Gibby has been disappearing recently - gone for long enough that I've been worried, then he suddenly reappears bounding through the weeds on the west side of the barnyard. I figured the only place to go over there was into the orchard and I couldn't figure out why that would attract Gibby, but I found out today.
Two timber cruisers came out to measure the trees in the woods so they could tell me how many and which ones they wanted to buy. I drove out and joined them long enough so I could take some mushroom and fungus photos for my dye project. They were both very nice, explaining to me why certain trees would provide good quality lumber and others poor quality. The damp side of the forest, where Gibby likes to wallow, grows trees that are useless for lumber - the dampness turns the color darker and maybe splotchy and people don't buy it (too bad lumber doesn't have the same type of appeal as fabric where a variety of shades and the mottled look are good things). It was also interesting to learn that trees that are wider at the bottom are trying to grow around ruined or sick parts of the trunk. After I drove the men back to the barnyard in the back of my truck, we made our deal. I signed the contract, and then we each had an apple. Some people toast with champagne - we woodsy folks eat apples. Gibby went nuts. I thought he thought we had red balls that we might throw for him - but I was wrong.
The two men went back out to the woods to paint the trees. On the way, they tossed out their apple cores - and Gibby charged for them. Seeing that, I tossed my apple core into the air above Gibby's head and he leapt for it and chomped it up - no wonder he wants to be in the orchard!
When the timber crew comes to cut the trees, they're going to reopen the road on the west side of the farm. Right now, it's so deep in weeds that I drove right over a huge old corner fence post because I couldn't see it (I had the two timber cruisers in the back of the truck and neither one even whispered anything like "Woman driver" - just like neither even changed the expression on his face when I told them I was collecting mushrooms because I'm a hooker who likes to dye). Anyway, when that track is open and packed down by the big trucks, it will make a nice race course for Gibby.