It's nothing new, nothing unique, this pretty ideal. Classical Romans and Greeks cherished the image of pastoral beauty. They made a whole genre of it. The <ahem> Pastoral.
Still, it's a long way between ideal and actuality: even leaving out the amount of salty sweat and hard work, there's just so much to learn in transforming a lapsed dairy farm into something that feels like The Farm.
Take even a short wander across one of the meadows, and the questions follow one on the other, like hungry livestock rushing the trough:
- What plant is this growing everywhere?
- What animal has dug up and chewed on its roots?
- What else do porcupines eat?
- Is that coyote scat?
- The pink haze of very early buds: what tree is that?
- What is the name of that crazy-singing bird that perches the dead elm tree?
- What does that bird eat?
- Should we put up birdhouses by the old barn foundation?
- And how OLD is that iron plough that Mr. Linton just unearthed from inside the foundation?
Consult the Google? Well, my phone is not that smart, and besides, I enjoy taking a break from the lure of online research while at the Farm. Plus, she noted galactically, my solar system is not finished, so the battery must be conserved.
Old style. The bookshelf starts to groan under the weight of curiosity:
This reference shelf in turn gives me more fodder (ooh! a farming metaphor!) for agricultural day-dreams and even more blathering on, as I begin to realize how vast is my ignorance...
*Pasternak? Almanack? I don't know, I guess I'm still working on my Cockney rhyming slang. Or perhaps it's a homonym (a word that does not, honestly, have a gay subtext) with "pasteurize" or possibly, (to complete the full circle of piffle!), with "pasture."