The Sparse of a Farm

Daily Post Photo Challenge: This week, get inspired by the many connotations of the word “spare.”

Earlier in May, when trees were still in “spring green” mode, I went for a walk on the Friendship Trail during lunch. This day, I drove to the gas station that’s a mile away, parked, and walked a different section of the trail in order to be surrounded  by different scenery. Along the way, I found a patch of sparse, courtesy of a local cattle farmer.


Not only was the grass sparse, or non-existent, but also leaves on these trees. One tree appeared to have some green left, while the other two appeared to be sparse of life. From the appearance of the bark, it appears the trees are diseased in some way.


The electric fence meant that humans would be sparse and keeping their distance, much like the sparseness of bipeds on the walking trail that followed in the same direction.


The cattle were not sparse, but the sight of four standing legs was understandably so. They were either weak from lack of grass or the sparseness of will to get up.

15 responses to The Sparse of a Farm

  1. cwaugh212 says:

    It appears that the cattle are being mistreated. Perhaps they have even eaten the bark off of the trees and that is what killed them. What else is there to eat inside the barbed wire?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The cattle looked healthy, so it’s possible they are being fed a specific mixture of grains in the barn. I’m not sure, though, as I don’t know much about cattle or their feed.

      • cwaugh212 says:

        The height of the discoloration on the trees is what made me suspicious. Trees will die if you destroy bark layer all the way around the tree.

  2. joey says:

    This post is sad. I realize you don’t go this way all the time, but I wonder if the cows are being properly led to pasture. Are they eating the bark to supplement poor diet? Some animals will do it no matter the diet, but if they’re only being fed grains…I don’t see a pasture in sight. Sad. Sad photos.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I really don’t know the situation, Joey. There is land around this farm, I may have to go back and check out the extent of pasture…if there is one.

      • joey says:

        Some people really do feed them grains all year so there may not be a pasture. I’d really like to know if you find anything 🙂

  3. Dan Antion says:

    The dairy farm Ed go to has a “pasture” that looks like this. They let the cows in it when they are controlling their feed mix. No trees though.

  4. I don’t think you meant to engage all the animal lovers. 🙂 The pasture looks like the stock yards in KS where they ‘hold’ cattle for shipping. They certainly look well fed so I’m guessing they are being fed grain instead of grass. Oh well, can’t convince everyone that grass fed is better. Like your play on words. 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Judy. I assumed these were beef cattle. Most likely, they would not end up on my dinner table due to my diet turning to organic and grass-fed meat. I suppose, though, some would say there’s no difference.

  5. M-R says:

    The bastard has ring-barked ’em, M-J: he’s too lazy or mean to chop ’em down.

  6. LB says:

    Mary, you not only met the challenge, you also sparked a good deal of conversation. The trees really grabbed my attention.
    Be sure to let us know if you find out any info!

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