pasture

   Today, Easter Sunday, it is still grey and rainy, but much warmer than the forty-seven degrees of Friday.  We walked the pasture to see how the grass is filling in, pictures of which I will post here if I can figure out what neurosis is troubling the camera now.  It is encouraging to see how even the overgrazing of last summer’s drought, as long as it was rotational overgrazing, has improved the pasture.  What used, in early spring, to be a forest of dead queen-anne’s lace and goldenrod skeletons, is now mostly short green turf.  There are present there, we will grant you, cinquefoil and yarrow in plenty, but if the cow will eat it, why should we complain?  There is much fine grass of varieties we will, this summer, attempt to identify, but we are of the opinion that native varieties are probably the best bet for establishing pasture on land as rocky, wet, sour, and sloped as these seven acres, and whatever the volunteer pasture consists of, we are unlikely to try very hard to replace it with something else.  The goal, here, is to see how tight an ecology can be established by cooperating with the land as we find it, not using cash inputs to remake it in some preconceived image of ideal pasture.  Nature knows more, and more subtly, than man does.

   The new strawberries, in the small orchard, are up and looking valiant, and the old strawberries are blossoming.  So is the large cherry tree, but the other, always behind it, just has leaves.  The apple trees are all just about to bloom, and the new peach trees have leaves coming on.  The arbor vitae and redbuds we put in nine days ago look a little soggy and forlorn, but then, so did they when we set them out.  God prosper them.

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