@ the Farm

Yesterday I visited a farm owned by a good friend. He runs a dairy farm in Southwest Ontario not far from Woodstock. I have only visited his farm about three times but everytime I go there I really enjoy the “getting away from the big city” kind of rush the countryside gives me. It was also a great time for the kids to enjoy some fresh air and not so fresh cowpie perfume…but such is life. It must be experienced in its various forms namely, urban and rural…

My farmer friend was working hard milking the cows early in the morning and later on mixing the feed. I was amazed that all the corn is used to feed the cows. Crushed into a mass pulp the entire corn plant, cob, stalk and leaves are mashed into a dark yellow mash and stored in an aboveground bunker. The bunker he explained was more cost effective than repairing one of his two grain silo’s. So in fact his massive corn field was for the cattle feed rather than human consumption.

In the barn I discovered the favourite hang out of the dozen cats that live on the farm. I was amazed how slippery the straw is when you try to climb it. Unfortunately I was not able to get on top of the stack…I also had a bit of vertigo when I tried to climb up the grain silo (at least I climbed it the first time I visited so I did not feel so defeated).

We enjoyed some wonderful beef steak which practically melted in your mouth (it was so tender) and earlier we had some Maple syrup they bought form the local markets. The milk we put in our coffee was of course fresh from the cow. The milk collector also showed up with his tanker truck and sucked all the milk from the storage tank in the milking barn. He comes several times a week to collect the milk for the local market.

Since the corn wasn’t ripe we drove into town to buy some from a local stand. Needless to say it was delicious along with the apple pie and ice-cream back at the farm.

It was a glorious day with fresh country air, fresh food and even a rainbow to guide us home.

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Beggar

This is a photo I call “Beggar”. It was taken in the Philippines in January 2006, on our way south to Manila. We were eating lunch at the local Jollybee (kind of like McDonalds) in Solano City and I saw this sad looking fellow begging for coins at the rear entrance of the restaurant. I gave him some money as I felt I couldn’t take a  picture of him without giving him something for his troubles. He looks like he’s crippled as well. I entered this into a local photo contest and I converted it to black and white from he original colour file as I felt it had more power if I eliminated the distracting colours. It didn’t win the contest but I think it has a powerful social commentary. The desparate man is reaching for survival as the other people casually ignore him.