Duck for Cover

When young pigs get a fright they do this very sensible thing. They duck for cover. Very low. Very still. Heads down, looking small sometimes with their bottoms in the air as they protect their heads by getting them right down.  In the instant of that stillness their eyes move rapidly searching and  their big ears twirl in the air like satellite dishes catching information. Once they know it is safe- ish they will rise and bolt for cover, and duck there again.

They may go low but they are immediately tuned in, power on and listening hard.

When they get a fright they duck for cover and listen.


dsc_0190 I was working at the West farm yesterday, the cows were standing in a semicircle around me watching  and giving unasked for advice and there was a shot out North of us. The cows and I snapped our heads in unison towards the sound and froze, all heads facing in the same direction. Watching and listening. Our eyes scanning the horizon for movement. Staying very still until one of the cows decided there was no threat, broke the freeze and turned back to the fence –  we all let out our breaths and turned back to the fence with her.


Sometimes when threatened it is better to be still and watch and listen and quickly gather and consciously process information  and its implications instead of turning our backs on the problem and running away too soon.  Allow the human animal to surface.  I am emphasising the conscious because when I work alone I think I go too low. I get lazy and start thinking like a cow.


For us as humans we need to cultivate that hyper alert moment of stillness where we consciously scan our environment like an animal and then process information like a wide awake human so we can make good decisions about either fighting or running like hell. Hiding is not often the best option. Running is often a very good option. But sometimes we really DO need to quietly turn and ready ourselves for a fight.

Yesterday I opened the interior barn gates and the piglets (now hopefully potty trained) have been allowed into the big central area of the barn. They now have two thirds of the barn and their outside garden to play in. They are getting more mischievous as they get older. But always come when they are called. These are definitely Poppy’s babies.

Today should get to a high of 40F/4C. The wind is milder today I think.

I am trying to remember to include the weather in my farm page now – often I look back over the years and there is no useful reference to the weather.

I hope you have a lovely day.


ps. I hate to tell you this bad news but the file containing my large format  images for the calendar has been wiped. It is empty. I have no idea how this happened. And of course I have not loaded  information to my hard drive all summer. It is a total loss. There are two or three other files emptied like this, one other was an important one too. It is very strange and very sad. But irreversible.  I call this phenomenon “God said No.” I am not religious. It is just how it looks. God said No. They are gone.

Ah well.






38 Comments on “Duck for Cover

  1. Broken hearted to hear of the loss of data. I don’t know how I’d react if my writing files were suddenly gone. Ugh. My husband had a similar mysterious wipe out on his hard drive in his laptop. Files were deleted as he watched. He thinks it is a glitch in the latest Windows operating system. I’ve been reluctant to open any of my writing files with my laptop ever since.

  2. Total bummer on the loss! Write yourself a note on your calendar at regular intervals to back up your files. It might help you remember. That is what I do at work to remember to back up my work.

  3. What an interesting post this morning the first day of December! It feels profound. Like the Universe just took a left turn and sent a small warning. First the shot and then God said no. I’m not religious either. I’m so sorry about losing all your data. I pay for an automatic backup to a private storage cloud as my son requires it of me but I’m afraid the automatic backup would be of missing files. Sounds like I need to back up to something else again as well. We are having a few milder rainy days with the real cold on the way next week. All my errands will be run today. 🙂 Learned something new about pigs today. Thank you. I hope you have a wonderfilled day too.

  4. You should see if someone can maybe find the files. Things are seldom lost with technology just hidden.

  5. Never did get my Sheila T shirt  

    Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2016 at 2:42 PM

  6. Celi, you can sign up for something called Carbonite which automatically backs up all the files on your computer. It gives me such peace of mind. I never remember to back things up and was never good at figuring out a system to do it regularly. So this is wonderful. I’m so sorry that all your images got wiped.

  7. Bummer…… I so love the farm calendar. Can you use small files and do a small calendar – 4×6 one maybe?

    Running – can be dangerous – as many run right into the trouble. So-stop-still-quite and then choose the path to run is best. Thinking like a cow isn’t always a bad thing.

  8. Animals are so remarkable. I learned so much from following Daisy deer in the wild when she was young. She never just ran off when something happened. She paused a moment to listen and look and then either stayed still or bolted off. I use splatter vision a lot in the woods and pecan orchard, and I rely on my hearing more than my vision. My last desktop crashed a year ago, and though we did an online backup, I ended up losing all of my 2015 photographs. Oddly, I was only sad about the loss of the wildlife photos.Those moments of time are rare and happenstance… but I suppose the loss of them was for some reason and I accept that. 🙂

  9. Ah well as you say. They are beautiful photos but they are just photos and new and beautiful ones will come to you and us when the time is right. It’s a shame but as long as you, and the animals and all your loved ones are safe and close, then all is still well xx

    • Qwise words. I haven’t lost anything “important,” but the time will surely come. I hope I can remember to take your view.

