Monday, April 18, 2011

Grad student ? Come on down !

Really, last week was fantastic with all our numerous farm visitors. Seems everyone is interested in our Gentle Giants

From left: Pregnant Red Wattle Lacey, Pregnant Red Wattle Debbie,
Far From Pregnant Red Wattle Farmer Keith, Pregant Crossbred Leopard
and Very Pregnant Red Wattle Morticia
On Friday we had another graduate student, just like Sasha, except this one was female, did not have a beard (hey, you never know, some of us middle age women lose track of our hair chins from time to time) and attended school in Massachusetts. Specifically her name was Kristin from Goddard College. Her topic was, "The Central Illinois Farmer Photo-Dairy Project" and involved an interview, a tour, photos she took and the opportunity for me to submit photos as well. Kristin also taught me the meaning of the phrase "Visual Ethnography."  Now, over 3 dys later, I of course cannot remember the definition, but I did log the phrase into my notebook of Name Ideas for Future Alternative Rock Bands.

Kristen Thiel, dedicated grad student, fighting her way
past the ever ferocious Fannie to get photos of naughty
Freddie locked away in the feed shed.

Unfortunately, the weather was cold and rainy. Very cold, and rainy and a tad windy. Then a F3 windy. So windy that just as we were finishing up with Kristin and right before the Pollock family arrived with their girl Barbara, our large calf hutch was lifted up into the air and thrown  mercilessly to the ground, releasing several animated calves into the yard.  Herd dog Freddie, still mostly untrained , would circle one calf while three others ran past him, then he'd chase that group leaving the one he did have under control to start running the wrong way. What a zoo !

Eventually all the wind blown animals were restrained into a makeshift yard of single wire electric fencing allowing us to thank Kristen for her time and usher the Pollacks down to the barn so their gal, a stunning Red Wattle looking for love, could be unloaded between tornados. In between rain showers we were able to load Mad Max out of his pasture and into our trailer and escort him to Barbra's love lair. Funny thing about that Mad Max. Loading him required virtually no effort on Keith's part other than telling Max why he had to get into the trailer. He practically RAN into it, the little horn hog that he is.

Mad Max to the right and the petite Lady Barbara to the left

Once Babs and Max were properly introduced, "Pig, meet pig," they seemed only mildly interested in each other. They were however, greatly interested in the grain Keith spread out for them. But you learn quite a bit about someone the first time you share a meal with them, so who are we to question their priorities ? This will be Max's first girl from another farm and we are all looking forward to the results. Hopefully a happy healthy litter of the still critically Red Wattles in 4 months time. We know they will be gorgeous because that Barbara is some looker. The Lucille Ball of Red Wattles I would say. Shiny copper red hair with a glimmer of gold. Made our Max look a little dull but of course I did not say this out loud. Would hate to deflate that ego of his when he needed it most.

After dinner, the couple takes a stroll. Max waits to make his move.

Putting these two together required (by me) the writing of my first semen contract. An interesting list of do's and don'ts regarding who was responsible for what, when and where. Although it  was fairly simple, I took the contract writing  very seriously until some goofball cousin of mine, via Facebook, suggested I should now be referred to as "Semen Meister".

I get no respect. Nada


  1. Hope Mad Max can put it all together and connect the dots. Miss Barbara is indeed quite a looker.

  2. Wow strong winds! I did see a news report here in little ole England that three tornadoes touch down in one place, which must be pretty scary for everyone living in that area.

    I hope the pigs fall in love soon. Please let us see the pigglet pic if they do :-)

  3. That is Helga's daughter. Glad to see she turned out so nice...I"ll have to tell Helga.

  4. Wowzer. What a nice variety of drive-by commenters. One from Canada, one from England and then that real foreigner from IOWA. Reading your blogs today gave me my poetry boost, my fiction writing nudge and great pics of someone else's Red Wattles. Many Thanks !

  5. Loved this post, love pigs :) Instead of Semen Meister I suggest Samen Meister which might take the edge off a bit..unless you speak german in which case it doesn't matter. Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog, really appreciated it :)