Out of the WineGlass is a series of short stories and blog posts written by Edith Wearmouth.  Edith is the 4th generation of the WineGlass ranch family.



Unexpected Company in the Hayfield

Waves of memories always wash over me when the smell of new mown hay reaches my senses. Thoughts of sandwiches in cardboard boxes covered with clean white tea towels. Remembering sitting on the sharp points of the grass stems as we drink lemonade out of quart sealers and homemade pies brought straight to the hay field. Memories of men with greasy hands and dirty dusty faces, trying to find a half hour of shade and a rest for their weary backs as they leaned against the implement tires. Men catching a nap, laid out on the stubble, stained cowboy hats pulled low over their eyes.

Thus it was such thoughts that wandered into my mind yesterday. Once again I found myself out in the hay field. This time on the open air tractor pulling behind the side delivery rake. Round and round I go. Nothing much to do but pay attention to the job at hand and think and notice. Notice the environment around me. I was surprised with the abundant comings and goings within my little temporary circle of the hay field.

A coyote showed up. About 4 rows away. He (I presume he because it was hunting!), looked up briefly at the noisy green machine going past. Then quickly looked down again. Neck arched, tail up, legs collected beneath the tawny body. Hunting stance for sure. Hunting mice, or moles, in the newly turned fodder. I carried on around my circle. Next round there he was again. And so it was that for a while he kept me company. I would look forward to reaching that point in the field so I could watch him, and talk to him for a few brief moments as I sped by at an alarming rate of 7.5 m.p.H. I thanked him for his company. Then one round he was gone. The heat of the day was coming on and I presumed he went to wait it out in a bit of shade.

3 ravens joined me. They swooped and dove. They landed on the ground and took off almost immediately. It made me wonder what was going on. The next lap around the field I notice that one had something in its claws. Probably a morsel of raven food. The other two were trying to take it. So birdie carrying the lunch would fly around with other two trying to rid him of the lunch. Birdie with lunch would land briefly. Other two would attach. And so it went until I was on the other side of the field and could no longer see them. Next lap around the field they were gone.

The dragon flies showed up. Many of them. Flying up from the ground as I drove past.

A butterfly landed on my lap. Light yellow. I thanked her for coming and after the briefest of stops she took off again.

I don’t know how long I had been going round and round out in that bumpy dusty hot field until I realized there was a human out there as well. I noticed newly formed round bales starting to pop up, consuming the rows of hay I had first racked. It was 45 minutes before I actually saw that human, my son, out baling.

I thanked them all for their company that day and for making the racking job a little less tedious.


April 8, 2014
Ah! Spring is here. The herald of the season has arrived and as I watch the red breasted robin hopping about on the muddied lawn I am glad. It has been a long winter. Longest in 30 years so “they” say. I turn from the window filled with delight and am able to savor that indication of warmer weather and longer days for about 43 seconds. I stop dead in my tracks. Fear starts to sneak in. My heart is racing. So is my mind. Visions of sleepless nights flood my mind and take over my euphoria. THE DREADED ROBIN IS BACK!!
Let me begin at the beginning dear reader.
Four years ago we moved into our new house. Life is good. Spring came. C.B.C radio asked listeners to call in with their first signs of spring. Some said it was the smell of the dog. For others it was feeding their pet snake for the first time after being dormant for the winter. For me it is the first calf, the first pussy willow, or the first robin. (Although I do recall one Easter church service, during children’s time, our minister asked the children what where the signs of spring for them? The usual replies came in. My son shot his hand up. I sat up proudly expecting an answer of new life from the baby calves or Easter Sunday with family. Instead he disdainfully replied “It is when MOM makes us pick up garbage from the ditches!”)

Anyway I digress.

One morning – early morning – as in sun not even quite up yet morning, I hear a knocking and a thud. Not the door. Not Ken floundering about in his sleep. I turn over. I hear it again. I put my head under the covers trying to ignore whatever it is. It continues. Now I am not a morning person so by now I am getting irritated. Paying a bit more attention, I realize it’s coming from the kitchen. I step out of the warm bed into the cold house. (Self-directed cold as I believe that a sleeping temperature of 13C with the window open is ideal. ) Walking down the hall I see a robin sitting on the railing of the deck . While I am watching, this little bundle of feathers flails himself at the big picture window. He does this over and over. I go to the window and shoe him away. Back to bed snuggling into the warmth. Dozing, relaxing, drifting, dreaming. AHHHHHHH………


Thud. Thud.

I bolt out of bed. Robin is at it again. This time feathers are starting to stick to the window. I once again go up to the window and chase him away. All is quiet, except now it is time to get up.
The next morning, once again before the sun if fully up, I hear the sound. Thud. THUD. Repeat of the day before. In and out of bed. (And the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results!).

Morning three. I have already decided to take more drastic measures. When I hear the familiar thud I leap out of bed. Slide into my muck boots; grab the broom and something that will flap. I race outside. I proceed to throw the broom, flap the flappy thing, holler and jump up and down. The robin leaves with what I hope is a near heart attack and a fear of the house. Confidentially I turn to go back inside only to realize that my ex is driving by. Suddenly I am back into reality as I stand there in my short flannel nightie, unshorn legs, muck boots, one side of my hair plastered to my head, whilst the other side (complete with day old mousse, hair gel, and hair spray) is sticking up like an old T.V. antennae. The flapping thing, which I now realize is my bra that I grabbed off the hook in the bedroom, hangs from my hand! Cute.
Well the robin returned again last year with a repeated performance. I realize he is defending his territory against what he perceives is another robin in the reflection of the window.

So I tried pulling the blinds. Didn’t work. I try waking up at 4:30 a.m. to turn on a light so there is no reflection in the window. Trouble is I’m so worried that I won’t wake up at 4:30 that I didn’t sleep. Tried setting the alarm for 4:30. Trouble is I’m so worried that I will sleep through the alarm that I didn’t sleep. I turn on the light before I go to bed. Trouble is I’m so worried about wasting power that I didn’t sleep. By this time the robin has stopped for the year.

Now one of my favorite songs is “All God’s Creatures Have a Place in the Choir”. And I believe that. But as I am stopped in my tracks today after seeing the first robin of the year, dread fills me.