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.
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.