Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 2 - Work

Light comes to the tree house before 6.  I leave my perch and head to the kitchen to brew coffee.  Others have arrived although they came late last night after I was asleep.  Sharing the farm always requires an attitude adjustment on my part.  Most of the time I am here alone.  I've also noticed that I stay in a camping mode that comes to me through many years of climbing, backpacking and wandering - it is sparse.  Most of the others will be here in a "cabining" mode.  They nest, they spend time cooking great meals (which I do enjoy for sure), they just take care of business.  For me, time spent not wandering is time lost.  "Burning daylight" - I probably would've made a good cowboy.  I itch to move.

Red breasted sap sucker

This morning I am rewarded.  I find a tiny egg, alabaster white with a few brown speckles.  I place it in my compass case for safe keeping.  As I walk up river three female common mergansers take flight from the branches of an alder tree.  I had no idea that mergansers would perch in trees (they probably only do this at night).  I find the slough knee deep so I turn back not needing to start the day any wetter than necessary.  Two of the mergansers are back in the same tree when I return.

My friends are up and moving when I get to the kitchen.  One crew takes over the kitchen.  They will make the meals for everyone.  Smoke Farm is always a feeder and a good one at that.  K is cooking pork bellies for tacos.  Most of us then drop down to the barn.  It is in need of cleaning and organizing.  A few others pull blackberries farther off.  By lunch the barn looks good.  A dumpster has been filled with metal recycling.  After a great lunch people split up into groups.  Some attack the overgrown garden which seems to be retreating to a state more wild than the forest.  I lead a team up to the north fields to open up a half mile of trail, because I'm supposed to know where the trail is/was.  The five of us swing machetes for the distance.  We break on the upper beach and then head back the same way.  This is when I see how good my team was...the trail is wide and clear, blackberries, tall grass and thistles sliced away.  You could follow it in the dark.  We return for dinner and find the garden looking as if it was in a nursery.  This is how Smoke Farm survives, by the enormous heart of those that keep returning.

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