For the first time since early summer Our john had both weekend days off. So between much deserved naps he was able to get some barn maintanence done. This whole barn is slipping North, sliding off its concrete foundation.  Years and years ago it was gutted (and those big swinging doors added, so it could be used to store machinery –   now we are populating it once again with animals but really the damage was done. So every now and then a door or beam will go a little sideways.  So with the tractor he can pull the beam back into place and  shore it back up.

old barn

I am still stalking Godot looking for that shot of the angel in flight. He flies much more than Kupa ever did. And is magnificent. Those wings, when outstretched, are glorious. But the shot of him curving through the air is elusive.
peahens and peacocks

This is what I usually  get.. Blinding speed.

This is closer.

But no cigar.  I will get it one day and we will all get to enjoy it.


Elsie is getting more relaxed in her new home. Each evening when I go out to the field and call her in she will walk behind me back up to the barn.  She will not walk ahead of me, or beside me like daisy did. She walks very close behind me though, which is a little disconcerting for a head tosser and she tosses her head at the dogs.  But when I stop she stops so there is nothing for it,  Aunty Del gallops past us and dances in though. All legs and hair.  She is a lovely wee  heifer. And Elsie and I walk in Indian file. The girl and the cow and the dog.  Boo of course has run in with Aunty.



The place I am most enjoying at the moment (as well as the kittens of course) is the chook house.  For the longest time I opened the door with a chill, a dread that I found hard to overcome, after the massacres of the Bastard Minks and  for such a long time I felt real apprehension as I stepped around the corner of the door, holding my breath unconsciously, swiftly checking the corners and the floors for feathers and horror. All the images I had previously seen flashing about making a innocent  shadow or an overturned bucket or a dust bathing chook look frightful, making me gasp. But it has been a while now, and time does create its own buffer to fear and the chooks themselves are more settled, fatter, silkier. The bad smell is gone now. (Minks stink and that stink hangs on) and the straw is thicker and it all feels kinder.

The younger chickens still have their own private run, (an old topper off the Rampage truck that is so low only a small chicken can walk under it – don’t tell John as he does not know I hijacked it for the chickens in the chook house) it backs up against the baby roost cage, they have their own space so that they can outrun the henpecking of the older bigger chooks, and it even has little windows running down the side.  In the day time they tend to hang out under there with their own food and water – though they are free to leave of course. But in the early evening the older chooks all go up onto their roosts and the young ones come out of hiding and run riot around the bottom level of the chook house. Literally.  The older ones sit up there all comfy and watch the young chooks run about as though they are some kind fo family comedy show.

They are still not allowed to run free in the paddocks like before. The little ones are too little and I am still too afraid to invite trouble by leaving the doors open (minks hunt in the day time too) so I am building a strange maze of interconnecting roosts throughout the high space up to the ceiling. The chooks house itself is very large and  poles and planks and branches now criss cross in a very organic design, giving the birds plenty of places to move about  and roost and get away from each other.

Good  morning. I have often noticed that the older members of the farmy go to bed earlier. Like the chooks, Sheila is always in bed before Poppy. The peahens before Godot.  Daisy always went to bed before the younger cows and TonTon curls into his bucket long before Boo has finished his fence checks.  It is sweet.

I hope you all have a lovely day.

Your friend on the farm



38 Comments on “Dancing

  1. Queenie is going to think Aunty Dell had a calf while she was away visiting 🙂 I was thinking/wondering the other day if there wasn’t a way to obtain those other barns behind the West Barn could be repurposed to either shore up the Home Barn or add on to it. Seems such a pity they are no longer used. Godot in full flight must be impressive. Laura

  2. …and Roberto and I settle in before the girls. I knew the tide had turned when they started going to bed later than I did. Ah me. Such is life. The farm looks and feels settled. Miss Elsie has such delicate legs…I have no sense of scale, really, but I “feel” like she is a small cow…is that true? Or does she have lots of growing yet to do? The kittens are beautiful. I’m pretty sure there’s a calendar shot in their. Cornucopia of Cat.

  3. My calendar arrived just now. I am so pleased with it..I must have another one for 2016 so start photographing,,,such beautiful pictures of our Farmy animals. I shall hang it just here by my desk and look at it with pride.Thank you Celi.
    It is good to see Godot…does Godot have a beautiful white tail like Kupa, like when it all fans out….Thank you so much for another glimpse into your life…The wonky barn reminds me of The House that Jack Built

  4. Kittens, kittens, kittens. I can’t stand the cuteness. Chris always can tell when I am reading your blog and has to take a look to see which animal I am oohing and ahhing over. Everyone looks happy and content today. As it should be when they have such a wonderful caretaker and friend. Thanks for the lovely images that will carry me through a busy day. Enjoy yours.

  5. For some reason, I’m only able to see half of the photos, perhaps smartphone optimization is not turned on?
    The dancing cow is very funny. Glad the minks are gone.

