NEAR EL BOLSON, Argentina
For work most days, the Austrian couple and the Minnesota couple split up along gender lines.
Harald and I worked outside, enlarging the sheep stable for the new lambs, collecting and cutting firewood, digging drainage ditches. Meanwhile, Suzie and Pessa mainly worked in the garden and in the house, making bread, cleaning wool.
But one day, Pessa joined Harald and I for the least enjoyable task on this Patagonia farm: clearing Moskayta.
This non-native plant was brought here from Europe to make jam from its berries. (Pretty tasty.)
However, animals love the berries and spread the plant when they shit out its seeds. That germination and a suitable climate led the large and thorny Moskayta to rein the Patagonia countryside, including this farm.
Harald attacked the pesky plant with a chainsaw and a weed wacker. Pessa and I gathered it with pitchforks and threw it on a roasting burn pile.
Most days, Harald and I would clear Moskayta for a few hours, but on our second to last day here, the three of us did it all day. For more than eight hours.
Getting pricked by thorns and lifting heavy piles is not fun work. And, like I said, the plant is everywhere, so there is no end in sight.
After a few hours, Pessa was not enjoying herself. In the day’s twilight, Harald wanted to get one more task done at a nearby wood pile. I went to help. Pessa, exhausted, waited at the spot we had worked all day. For more than eight hours.
When I returned, Pessa was in a great mood. She had sat down to absorb the nearly full moon accent over a mountain and across a pink sky.
Despite the grueling work, Pessa was at peace. The mountains here could have that effect. Here are My 5 favorite shots: