Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bark Dust on the Race Track

Working around a farm: does it make you crazy, or are you crazy to begin with? Based on yesterday, I'd have to vote for number two, because I can't blame any animals (well, okay, one small dog) for my behavior yesterday.

Chase runs up and down along the fence, chasing cars every day. Hence her name. Her previous owner used to let her chase cars w/o the protection of a fenced yard to keep her from running under the tires or potentially getting hit by another car coming along as she retreats, dodges, whatever. It's amazing she survived.

But I digress.

Her happy-making activities have created what I refer to as the racetrack. It's a strip of mud about sixty feet long and 2-5 feet wide with rises at each end that swoop up against the fence. She made those swoops. Seriously. If it were shorter and fatter it would look like a skateboarder tube. That's how many times she's run along this track. She's done this enough that dirt she carries on her paws and dirt she scoots when she takes off from the corner has built up about a foot on each side.

That's a lot of running.

In wet weather she turns into a total mudball. Our other dogs remain pristine and dry by watching the rainy weather from the doghouse or the front porch, a total area that's larger than my living room and quite comfy if their behavior is any indication. Meanwhile the little idio--Chase--is out in the rain running up and down this track, getting soaked and filthy. Which results, eventually, in a bath. She gets more baths than any other animal.

I thought, in order to help her out a bit, it might be nice to cover this track in bark chunks. (Actually, all my life we've called it bark dust. Why dust? I don't know! I don't make up the local slang.) The truck broke down on the way back home (of course) and it had to be towed to our house and very inconveniently placed because the tow truck had bald tires and couldn't make it straight out past the barn.

It was an interesting night.

Anyway, we had two short days of sun, and because of the tow truck drama I wasn't able to unload the bark dust on the first day. No problem! I'll just unload it after work on the second day, because I know it'll rain the following day and we all hate working in the rain, plus Chase would turn into a mudball again before we got it out.

So my very patient daughter and I jumped out of the car as soon as we got home and grabbed the shovels and the wheelbarrow. I quickly change into my should-have-been-work-jeans-but-became-waiting-for-the-tow-truck-pants and we start hauling bark dust to the racetrack. It's already getting dark but I'm sure I can see just fine. For the first two loads. Then it gets kind of iffy. I memorize where all the branches are so that I don't poke my eye out on a tree. My daughter is raking in the dark. I ask her to spread it as evenly as she can up onto the swoops and she protests with a "I can't see a d-ed thing!" and I respond with "well, feel around with your hands and do your best."

That's when I realized I'm crazy. I mean, that's when I realized again that I'm crazy. And it's not Chase's fault.

But we got it done! The stars were beautiful.

No comments: