Friday, July 11, 2008

pointers in the fields, shepherds on the hills

Yesterday, for my birthday, my co-workers took me out for ice cream and I got to ride home from the Dairy Barn in a retro motorcycle's blue sidecar. It was the most whimsical thing I've done in a long time. I felt like an extra in a Wes Anderson movie.

Me in a little black beetle helmet and windshield smiling like an idiot. It was bliss. It was a perfect Vermont summer day too. Breezy in the low 70s, sunny with a bright blue sky set against the saturated green mountains. We drove back to the office the long way on back roads by the Roaring Branch River and Arlington farms- passing cows and dogs. It is impossible to be unhappy in a sidecar when ice cream is in your stomach. Physically impossible.

When I got home I packed the dogs in the car and we headed off to Manchester for pie baking supplies and laundry errands. The next day was out monthly potluck at work, and I always promise a different pie (this month it's apple berry.)

Manchester, I discovered, has been inundated with birddogs. 'Birddog' in the sense of people who act like birddogs - not actual upland hunting dogs (who also act like birddogs, because they are.) But birddog people are much like the dogs they own, they appear to be outdoorsy and sporting but actually prefer porcelain bowls on tiled floors and are rarely of any actual use. They prefer to be paid attention too, be adored by their peers, strain for approval of their masters, and be waited on by others. These are not my people.

Anyway, The town is a scamper with horse show people* here for the 5-week long equestrian event in Dorset. I have never seen a small town Laundromat with that many luxury sport utility vehicles parked outside it in my life... But hey, it's nice to be a local when all the hubbub is going on, telling people to enjoy dinner on the porch at the perfect wife, or hit up for breakfast if they want to taste a badass omelet or venison sausages in maple syrup (real Vermonter dishes, for sure). Regardless of a town full of birddogs, I will not be hanging out among the sporting life this weekend. I'll be on a steep hill of grass in the forest with my people - sheepdogs.

Back at the farm, the bees are my top priority. ever since their arrival in early May they've been hard at work in the little lime-green hive building comb and starting a healthy brood. They've pollinated the garden, added some adventure to the geese's life (by the way, geese hate eating bees, they learned), and make the homestead feel a little more alive. But my 12,000 tenants are hurting for more living space and first thing tomorrow morning I am driving to Betterbee (our local beekeeping store) in nearby Greenwich, New York for a new hive body. I'll paint it that morning and while the paint dries I'll be heading over to Merck for the sheepdog trials, which I am dizzy with excitement over. You can expect pictures and a fancy post about that. I already have been in touch with the folks at the NECBA to start learning to apprentice shepherds and stock dogs. You won't see me with a border collie pup anytime soon, but when I am in the market for a working herder I'll be damn prepared.

*I am well aware not not all horse people are birddogs, and not all shepherds are sheepdogs. Some shepherds are complete birddogs and some equestrians are sheepdogs through-and-through. If you can follow this logic and have a sexy beard we should probably hang out more, possibly date.**

**unless you're a birddog, but how many birddogs have beards? like 4.


Blogger Mama Pea said...

I'm a little late getting to you on this but just had to say that I'm making and loving your MasonAdes! Have a bunch of them lined up in the fridge right now. What a simple but great idea. Thanks for sharing. I'm new to your blog but am really enjoying it. Keep on postin'!

July 11, 2008 at 9:49 PM  

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