Truly, what more can be said about a seamlessly blue sky, outrageously green pastures, and just the slightest warm breeze to make a walk in the sunshine comfortable?
Perhaps the one thing a picture can't quite speak to is the sound of such a day: a chorus of birdsong carries over these pasture lands and hillside. Redwing Blackbirds and Bobolink, in particulary, ring out clearly.
If you've never heard the babbling, bubbling, flittering, and wild song of Bobolink, you truly must visit a grassland of nesting Bobolink and immerse yourself in it. They sound like R2D2, or pure spring joy, or a a run-away orchestra. This video is a good substitute if you don't happen to have a pasture close enough to visit.
This spring, we're celebrating the return of another grassland bird to the farm. (No, the picture below is not a flock of birds. We assure you we can tell the difference. It is, however, a nice example of the herd moving through a pasture, improving it as they go.)
Perhaps because the pastures are improving under the care of rotational grazing and hard work of the two-legged AND four-legged pasture managers around here, we've heard the distinct song of Northern Bobwhite around the farm. He's been much too elusive to document with photos, but we are so glad to know they have decided to call Sunny Acres home. We hope it is an indication of the health of the farm as a whole--- instead of being a one-crop land, these birds arrive to enjoy a variety of flora and fauna acting as a surrogate grassland to the native prairies they were once so abundant on. It might not be font-page news when a small bird slips quietly to the near-threatened status, or when that bird is at long-last found again locally, but we all stood outside during the first morning this Bobwhite call was heard, taking it in, feeling it is a triumph for nature, no matter how seemingly small.
Honeybees are carefully tended by one of the Sunny Acres farmers, and goats by others. Chickens forage here, and now we can say that Bobwhite do, too. In a world filled with climate doom-and-gloom stories, we hope these images of life returning to the farm will lift your spirits. A little bit of sunny news is welcome, isn't it?
On the other side of the pasture, a cool wetland area offers respite from the heat during the warm seasons of the year. Not wanting to be outdone by the riot of color and song in the fields, the woodland offers beauty, too.
Hopefully, this little "photo tour" of the farm today will help you better see how our farm is in more than just the business of agriculture, but we're also making it our business to create an oasis where life of all different kinds may quietly come on home.