We had a four day weekend that started with a trip to Tucson. We went to a pub and watched the Ravens trounce the Patriots. We had a good time of it, but I got this nauseating feeling that I remember getting last when I was farming a lot more. It was a little culture shock.

Being out at our homestead we are surrounded by natural beauty. It’s quiet. We can hear dogs bark from across the valley. It’s rare that we hear a car. This morning we watched a pair of ravens courting each other, flying circles over our heads. They were singing this beautiful percussive sound to each other. Yesterday we heard coyotes howling on the other side of our hill. We grabbed the binoculars and raced up the hill. Scanning the distant hills we saw a huge herd of deer even before we found the pack of coyotes climbing a ridge line.

The domestic animals here provide a lot entertainment, and they don’t disappoint. Doing all the digging we do, we unearth some wild looking creatures that are hibernating. Snakes, lizards, insects. Today I dug up a monster of a centipede. Black head, yellow antennae and legs, orange body, and maybe 8 fat inches long. It hardly got a chance to get its bearing before one of our hens was picking at it. The hen knew this was a beast to approach with caution, and it pecked at it until it felt safe picking it up. Then the chase was on. Having an 8 inch writhing insect in your beak attracts a lot of attention, and this hen did not want to share. She ran around the garden, with hens and roosters chasing her, for maybe five minutes before she gathered the gumption to eat it in two swift bites. Needless to say, we took a break from our shoveling to enjoy the show.

We also get a perverse amount of pleasure feeding the alpacas by hand. Maybe you’ll understand with some pictures.



It’s all a stark contrast from watching a televised football game at a bar with a huge plate of chicken wings. It’s amazing to me how the standard American culture can feel so excessive after just a couple weeks in the bush. We’re not boycotting everything we came from (I am writing this on a laptop after all) but we’re intentionally living more simply because we think the perks are all the sweeter.





One thought on “Gratitude

  1. Patrick and Claudia, Liking nature, getting happy watching or being outside. When are you coming here? after the snow is gone perhaps. Love ya, Deborah and David

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