I must say, having people to help with setup and take-down was a wonderful thing. Usually I do setup by myself, and sometimes its a rush to have pens in place before people arrive. And being the permit holder, I am the last to go, to make sure that the lawn is clean and everything has been claimed and taken home.
The Pig Patrol shirts were Tammy's idea, and I must say they've been a great help in the last two pignics. With a quick glance, I can see where the volunteers are, who's being helped and where we have coverage. In turn, people who come can quickly find someone to help them or ask questions. Brilliant! We should have done that years ago!
The weather was so much better than the Spring Pignic. We also had some cloud cover in the afternoon, which helped. We lost our good shade tree - nothing was left of it but the trunk. The pens were set up on the west side of the bowl, which would have gotten the late afternoon sun.
It was a decent turnout. About 45 people and 35 pigs. I actually found some time to sit and talk with people. It was nice. I vented a bit about the time and effort a pignic sucks up. Its not difficult work. I mean, we pick a date, a backup date, make sure the Bowl is free, submit paperwork for the permit. Pack grids, stakes, water bottles, pig houses and tunnels (and pigs!) and head to Wellesley. But I fret and I worry about people and the weather for a whole week in advance. I have to block off two Sundays in a row that I can't plan anything (pignic and rain date) both in the spring and the fall (in prime do-something go-somewhere times of year). Then I take the morning to prep, and spend the entire afternoon on my feet watching pigs and people and answering questions and trying to keep pigs and people safe. My pigs aren't the only ones pooped by the end of the day!
Not that I'm complaining. Rob keeps telling me to stop organizing these - that its not worth the trouble and the stress and potential liability. But I *see* how much people love this. I've answered so many questions, clipped so many pigs' nails that desperately need it. We've sent people to vets because experienced owners seem something that beginners didn't notice was wrong with their pigs. We've educated people on better care and nutrition for their pigs. How can that be bad?
I guess that the Pignic is just deceptively draining, mentally and emotionally. It takes a lot of energy now that this has grown to the size it has. It was much simpler when we had a no more than two dozen folks and 20-30 pigs. Having the volunteers helps, so much. I don't have to be three places at once. We could probably use two more volunteers, just so they'd each have a bit of time to themselves. I am just so grateful to have the help at all.
Oh - and my girls actually spent nearly the entire day in the common sow pen without a single fight! I don't know if that or the fact that Bertie and Willow spent a good portion of it crammed together in a small hidey-house together without beating on each other amazed me the most. Good pigs!
But enough of my rant. Enjoy some more pig pictures from the day:
|Pignic Fall 2010|