Sulphur Bluff, Texas, USA
Can you dig deep? How often do you find yourself digging deep?
Is it a nervous feeling? numbness? bleary eyes? rock-n-roll? fight or flight? Never give up?
Does it kinda hurt? Do you like it anyways?
Is it psychological or physical? or both? usually both.
Now here is a lip-smackin', reflective thinkin', near-do-weller, close to honest as I can get observation.
Trying to farm and trying to make art creates opportunities where you gotta dig deep.
It's not saying, "well, that's good enough".
When you feel like quitting, just crank down and max it out.
I get excited when I see someone maxing it out.
The herd is doing well.
When summer fully sets in the grass and the ground hardens a little so you can graze smaller pastures.
In springtime when you have a lot of young, soft plants you don't want to graze them very hard so you move the cows around in considerably larger pastures being careful not to overgraze. The ground is also softer and if you get a big gully washer flood you get a lot of 'pugging' where these 1000# beasts compact the soil.
Pugging is a bad thing for the grazier, and a necessity for the potter.
The potter must pug or wedge his clay to make it uniform, remove air pockets, and compress it. The grazier wants to avoid pugging because quality soil needs to be more open to grow more forage.
Herd mentality can be a beautiful thing (when relating to a herd). Everyone is safer from predators, there is harmony, and everyone seems socially satisfied. Life is generally easier for an active and engaged member of the herd.
However, when humans develop a herd mentality and start saying, thinking, and doing the same things creativity is often diluted, innovation is compromised, and distinctiveness is lost. The dangerous thing that people need to be aware of is how easy it is to join the herd. Quitting the herd mentality takes a little work, but can be quite fulfilling.
Even though cattle are very social animals, you can usually pick a couple out of a mob that don't always stay with the herd. Some are a little less common, a little uglier, a little prettier, there is something special about them. While everyone else is french braiding amongst each other, sorting themselves the only way they know how with their distinctively bovine compass, No. 17 is looking at the ground. Almost like she is trying to decide which blade of grass she is going to ruminate next.
I feel like No. 17 is going to be a special girl.
I intend to follow her a little closer than the rest of the herd, update her status on here with photos and comments. I think I can learn something from her.
She is a 487# portable sauerkraut vat. She thinks she may be ready to get pregnant sometime in June, waiting for the right fella to come a long - nothing long term. By then she should be about 650-700#.
I intend to keep her for a while, hopefully getting several calves from her. No doubt No. 17 will be all over the pastures for the next several years, eating grass and keeping to herself. She will be on the pastures and on the pottery.
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