The upper field really isn't more than half civilized. Each piece of plowed and cultivated land elbows meadow that grows up past my waist. The potato patch backs almost directly into the woods. In this field, we most strongly feel how tenuous and perhaps illusory is our grasp on control. As we dig potatoes, a constant stream of wildlife issues from the hills: newts and efts, crickets and beetles, toads and snakes, snakes eating toads, toads eating crickets, once even a nest of tiny mice tucked in amist the German butterballs, and their parents bounding away into the grass. The weeds are weediest here, the view breathtaking. We do our best to stay focused on the task at hand: dig potatoes. But I find myself communing with the newts, staring out into the woods, whistling back at the birds. (Also slapping mosquitoes and cursing deerflies.) On the way back down the hill, there are blackberries to gather and chickens to feed, and frogs splishing into the pond when we finally get there, dirty and tired. And happy. Still happy.