Friday, September 30, 2016

The Pampered Paradise called Poplar Springs

Sunday was another lovely sunny day, a perfect day to be cuddling pigs actually. I picked up Steve and together we went to Poplar Spring's Open Day. I'd been to this event 2 years ago and couldn't wait to see the wonderfully spoiled and incredibly happy animals again. And especially the pigs.
The ducks and gooses were mostly all having a midday siesta, floating on the water or standing one-legged on the muddy banks with beaks tucked under wings. We made a beeline for the pig field and discovered they too were nearly all laid flat out on their sides in deep hay inside the barns or in the grass along the fences or wallowing in the cool muddy creek.
I sat next to Harriet and softly stroked her cheeks and chin while she snored softly in ignorant bliss.
Everywhere we walked the pigs were horizontal, lapping up the warm rays of the sunshine or the cool sanctuary inside, all of them grunting, snuffling or snoring contentedly. None of these porkers have demeaning names, you won't find a Pork Chop or Bacon here, they're called Irwin, Truman or Winston, respectable names befitting these noble beasts.
Casey the chicken who loves being cuddled.
William the black and white cockerel who is very fond of the ladies apparently, and posed very nicely for his photo.
We noticed that many of the gooses had clipped beaks and were disgusted to find out that this is done to them at the factory farms to stop them attacking each other, a practice performed even on organic farms.
These beautiful guinea fowl were very hard to photograph as they were constantly on the move, scuttling back and forth very quickly, but not minding the visitors. Apparently, they are very good 'guard dogs', having such a keen sense of hearing that they hear anything long before anyone else does and then start squawking the alarm.
We lined up to go into the goat field. The staff were only allowing so many people in at one time as some of the goats were getting distressed with the crowds, so they had a quiet spot that they could find refuge in to escape human hands. I did wonder about the other animals too regarding this. There was a much bigger crowd here today than I'd seen last year and I wouldn't be surprised if next year the farm has an alternative method of viewing the animals rather than letting everyone roam around freely. Even some of the pigs were a little agitated but once again the staff ensured they had a place for peace and quiet and the public seemed to respect the residents, not getting to close if they sensed one of the animals didn't want it. But most of the pigs were oblivious to the crowds and continued to nap throughout the afternoon. The Open Day was only from 1-5 so hopefully it wasn't too much for the animals to endure.
We walked over to a small separate field where there were 2 piglets, Reo and Charlotte trotting about. Reo has recovered well from his pneumonia and looked as though he had plenty of energy. I asked where Wee Wee was and was amazed to be told that he was out in the field with the others. I finally found Wee Wee against a fence and couldn't believe how much he had grown. The last pictures I had seen of him were when he was a tiny piglet, having been found during Snowzilla early this year. His story is here. He knew his name though, and looked up when I softly called him, slowly crouching down to take his photo.
Steve and I placed a few bids on items but when returning 10 minutes before the silent auction ended we discovered that we'd been outbid and couldn't be bothered to rebid. Except for Steve and a little end table he liked. He pushed the price up quite a bit before giving up and letting the lady behind him write the last bid, she wasn't going to concede. But it was more money for the animals! I spotted an unusual aluminum skillet that I took a liking to, with only one bid of $10 on it. I upped it to $15 and won it, then donated another $5 when I paid. I later found it was made by a Don Drumm in Ohio and worth a lot more.
There had been a lot of people attending this year's event and the sanctuary later said it had been their biggest open day ever, with over $100K raised for the animals. I bet all the residents got a wonderful feast the next day to celebrate their well deserved success.

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