      • I am not that worried really – I hate to disappoint the people who wanted calendars but the pictures are already on the blog – they are just pictures – c

  10. Do you have a friend who is a computer wiz? I think the data is still there, it just takes the right knowledge.

  11. Must do a backup again here too. Surely hunting season should be over now? Laura

  12. It is possible to download from your WordPress page, though the files won’t be as large. I am so sorry it got wiped. That’s my biggest fear.

  13. I just love the character in the little piggy faces, so adorable. Glad the fright did not amount to anything. Too bad about your files, that’s so disappointing.

  14. There is a program called Disk Digger that I used when my computer decided to eliminate all photos from before June of 2011. Thousands of photos gone, the computer guy said they were totally irretrievable and not to trust the programs you could get on the internet to search and recover. Since that time frame contained my oldest child’s high school graduation, the last photos of a loved one who passed on unexpectedly, photos that I just loved of my kids and I had no financial records on this computer, I researched most of one night until I found this one. I decided that for $15 to $16, which was the cost a couple of years ago, it was worth a try. So I backed up the available photos on to a portable hard drive and bought this program. It will recover images, text and whatever else it can find. It is important to try quickly as the computer will write over this new free space quickly. I didn’t realize my photos were gone right away so I have lost a few but most are still there. The ones I really wanted to recover fortunately were available. I have had no side affects from using this program that I know of and it is relatively cheap to try. I’m running Windows, don’t know if that makes a difference. It does take a long time to search (for me up to 4 hours) but you can still use the computer while it is working. It allows you to select what to save and you can narrow he search to the type of files you are looking for. I used the dig deeper option because the other option didn’t recover much, which broke my heart at the time. When I ran the dig deeper option and those photo files started popping up, I was so happy. Good luck.

    • I forgot to say that those little red pigs always make me smile. I start thinking maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to raise pigs again. Then I read about their adventures and I think I enjoy them way more on the internet than in real life. All of the fun, none of the hassles.

  15. I’m so sorry your photos disappeared. Such a disappointment, especially because they are top quality photos, carefully and lovingly composed. A real bummer, as someone above said.

  16. well dang- that is very sad to lose all those images….I have a backup external hard drive and I guess I should be backing up stuff more often than once or twice a year.
    Now that I think about it …I am quite foolish not to back up once a week.

  17. Pondering on the similarities between the “fight of flight” pause and the “pants pause.” So important to have pauses in life!

  18. There is also pCloud ( with a really nice amount of storage available and very reasonable plans. I had a computer crash in January 2015 – lost a lot of photos, but also a couple manuscripts and some genealogy material. I did have backups of some but not everything. I am at the point now I need a larger hard drive, it’s amazing the sorts of things that end up being saved.

  19. Technology can be frustrating. Love the pictures of Poppy’s babies. They are growing fast and look so healthy. Do you sell them at a certain age, weight or time of year?

  20. Don’t feel too bad about not backing up – we have backups of backups (hubby is IT) and the drives fail all the bloody time! I’d ask him for suggestions but he is mid-show doing his Internet Radio DJ show. I think Jeanne’s suggestion sounds like a good one, however. Data is rarely truly gone on a computer hard drive!

  21. We’re coming in to snake season here so my human-animal is engaged much of the time. We’ve already killed a brown snake on the verandah and I’m alert to Sunny-dog’s warning barks in a way that I’m not in cooler parts of the year.

    I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your images. I hope they are retrievable. We rely so much on these memory-sharers these days. How did our grandparents cope ?

  22. Ears like satellite dishes – perfect comparison.
    ” cultivate that hyper alert moment of stillness” – a lovely New Year’s resolution idea
    (65F here today with rain/cold for 3-4 days coming.)

  23. Oh that is a bummer! I recently found out that the local library changed something in its system and my ‘favorites’ list, which was a list of around 70 books I thought I might like to read, was lost. Needless to say I have no way of remembering all of them! I have been diligently working with my horse on the pause and see rather than the spin and bolt!

  24. I’m late, but I’m here. I do love your piggies and their big satellite dish ears, listening for a signal from outside Piggy Space. I think you’re right. You have to pay attention when something startles you. Was that a backfire, or a shot? A shout of joy or a scream for help? The hindbrain alerts us, the forebrain assesses, which is as it should be. I’m so sorry about your photos. Lots of us seem to have good suggestions for trying to retrieve them if you feel like ignoring the Act of God. I sympathise, my old laptop bit the dust when it fell on one corner, cracking some frightfully important board inside it. I lost thousands of photos I took on our once-in-a-lifetime trip to the West Indies. Of course, the disaster happened before I had a chance to back them up… I use a 1Tb external hard drive for backups which is plugged into nothing online so is safe from sneaky viruses, and I have very muscular anti-virus software on my laptop. Touch wood, so far, nothing has been lost since that last drama.

  25. The loss of photos is sad, but I see you are philosophical, if not religious :), about it. For years I have subscribed to the idea that sometimes ‘God says no’. xx

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