More eyes

My favourite time – well one of my favourite times – of the farm day, is the late evening – after dinner when all the dishes are newly washed and barely  dried, resting in their warm stacks (I have given up on having a dishwasher – they just do not last  with my electric shocking hands)  and taking my torch and the dogs I wander out into the night to check on things. The pigs always shuffle about and speak as I walk past except for Tima who will open a barely conscious eye and Sheila who does not wake at all. The barn resonates with Sheilas gentle snoring. The birds shift and quietly remark about the sweep of my torch. calves

The cows outside lean heavily against the doors. The calves tucked in on the inside of the older ones who lay in a semi circle around them like gathered wagons. Safe.


The turkeys cannot see in the dark, they literally bump into things in the dark, so I have to get them all into the barn before it gets too dark to see. I failed last night and when I was doing my rounds I found one hen roosted on a brick beside the chook house, the other three turkeys were in the barn perched above the sleeping, unsuspecting  gilts, peering around the door. Geraldine the tween peacock decided to sleep half way between them all – on a fence  post, where she could keep an eye on things. She hates it when her mob gets divided. I do not shift anyone about in the dark – if they are settled I leave them. A frantic escaped bird is a target.


The dogs sleep only feet away so they are as safe as they can be. And the dogs bark at everything which is a great deterrent. Life for free ranging birds has its down side.

Good morning. We are still in that slippery time between seasons, not quite autumn, but not summer. Winter sending out tendrils but not cold enough for a fire. Hugo and I are working at putting the gardens to bed one after the other.

We have one last field of hay down. One more round of raking and baling. This field will be tilled and prepared for resowing next spring so it is OK to cut this late.

I hope you have a lovely day.

We did.

Love celi


PS. Here is the link to Kristy’s blog Post. She took some wonderful photos at the farmy on the weekend. So, if you like, pop over and have a look. It is always fun to see what someone else sees. And Kristy has been one of The Fellowship for Years!

41 Comments on “More eyes

  1. Extra eyes, and their personal perspective are quite helpful in coming to know the world. My aging eyes find the occasional 2nd, or 3rd viewpoint essential. Have a wonderful day Miss C.

    • Except my turkeys apparently. I must sneak around the side of the house to take a photo but at the moment they are sitting in the armchairs on the verandah – IN the chairs like people – no perching – sigh… c

            • Just the other day I read an article (in the monthly paper of our organic shops) on freerange turkeys raised up in Northern Germany (east of Berlin). They even live in the woods (and have lots of greens) all day and night lifelong. It’s a special breed called Kelly Turkeys. OK he’s a big organic turkey farmer with about 2.400 animals (parted in three flocks) – it’s not comparable to the Farmy. His birds are more costly but very much appreciated by the customers, their flesh and taste is said to be wonderful (will try it if I find some). He’s got electric fences to protect them of the wild animals as of foxes. In one of his areas a dog is helping him protecting the birds. He breeds three times a year, They are slaughtered at about 12 Kilos by a nearby working abattoir. –
              I leave you the link – not for reading of course, but to see the photographs if you like.

                • Thank you for the interesting link/story – it’s a movie! I will watch it later on, looking forward to. – I like the expression “Mother of the strangest family in the world”. That’s what Celi is experiencing, isn’t she?

                  • I think so, though she’s mother to a multitude. I hope you like the documentary – I thought it was excellent 🙂

                    • That was me a movie! (Reminded me to the former extraordinary pictures of Sir David Attenborough). I did not understand every single word but it touched me to tears. What a great experience this was. And what an ending: “I was no longer the parent…”. So sad. – Every being has a mother and I think every being needs and seeks a mother, whether it is from the same bird family or a human. That is why I’m thinking the birds are following Celi. They are hatched from an incubator and are not raised from a mother of their origin… They are bonded to Celi and need her badly. The movie showed that perfectly. It’s a must for you, Celi, John and Hugo, to watch it to get to know the behavior of your birds from another prospect. Hope you have time….
                      Maybe you know of Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) who spent his lifetime to be a mother to greylag geese. He earned the Nobel Prize (in 1973) for his work and conclusions. – His studies and discoveries led to what was later called behavioral psychology (or had deep influences in it).
                      Thanks again, Mad Dog. (Now feeling a bit guilty to eat them…).

