In which I meet neighbors, remove barbed wire, and get a little pink

One of the drawbacks to life in the Swamplands is that natives (like me) don't have skills for coping with sunshine.

When the gloomy clouds part for a few hours, we get all giddy and silly. We race outside without hats or sunscreen, and we stand out in the stuff as long as possible, squinting at the unfamiliar light in the sky, chattering happily with complete strangers who also lack sunshine coping skills.

That's how I met my new neighbors today. These are nice people who rarely venture outside before mid-June, as proven by the shark-belly pallor of their hands.

When the sun came out unexpectedly today, and warmed the air to an unheard-of 68 degrees (in April!) we all emerged from our insulated chrysalis enclosures and immediately banded together to talk about -- what else?-- the weather. From there, we progressed to introducing ourselves and talking about animals and fencelines and tractors and all sorts of other farmer-ish topics.

From our southern neighbors I gained permission to remove the wicked barbed wire running along our property line. Triumph!

I promptly called Jim to ask what kind of box in the shop probably contained an Implement of Destruction capable of destroying barbed wire, and (miracle) he directed me to exactly the right box.

Out I went, bolt cutters on my hip, ready to take down the wicked wire. Envision John Wayne but with wire cutters. Swagger, swagger. There's not enough room on this farm for both of us, barbed wire.

Wicked barbed wire. Imagine this, tangled around the fragile front leg of a horse....WICKED! WICKED! WICKED!

...and now: no more barbed wire. I got fewer pokes from the barbed wire today than I got from blackberry brambles yesterday...but the wire is still more evil.

Unfortunately, my ability to acquire a suntan has not improved. Folks from the Swampland don't tan--we rust. I am the poster girl for this. Pinkness is me.

But: happy!


  1. isn't it amazing, after days of cutting blackberry, you go to cut some barbed wire, and it's like, MUCH easier. that is if you have the right tool - you didn't show your tool - can you please? i went thru many before fixing on one that really works for tough newish barbed wire. i was so surprised when i cut my first starnd and it coiled ITSELF! it wants to lie in a neat roll again! well, good! blackberries are way outta control, hurting you all the way to the pile. and the best thing - when barbed wire is gone, it does not come back.

    i had a similar conversation with my barbed wire. "it's either you or me, barbed wire."

    how fun it is to read your experiences that parallel our own! if it weren't a challenge, getting rid of blackberries and barbed wire, it would be easy to live in the country, and there would be no satisfaction or "before/after" pics. don't forget to always take "before" pics!!!

    and for the weather, it's been a balmy 16 so baasha's blanket has been coming off during the day. my greenhouse is 30 inside! that's like a sticky new york summer. ew.

  2. My barbed wire wasn't as cooperative as yours, but it's much more passive than blackberry vines which thrash around even after they've been cut, trying to take an extra gallon of blood with them when they return to the firey pits of Hell...or the burn pile, whichever.

    I can hardly wait to do before/after pix of blackberry brambles. First I gotta locate some Agent Orange, or a flamethrower, or maybe a small nuclear device. Chopping them up just makes them mad, and then they want vengeance.

  3. Boy, nothing like an unexpected warm day to raise one's spirits! :) I'm glad you were able to remove the barbed wire. It makes me nervous around horses. A lot of ranches use it and I'm sure they never have problems. I just know I'd prefer not to have my horse around it!

  4. I've been closely associated with two horses who tangled (literally) with barbed wire. Beware had a scar across her chest. It looked and felt exactly like there was a piece of barbed wire just under the skin. >shudder< THAT must've been an ugly wound.

    Pride tangled with wire as a 6-year-old, and got it wrapped around his left hind leg...and was 3-legged lame for life. His owner loved him, and supported him for 25+ years. Think of the stuff they missed because she could only afford one horse, and he was dead lame for most of his life.

    I hate barbed wire.

  5. Too funny, it reads just like you speak so I could visulize you saying all this stuff.

    I am more than a little envious of your farm, only thing I have over you is that the library is closer to me ;-)! I'll keep reading and living vicariously through you and your farm.

    Oh and I gave the chicks worms like you told me to and I about peed my pants watching them, they went in to a big panic and shot around their tub cheeping and flapping, hilarious! So now all the kids want to do it go dig up poor defenceless (sp?) worms, I have to admit I do feel sorry for them, sucker !


  6. Aren't chicks hilarious?! Wormball is the best!


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