Tonight's the first night on pasture for our animals. Before this, our chicks have been safely enclosed by four walls and our sheep penned behind the barn. Now the chicks have become pullets and are in a chicken house in our smallest pasture. The sheep and one of our guardian dogs, Franklin, are enclosed in an oval of electric net fencing. In a few days time, they'll move to another patch of grass, then another and another all throughout the spring and summer. The rotation has begun, and I know that I have so, so much to learn over the coming months.
I turned through Wendell Berry's collection of poems, A Timbered Choir, and without going very far found some words to capture the feeling right now:
The pasture, bleached and cold two weeks ago, Begins to grow in the spring light and rain; The new grass trembles under the wind's flow. The flock, barn-weary, comes to it again, New to the lambs, a place their mothers know, Welcoming, bright, and savory in its green, So fully does the time recover it. Nibbles of pleasure go all over it.
— Wendell Berry, A Timbered Choir, 1982, III