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Friday, June 18, 2010

Day on the Farm

Tim's Dad

The Calming Effect

  Mimicking the sunrise, the hotel room lights gradually became brighter at 7:00 a.m, too bad it did not wake us up. Thankfully my mate woke nearly a quarter past eight. We were both in a frenzy to get dressed before for our group’s day trip to the farm. We were told to rug up because it may be cold outside but it is so difficult to look cute and fashionable when you have to worry about that. I barely had time to check my outfit in the mirror before grabbing my gummies and dashing out the door.
We left Christchurch and drove towards Oxford down a straight road for nearly an hour. There were large hills on the right and fields of green on both sides of the road. Farm sheds were every few kilometers and fences made of wood, wire, and hedge. Through the front windshield I could see snow capped mountains in the distance. The road was narrow but plenty big for two cars on either side. The sky was light blue, the color of my scarf, with big puffs of cotton ball clouds. We eventually made a left onto an unmarked street; this I would later discover was Tim’s farm. It was an unpaved road made up of rocks, pebbles, mud, and rain puddles. Tall skinny plants were lined one side of the road. They had a trunk like a tree, bush like branches, and shaped like a squared off vertical rectangular hedges. Opposite the tree bush hedges were crop fields about an acre each. Some fields had grass, some mud, and one was growing kale.
The van took us around a bend to the farms barn which did not look like a barn, or what I would expect a barn to look like. This looked like a butler building. It was made of blue and silver looking metal. I walked around one side of the barn and found a ramp and leading paths to guide the sheep through to be sheared. There were wooden fences on the right that looked like a holding pin for the sheep. The inside of the barn smelled just like my great-grandparents barn, like dirt, and I love the smell of dirt. There was some blue machine like contraption thing that looked like a scary automatic sheep shearing machine, although I highly doubt that is what I was. To my right were about four steps leading up to a kitchenette that was about 12 by 16ft. It had a silver tea kettle on the yellow counter for the shearers to boil hot water for tea. The kitchenette was equipped with a sink, stove, microwave, table for ten and an old mini fridge about four feet high that had radio and beer stickers all over the door. To my left were several stalls for the sheep. In the middle of the room was a table where they would throw the sheared hair onto but it was not like a normal table because it was not a solid piece of wood. It was shaped kind of L-shaped and its surface was like a picket fence in the sense that it had a piece of wood and then it was hollow and then there was a piece of wood etc. Towards the back of the barn raised on a platform were several holding pins and walk ways for the shearer and sheep that created a sort of assembly line. I saw a trap door within the floor of one of the walk ways that could be dropped down to become a ramp leading the sheep that had been sheared back to the outside holding pin.
The view outside the barn was an expansive farm and not too far in the distance were the snow capped mountains. On the other side of the barn was an outhouse with a real toilet and not wooden box for a toilet. From that vantage point outside the barn I saw trees, mountains, and fields. I could also hear the sheep just past the line of trees separating the barn from the sheep pin.
We met Tim’s dad who looks just like a sheep farmer should. Although he was freshly shaven he still looked scruffy. He had on glasses, a wide brimmed hat, and a red wool sweater over a long sleeved plaid flannel shirt, khaki colored tough work pants, and mud friendly work boots.  After meeting his pops we walked around the grounds. The paths were riddled with pebbles and still wet from the morning rain. We had to scale a few fences and dodge some heavy puddles to get to a magnificent clearing. Tim showed us remnants of a wooden railroad box car. It still had the shape and you could walk through the car doors into the cabin and look out what was once the window.
 I followed the group to a creek that I found absolutely wonderful. The color of the water was a glittery aqua blue that did not even seem real but was a beauty that could only be found in nature. Its stream was running smoothly, trickling past the bends and curves of the land. The sound of the water rushing mildly gave a soothing and tranquil feeling that you can only get from experience. The group walked on and I stayed behind to take pictures, breathe the air, and listen to the stream. I walked down a path along the bank of the creek that took me over roots and under tree branches. This was my favorite part of the trip. The tree roots were tangled within each other and into the earth. The tree branches hung low and wrapped around hugging itself. I could have stayed there all day.
I caught up to the group at the bridge a bit down the way but not before I went over the where the sheep were being fenced in. There must have been hundreds of them and when I got too close they would run away from me and all I wanted to do was give them a big squeezy hug!
I love this farm, its streams and trees, old barns and sheds. Exploring the farm was my favorite. Learning and experiencing the farm this way was beneficial to my life plan and reflections on how and where I could see myself living in the future.

On the farm with my classmates!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you write Sher! So descriptive.. i can literally see the streams and you ducking through the trees to get the best pictures! So glad you got this day at the farm!


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