Muck

I had started the week determined to get a large number of backblips done. The project is getting to be increasingly important to me and I want to set down as may "markers" as I can where I am sure of dates. There are piles of photos that aren't dated and so by posting the markers, I can better work around the gaps.

It is a long process of digitalising and researching but hugely rewarding when one can pinpoint an event with certainty. It does, however, mean I am jumping around from year to year and decade to year, backwards and forwards. Very confusing for all.

The task got sidetracked by the receipt of my German language test certificate on Monday and that led me to all sorts of unplanned tasks and even to me getting way behind on daily bliping and commenting.

Not an unknown phenomenon for me at this time of the year but usually due to some form of winter blues and waiting for spring tiredness. The thought that spring here doesn't come until May is pretty depressing especially when you get the typical weather forecast showing it will be around +20°C in a few days and then snow a few days later.

My mother always "complained" about the lack of seasons in Trinidad where I was born. It was always hot, the only difference was it was either the humid or dry season. I think I could get used to that again.

Dog walk this morning in the forest near the neighbouring village of Frechenrieden with a fresh wind laden with the strong perfume of "country air". The dry spell and warm temperatures have got all the slurry wagons in the county out to turn the lightly browned winter grass into a dark black ugly scene of muck.

On the way home went the long way and through the village where I happened to see today's scene. A typical one in these rural areas. There are hardly any farms outside the villages and thus the cow stables very often are directly adjoining the pavements. Children here know where milk comes from, they see it every day walking to school. And they know what muck is and will probably tell you that a good muck heap doesn't smell even when it's just a few metres from their kitchen windows.

The farmer was ever so understanding of my explanation of why I wanted to photograph the scene and even offered to set up a pose position if I told him where. I am sure it was his father who was circling in the background looking a little sceptical and I wondered how long it will be before all such village farms disappear, a combination of the need to provide better conditions for the animals, the pressure to get bigger to compensate for the poor milk prices, the attraction of property prices to sell the yard for modern housing and the attraction of having a comfortable 9 to 5 job in a climatised office with guaranteed income and holidays.

Less from the animal rights side but certainly from the social and cultural side, I would like this scene to remain. These small farms were once capable of keeping a three-generation family to a good standard of living with no reliance on social security or old people's homes. Father was walking around clearing up the odd  thing while I was there and if it hadn't been mid-morning, I suspect a couple of small children would have been playing around too and benefiting from all that muck and the important bacteria that are said to be vital for young children to be exposed to so as to avoid the modern ailments of things like asthma caused by our hygienically disinfected modern lifestyle. 

The map shows where the farm yard is. There are others closer to the village centre but the combination of tractor, muckheap and small yard was too good to miss.

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