Yesterday a trip was taken to Capay Valley by Tim in the hopes of acquiring American Blue Rabbits. Our final destination was Lisa and Tim’s Wind Dancer Ranch in Capay Valley. You can check out the work that they’ve been doing over the past five years at http://www.winddancerranch.us/.
Besides being the only selling breeders of American Blue Rabbits in California, they raise rare breeds of chickens (Heritage Cornish, Old English Game Bantams, Delaware, Buff Orpington, Americanas, and California Leghorns to name a few) turkeys, sheep(Navajo Churro), and hogs (Tamworth and Berkshire) . In addition to that they have been raising Spanish Arabian and Frisian horses for a good long while. All of their poultry is free range, and so, exploring their farm was a wonderful experience. The farm was acquired in a state of disorder, but the two of the saw promise in it; as a result, they put in a hell of a lot of work scrapping leftover washing machines, refrigerators, and farm equipment and there is a lot of work underway at the moment. Part of the work that is being done over there is the construction of a piggery. This follows very much in line with Tim and Lisa’s goal of independence and of livestock accountability. In addition to striving for more humane and stress free environments for their livestock, they strive to promote genetic diversity in livestock. Their farm is a healthy hodge podge of organized chaos on a property that used to be used to raise walnuts.
Oh what’s that, you want to know why we trekked all the way over to Capay Valley? Oh yes, the rabbits!
Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) as the German Blue Vienna in 1918. It was renamed to American Blue Rabbit shortly after because of World War I. American rabbits have an ideal mandolin body and a deep blue colour.
Interestingly, the man who introduced this breed never mentioned what he bred to acquire these beautiful specimens… Hurray for good science! Despite that lack of accountability on his part, it’s pretty fair to assume that they may have well been bred from blue Vienna, Beveren, Imperial and Flemish Giants.
Lisa was quite passionate about her breeding of these rabbits and had charts up the wazoo with their pedigrees. To maintain order and to keep a good tab on who was who amongst these Leporidae Lisa and Tim tattoo numbers onto their ears.
In addition to all this khanowledge and the glorious Central Valley Scenery that I experienced, a great revelation came to me. There exist signifiicantly different driving attitudes all throughout the United States. In Cleveland, a 20 minute drive would have me spend a great deal of time at my final destination to offset the 40 minutes that I spent on the road. Whether it be 2 hours at the county library or five hours at my friend’s house, getting in a car requires that the pay off be able to counter act the monotony of the interstate.
Come on 6 hours on the interstate for two rabbits?
It wasn’t that bad, though. Fortunately for me, I had Tim to chat with and learned a great deal about the California geography that we passed. It was like jumping inside a map and experiencing the history of the places that we passed. The California Mission, El Camino Real, Charles Manson, the King Ranch, the Los Angeles River, it was all covered. When hanging with a history buff like Tim, one should never be shy with questions for the answers that you will satisfy and will spark even more questions. Granted, once I start asking questions about chemistry or astronomy, the answers I get tend to be a little off the wall and a little too zany to be true, but I know better than to ask questions in those domains. The evening provided me a taste of America in motion. Dozing off to a small aperture and a long exposure of the mind.