By Paul Laurence Dunbar
Oh, summer has clothed the earth
In a cloak from the loom of the sun!
And a mantle, too, of the skies' soft blue,
And a belt where the rivers run.
And now for the kiss of the wind,
And the touch of the air's soft hands,
With the rest from strife and the heat of life,
With the freedom of lakes and lands.
I envy the farmer's boy
Who sings as he follows the plow;
While the shining green of the young blades lean
To the breezes that cool his brow.
He sings to the dewy morn,
No thought of another's ear;
But the song he sings is a chant for kings
And the whole wide world to hear.
He sings of the joys of life,
Of the pleasures of work and rest,
From an o'erfull heart, without aim or art;
'T is a song of the merriest.
O ye who toil in the town,
And ye who moil in the mart,
Hear the artless song, and your faith made strong
Shall renew your joy of heart.
Oh, poor were the worth of the world
If never a song were heard,—
If the sting of grief had no relief,
And never a heart were stirred.
So, long as the streams run down,
And as long as the robins trill,
Let us taunt old Care with a merry air,
And sing in the face of ill.
Adam got me up early so our Superpoke penguins could acquire their own magical forests, pirate hideouts and toy stores -- have I mentioned that I often want to be a Superpoke penguin? -- which was just as well because we all had dermatologist appointments after lunch. We have enough skin cancer in the family that I'm supposed to get checked every year, and the pediatrician said that the kids should probably have a check-up just so there would be a record of any odd-looking moles by someone who routinely tracks them. I had thought the birthmark on one son's leg would be the most suspicious, but the doctor wasn't at all concerned about that; he did take a photo of the birthmark on other son's chest, which isn't a uniform color, and said it should probably be checked yearly. So I guess I will have company for this trip from now on.
It was overcast a bit in the morning, but bright and sunny when we got home, so I sent the kids off to the pool and caught up on some stuff. We had talked about watching A Mighty Wind with the kids now that they've seen This Is Spinal Tap (which is Jon Stewart's fault -- he had Spinal Tap on the other day, the kids howled, we had to show them "Stonehenge" and the "Smell the Glove" discussion), but they asked for "Diefenbaker" which is what they call Due South, so we watched "The Wild Bunch" and "The Blue Line" -- had some scary moments during the former because younger son does not like animals in jeopardy, but it all ended well. And Paul discovered that it was Chili Dog Day from the Washington Nationals, so we had those for dinner, and he found an old concert by Peter, Paul & Mary that he put on after the kids went to bed, so it was a good evening.
They were very friendly, though a bit nervous about all the visitors -- they made those adorable little alpaca braying noises.
Whereas this sheep was not nearly so discreet about expressing its displeasure at being washed and shorn -- everyone could hear it baaaaaing all over the farm!
In addition to the alpacas, the Blue Ribbon Alpaca farm has sheep...
...and horses, though we didn't get to pet them.
Here is another look at Star Gazing Farm's chickens...
...and the neighbor's cat, who visited the farm and meowed at all the cars driving into the lot.