Last week, the previous owner of the pecan orchard began moving some of the farm equipment he had left behind after the sale of the land in August last year. Old farming implements, several broken down pickup trucks, a couple of cattle feeders, a couple of stock trailers, a brush hog mower, a broken tiller, a propane tank, a diesel tank, a spray rig, and a small, flatbed trailer, were finally being hauled off. Over the past eight months since we first purchased the place, very little had been moved, which hindered my cleanup progress. Mostly though, every time I went to the orchard to work, I was irritated that all of that junk continued to sit there week after week. A few months back, as I began the pecan orchard limb clean-up work in earnest, I started nagging FD to contact the man about getting his junk moved. Recently, the fellow told us he hoped he would have all his things moved out by the end of this month, but I do not believe he will manage it in that time frame.
So of course, each day since he began taking steps to get his things moved out, I have not been able to help myself but to check and see exactly what progress has been made. Each morning, I set out in the electric buggy only to find that maybe an item or two has been hauled off. Just as I figured, at this rate it will take months more to remove everything. My brother calls this type of person a moseyer – someone who works or moves in a leisurely manner. I find this most frustrating, but I also realize there is little I can do to change things. FD constantly has to remind me when I get my “Lori measuring stick out again”, as I have a habit of measuring something or someone to my standards – and then getting ticked off when they don’t measure up.
Then one evening everything changed. I was fairly deflated as FD and I set out in the buggy that evening. After a few days of seeing consistent progress, nothing had been moved for two days now, and my attitude was sour. As we drove the buggy to the north end of the orchard, I could see that nothing had been moved that day either. FD was disappointed too. But just as we were about to pull onto the crushed rock driveway leading to the main gate at the road, a fast-moving bird darted in front of us while shrieking a high-pitched cry. We quickly recognized it as a Killdeer. FD wondered if it had a nest nearby. As we stopped and stepped off the buggy, the Killdeer shrieked at us some more and then did her “come-get-me-I’m-lame” dance, pretending to be injured in order to lure us away from her nest in the rocks. FD finally spotted a lone, well-camouflaged egg in the driveway rocks. Being the worrier that I am, I fashioned long branches in a five foot circle around the nest as a visual marker, while FD texted the previous owner to let him know about the nest so he would be careful of it when moving his remaining equipment. Hearing that the man was just as interested in preserving the nest as we were, and agreeing to avoid stressing the parents, made me a little softer about him getting work done.
Every day since the discovery of the Killdeer nest, my trips to the north end of the orchard have become less and less about checking on what work has been done. Instead, I make a beeline to the spot at the crushed rock driveway to check on the progress of the Killdeer. Most of the time when I arrive, both parents are present near the nest, though one usually shows up only after the other begins shrieking at me and doing the “I’m injured” dance. There are four eggs in the nest now, and gestation is 24 to 28 days for Killdeer, so these parents on the rocks will be quite busy for a few more weeks protecting their nest and eventual hatchlings. With this new species grabbing my attention, I have become quite sidetracked and let my own work in the orchard slip a bit lately. But observing the killdeer family and having a bit of time with Ronnie and Emma while they graze or have a dip in the slough, feels a whole lot better than stressing out over someone else’s schedule.
© 2017 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…