Monday, April 21, 2008

Large Green Machines

This morning before dawn we were wakened by the distant sound of tractors growling their way through our fields. They are enormous green behemoths that pull plows as wide as our barn and create a cloud of dust that can probably be seen by most of my readers. I never tire of the methodical way they turn over the earth into perfect black waves.

This is all new to TJ who has only ever lived with beef cows (which is how he ended up in a pen of steers bound for slaughter, but that's a story for another day). He trotted officiously out of the barn to chase down the source of the growling and froze in his tracks. "Hey, big green metal things is tearin up the dirt!" he said. It's useless trying to explain farm equipment to someone with the attention span of a gnat so I just left him standing at the fence, trying to figure out how he will chase these new interlopers off his turf.

I overheard the male human talking to the potato farmer recently and he said "Yep, she gits the job done - next size up is articulated but we'll stick with these for now." So! Tractors are female and the larger ones are able to articulate - I must try asking their opinions on various things. If I befriend one they might "accidentally" plant a mini-mule with the seed potatoes.

The grass is getting as green as the tractors and the black flies surround each of us in a dense cloud. There are no surer signs of spring, unless it's the layer of Molly sheddings that coats every surface and leaves all of us with a slight cough as we try to expel stray hairs.

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