that includes experts like Mark Twain.

You rock, ma'am!

threecollie said...

TenMile, she has a whole family of beautiful cows...the original was Junior Champion Holstein twice and the are ALL about as smart as a box of rocks. Dang.

Joated, suddenly, now that I know the call...they are everywhere. I did see one last week, which started me on the detective work.

Keith, boy isn't that the truth! I wish Lakota would have that calf.

WW, that is so true. My favorite month of the year. I hate it when the mundane has to trump the magnificent. but it does, when you are running a business.

Rev. Paul, wow! thank you sir!

Cathy said...

Tell you what. You bottle June and I'll buy your entire inventory. Every dang bottle.
Then I'll pass it out to those who've never experienced one perfect June day with which you and I have been blessed in rich rural settings.

Another 'second' to Rev. Paul's words. Or maybe just an "Amen." :)

threecollie said...

Cathy, wouldn't it be wonderful if we could save it and take it out later to savor? There just is never enough June.....