    • The minks are never gone. They are there just waiting for me to drop my guard and leave the door open again. Sad you cannot see the pics. I have no idea at all what smartphone optimisation is, let alone how to turn it on. Lets see if anyone else has been having trouble, hope it is just a glitch.. c

      • Hi Celi, in wordpress, it is in Appearance, under Mobile, click “Enable Mobile Theme” and hopefully that will do it. For a while a blog I follow in Australia, all her photos were displaying upside-down!

  6. So glad Our John had two days off work. Several months ago, my husband stopped working Saturdays. Time to cut back and reduce the stress. I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful this has been, for him and me. I hope someday that the two-day weekend becomes standard for Our John.

  7. Godot has turned into quite the handsome man…cannot wait to one day see those tail feathers thick and long and spread out gloriously for his hens. Aunty Del makes me want to run and jump and dance right along with her, but I don’t think I can kick my legs that high anymore…

    • He does spread his tail but it is nothing on Kupa’s, no eyes, but a beautiful lacy frothy look none the less. Godot is so shy, lets hope i can get that shot soon too. c

  8. Beautiful photos and I’m glad the barn is fixed. The work never ends on a farm.

  9. It’s nature red in tooth and claw for you, day in day out…don’t know how you deal with it. Our new little (in fact growing remarkably quickly) lives in an outhouse and we’re always worrying that some marauding fucker will come and get him. We have some quite naughty wild cats in the nearby forest and plenty of foxes….but i think there’s so much for them to eat around here that Molly wouldn’t make much of a meal:)

  10. That looks like a really solid roof on the barn. I have been wondering how you were getting on with Elsie. How do you begin to make friends with her. Do you scratch the top of her head as you did Daisie, or not. Do you brush her every day? Godot is quite elegant even of he isn’t showing at full splendor.

  11. I understand the darkness left by the mink… the feeling, the smell, the graphic images. You are wise to be watchful for the intelligence and hostility that is a large part of their existence. Keep up your guard and be watchful – protective. Oh, isn’t it a constant chore to be patching and repairing these old structures? But, it is done in love… it is a shelter after all and better than nothing! Have a lovely day… 🙂

  12. It’s amazing the difference proper weekends make, time for naps and odd jobs, and just time… My Sheila t-shirt arrived -yay- and it’s perfect, just what I wanted for my sleeping shirt when we have a house full of guests over Christmas! Calendar next, I love it when the mail delivery man stops by my desk 🙂

  13. Good Morning, I understand the frustration of stalking birds with the camera. All I can say is I always get better results when I have no shot in mind, I do practice exposure, framing and composition from my favourite hides, but almost always my best shots are unplanned; prepared, but not planned. Good luck with Godot he is beautiful.

  14. I love to look at your photos and I certainly hope that Bastard Mink and any of his friends stay far away. I had no idea that Peacock’s flew! I learn something new every time I visit you. Oh those kittens…I would never get anything done.

  15. It’s sweet to see Aunty Del dancing. So happy for John (and you) to have a proper weekend. Godot is one handsome bird. Interesting reflections on the elders retiring early–no waiting up for those youngsters to tire themselves out.

  16. Methinks that last photo of Godot is worth the cigar. Placed perfectly and we get the idea 🙂 ! The barn situation must worry both of you ere all the piles of snow and winter winds descend . . . that wasn’t really a weekend off but John’s mind may be more at ease . . .

    • his mind is at ease because now that it is fixed i will stop reminding him (gently) to fix it.. thereis no equality on this wee farm. I AM the boss. c

      • . . . and he loves you for ‘that’ 🙂 ! [ . . . and the rest!!]

      • And doesn’t it make for peace in the kingdom when our Johns remember that? In my case we are both retired and in the fall and spring my John is away very often, there are ducks and deer and bear and grouse and pheasants to hunt and fish to catch. In midwinter there’s hardwater fishing. Things he wasn’t able to take time off work for in years. I don’t begrudge him at all, I want him to go and enjoy the company of his friends and son and grandsons as long as he is able. That said, when he’s home….no arguments please! Our machinery/hay/horse barn is trying to escape to the north also, it’s propped with a large plank braced against and equally large tree.

  17. I took me a bit to realize that ‘chooks’ are chickens! (At least I thing they’re chickens.) I wish I’d found your blog a long time ago. I’d seen your name and photo often but I never had any idea what a very special blog you have. It’s such fun to read your posts and brings back memories of our time at our beloved farm. Tell me – where is your farm? I’m thinking Australia or New Zealand……

  18. That was good news seeing that John had the weekend off. Now that Winter is settling in, I hope there are more weekends like this one in his future. I hope, too, that you successfully sealed off the barn from the minks. You certainly don’t need to walk into that mess again. Well, as I;m older than most everything on the farmy, I guess it’s time for me to go to bed. Good night, Celi. 🙂

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