One of the marvelous experiences to be had at the family farm is to appreciate the surroundings. East Texas offers a lush, verdant representation of a state otherwise marked by deserts, subtropical and coastal zones, plains and grasslands, valleys and hills, and a great many other geological varieties. Spanning more than 267,000 square miles (or more than 692,000 square kilometers), this state does indeed posses a diverse variety of environments.
Our little refuge is tucked quietly in amongst dense woodlands largely populated by second-growth trees. The land stretches for some distance, and it rests against and atop one of the taller spaces available in the area.
I arrived Saturday morning shortly before ten and found the first order of business was to move the cattle from one pasture to another. My pleasure stood in knowing the target spot was the highest pasture on the farm. I happily took my place on the tractor as we drove up the hill.
After a brief yet bumpy ride, we disembarked from our sluggish steed and made our way to the series of gates separating most of the various pastures from the main part of the farm. It tickled me to see all of the cattle already waiting patiently nearby, both young and old looking rather full of promise brought on by anticipation of fresh grass spread like a banquet just beyond the fence.
We stepped through the gate and led the way up the hill. Much mooing ensued as the entire herd followed us. Many of the young pranced and kicked in excitement, a good deal of which undoubtedly stemmed from playful spirits. The elder bovines, on the other hand, made most of the noise yet followed in a more dignified manner.
Although we did not join the cows in the highest pasture, we stood at its entrance for some time as they grazed happily above us.
It was at that point I realized we had a complementary view of the surrounding area (not equal to the one enjoyed by the herd, yet one still wondrous enough to lure a repeated smile from my face).
Unfortunately, the day was rather hazy. In fact, several times as I drove I wondered if it was not so much haze as a heavy blanket of morning fog. Yet haze it was, a blemish draped across the landscape like a hastily tossed throw inadvertently covering breathless décor.
In spite of the weather’s disinterest in cooperating, I was able to grab a few photos looking across the pasture toward the spectacular forests that surround the farm.