Friday, January 14, 2011

Flashback Friday - Livestock and Learning

About 14 years ago, in the middle of January, twin lambs were born here.  Having adopted the parents from a petting zoo (where they were neglected and maltreated), I was still working on developing trust with them.  They were reluctant to get too close to any human being.  Until Oreo was born...

Oreo - the first lamb born at Harvest Moon

It seemed like once Oreo was born, his ewe-mother ("Woolite") allowed me to help her care for her newborn lamb.  It was critical that she accepted my help since the nights were well below zero. 

Keeping the sheep - "Dacron" (the ram) and Woolite - along with Oreo in the barn was the safest thing to do.  The trio learned very quickly that I was the food source (hay, water, and grain) and the one who made sure they were warm (with a heat lamp and lots of straw). 

Once the weather was warm enough again (above zero) and Oreo was a few days older, the sheep went outdoors again.  This trio - plus many who came after them - provided many hours of enjoyment not only to me but to family, friends, and others who visited the farm.

Woolite with another lamb, "Dali Lamba"
who was born in the spring one year

In looking at past pictures I had scanned and uploaded to my computer many years ago, I came across a few wonderful surprises:  pictures of my parents, niece, and nephew who participated in one of the Grandparent-Grandchild camps I coordinated here at the farm.

I forgot I had these pictures, and, in finding them, they brought back memories of some very happy times. I remember having up to about 50 chickens wandering around the yard and pasture - finding bugs and grass to eat; laying eggs; and taking dust baths in the dirt.

A mother hen watches and protects her chicks.

Some of my favorite memories are when a couple of the more "broody hens" would sit on some eggs for quite a long period of time.  Eventually, a bunch of little chicks would hatch, and then the mother hen would have a new job:  teaching the little ones where to find food and how to stay safe on the farm. 

A chicken coming to get a closer look at my parents, niece, and nephew
on one of the Grandparent-Grandchild Days at Harvest Moon.

As I looked at through some of the (many) pictures taken while I offered camp programs (some just for youth, others for grandparents with grandchildren), I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to work with motivated and positive teenage camp counselors who wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. 

I am equally fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside talented artists who inspired children and teens to explore the arts - visual, dance, music, and theater.  The talent that was shared with youth - who would now be in high school or college, or be college graduates - was impressive.  I'm hoping that children and teens who were part of the camp program look back and have some good memories of their time at Harvest Moon.

Two generations working together to make a birdfeeder.

What was nice for me to see when I was looking at pictures from the Grandparent-Grandchild camp were of seniors working and learning with youth - both generations were having fun and learning together.  One of the activities that the grandparent-grandchild teams did was to learn about birds and how to feed them.

I found two pictures - one of my niece with my mom; and one of my nephew with my dad - working on a project together.  They were creating simple birdfeeders in which they spread peanut butter on a cardboard tube and then rolled it in birdseed.

Working together on a birdfeeder.

These feeders and other ones were sent home with the participants so they could put them in their trees and watch the birds eat.  A simple pleasure - feeding and watching the birds - but one that my dad instilled in me as a child.  It's one that still lives on today.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

What a lovely post! My daughter and I oohed and aahed over the lamb photos, and I love what you've done over the years encouraging generations to work together and have fun. Great memories, and good times. What a blessing!