                    • I’m glad you liked it. I suspect that all Cecilia’s animals think of her or Boo as their matriarch. I feel no guilt about eating meat as long as it has been well looked after 🙂

  2. I think we are all feeling the shift from summer to autumn. Saw the first gaggle of geese flying south yesterday. What a delightful sight that was. I did not know turkeys could not see in the dark. Me either. 🙂 Nothing like peaceful days and ordinary nights. BTW, I use my dishwasher for a drain board. I wash, rinse, place them inside to dry and when they are dry, they get put away or reused. Keeps the counters clear while they are drying. I only use the dishwasher if we have company. My daughter is that way with electrical things too. She can’t wear a watch so I know what you are talking about. She’s super charged too. :))

  3. I still want to plant a kiss on Queenie’s Bobby curly haired face 🙂 How are Mrs Flowers and her chick doing? Laura

    • Mrs Flowers and her chick have snuck into the glass house and are sleeping in there.. I have to wait until they come put by themselves as Mrs Flowers taking fright in the glass house would be bad.. they are great! c

  4. Hooray for guardian dogs for late-to-bed birds.
    Kirsty’s post is lovely – I saw it yesterday.
    at 10.00 am today my view was still obscured by waving corn. By 12.00 an impressive array of machines had cut and carted the lot and my view across the valley is unobstructed again. They don’t hang about here – and it’s a gi-normous field.
    Enjoy your day
    ViV xox

  5. I enjoyed Krist’s photos of the farmy too…especially the two dogs alone against a field. I read that they did an experiment in China on children. Those who were outside often had better eyesight, as they used their ability to see far and did not become near-sighted. The woman who wrote the article said she worked for an eye doctor and noticed farmers especially had better eyesight than people who worked indoors. The farmers were used to seeing with long range vision.

  6. Lovely description of your Farmy night / evening. It’s kind of a beautiful ritual what you do regularly. With all the animals are bound in…. Everything goes it’s way. All feeling safe and comforted. – Nice shots too! I love Queenie’s Bobby. He always looks so calm and nice, well-behaved and honest like a lamb…
    Thank you for the link – and thank you, Kristy. Well done! The width of the landscape and the skies – wow! Enormous. Beautiful shots. And Celi in far distance….- What a lovely weekend and experience you had together. 🙂

  7. We all have our night time routines, shutting animals in or out, making sure the home is safe amd cosy, tending to our loved ones and finally ourselves – I love to imagine you out there with your torch saying a final goodnight to the farmy.

  8. I laughed at your use of the term ‘torch’… earlier this week I commented on Practicing Resurrection’s blog post about the marvelous flashlight Bill uses for his nightly checks… he was perplexed as I reflexively used the Australian term ‘torch’ rather than US ‘flashlight’… and had visions of us wandering around with flaming torches 🙂

      • “… with this new flashlight I can light up the most distant garden on this part of our farm from the back deck of our house, which is especially helpful on moonless nights. It’s amazing. It has three settings: the high-powered beam, a normal beam, and a strobe light effect. It has a telescoping body that allows you to narrow the beam or spread it wide. Highly recommended for homesteaders who need to see in the dark sometimes… ” Bill also has a new Powercap with inbuilt headlights 🙂

          • P.S. I see on Ebay Australia there are Whistle Key Finder chains for $1 to $2 which if there was something like a ring attachment on your torch you could clip on. Let me know if you can’t find similar locally and I will buy and post to you 🙂
            (No good to me as I’m a terrible whistler…)

  9. A lovely, peaceful, calming ritual for everyone. It sounds a bit like what I say to the Husband every night: “Sleep well. Sweet dreams. Have a good rest”. I think you’re very sensible to leave silly birds where they have alighted – a squawking, flapping cloud of feathers is distressing, disruptive – and dangerous, as you say.

  10. Great essay, and the photos are always wonderful. Connie tries not to let me near the camera, you can only do so much with thirteen pictures of the scuffed toe of my right boot.

  11. I love the idea of you walking softly through the sleeping quarters, like a night nurse checking her patients. I am off to my bed now, I’ll keep one eye open to see you pass by! Sweet dreams to all.

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