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Beauty has a function too

A new female has joined Mr & Mrs Duck on the pond; this may mean a second tag team of little black buzz balls on the pond, braving a variety of predators: but it may also mean competition between the parents.
A good day to work outside, part of the invisible sound mosaic elicited by this fragile new warmth; birdsong not sounded in full throated celebration of the new growing and breeding season, more a clearing of the collective throat, a tentative rehearsal for what will come.
The night frost has held the snow to the upper levels of the surrounding hills, now blanched in sunlight – I know that the beauty of this day has a functional clockwork, releasing action slowly and methodically, without constraint or challenge. It is simpler to wait for Moira to lead her baby into the handling crate for milking & feeding respectively: I just need to stand a while longer- in the sun.
The bullocks heading for market next week need retagging; they too find their way down the race with as little intervention as I can manage before getting on with the real purpose of their day: shredding the new haybale parked to reward them for co-operating.
Only problem: Moira’s lad is scouring. His body is rejecting the milk that I have pulled from his mother specially for the purpose. The goodness of the milk is being voided in a grey stream that reeks of goodness corrupted.
I need to continue the routine- but now- after a hundred mile round trip to inverness- I have the means to manage this new frailty.
In the end though, this will always be his task to manage: this living business.

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