By Roger Fanning
Picture a butterfly balanced on a pith helmet
that sits on quicksand, the struggler gone
under (lungload of oat meal, no oxygen):
so lyrical nature and agony man coexist.
Let the butterfly be a certain enticing gesture
impossible to forget: bra strap fidget
on a first date, eye contact maintained
as an abacus clacks countless, long kiss expected.
Let the quicksand be the grave, patient
for every one of us, a succulent mouth
muttering the truth: death, death. What do we get
meanwhile? Lies and lays, moments only.
We went to enjoy a third day in a row of glorious October weather in the mountains of Frederick County, where it was the weekend for the annual Family Festival @ the Farm. We had intended to start as we usually do at Stunkel's Farm, but when we got there, Stunkel's was closed! So we went on to South Mountain Creamery, where there are dozens of cows wandering and feeding in the fields with chickens and turkeys, a barn of calves less than two months old (plus some donkeys, goats, and kittens), a milking barn that the cows pass through before returning to the pastures, and a festival barn with free samples of milk, yogurt and cheese, plus locally made apple cider, cookies, eggs, and crafts. Plus there were hay bales and slides for kids to play on as well as hayrides.
We stopped in Middletown, which dates to 1833 and sits in the valley between the Catoctin Mountains and South Mountain -- a region admired by British Lieutenant George Washington, and later marched through by the armies of the North and South alike on the way to Antietam -- where there are pretty, inexpensive local crafts and produce for sale. Then we went to Jumbo's Pumpkin Patch, which, in addition to hayrides out to the pumpkin fields and many other squashes and gourds by the main barn, had snacks and crafts, Halloween and Christmas decorations, and a corn maze, but our favorite features were the animals: sheep, goats, piglets, calves, ponies, and the farm's dogs. There are plenty of red and yellow leaves on the maples and tulip trees in the hills of Frederick County, so it was gorgeous everywhere we went.
They also had piggies who were as playful as puppies...
...newly shorn sheep begging for the corn that kids were allowed to feed the animals...
...and all the fun and amenities of a harvest festival!
South Mountain Creamery also had hay rides.
But for us, the highlights were the calves...
...the free-range poultry...
...and the cows enjoying the same lovely weather we were.
We got home in time for the second half of the Redskins game, which was definitely the half to watch as the Redskins' offense did not arrive until fairly late in the day, and they won! After dinner we watched Futurama's "Beast with a Billion Backs" because none of us had ever seen it -- hahahaha, poor Fry going from unhappy polyamory with a woman to happy polyamory with a tentacle monster, and Bender plotting the extermination of humanity! Now we're waiting to see if Tampa Bay can put the Red Sox away this time...