Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mirror Lake Organics World Headquarters: Yak Attack

We spent Saturday night with some old friends, Paul & Marj Weideman.  Paul and Marj are the owners of Mirror Lake Organics.  The raise livestock (lambs and yaks), and they keep horses, a pig, chickens, ducks and peacocks as well on their farm.  Paul and Marj moved their organic farm from Lapeer to Imlay City recently for more land and to expand their ability to make organic soaps and skin care products.  As readers of my blog know, I am a huge supporter of the products Paul and Marj make.  My skin is better than it has ever been thanks to their soaps and lotions. 

What is a farm without one of these?

Deirdre and I had not been to their new farm and production facility, so this was a good weekend for us to check Samson into Whiskers for an overnight, and for us to head to Imlay City for dinner.

We arrived at Marj & Paul's farm about 3:30PM, well stocked with wine, beef tenderloin, and snacks for the evening.  Dee and I soon thereafter were given a guided tour of the farm and its facilities.  We also met some of the animals that call Mirror Lakes Organics home.  Note the duck with the chickens.

Huron the Dog

Hamlet the Pig

Sheep and a Llama
Iorek the Great Pyrenees Dog

This is a yak.  Her name is Tesha.  She will come into play later.

Tesha the Yak

Another view of one of the yaks.  These are fairly large animals.

The wide open spaces and the fall colors were pretty amazing.

Following the tour of the farm, we retired to their beautiful farmhouse.  Marj and I cooked dinner, enjoying Herb and Garlic Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Green Beans with Shallots and Baked Butter Nut Squash with Panko and Cheese.  Yes, we also had a few bottles of Syrah we picked up earlier in the day from our good friend Amy at her shop, Art of the Table.

After dinner, we did what most people do in rural Michigan: we had a roaring bonfire.  No images of the fire are directly available, but suffice it to say it was amazing.  After a few glasses of wine sitting around the fire and catching up with Paul and Marj, we called it a night and settled in for a restful sleep.

We awoke on Sunday morning and enjoyed a lazy breakfast of coffee, sausage, bacon and scrambled eggs.  Well, Paul and Marj and Dee enjoyed the eggs, but I politely passed on them.

We got dressed and Marj took us out to see a wooded part of the farm that we did not see on Saturday.  We walked through the woods in into the pasture where the yaks, horses, llama, Hamlet the pig and the sheep were milling about.  The horses walked over to us and seemed to be saying, "Please pet us.  We need some affection."  Deirdre and I obliged, rubbing their necks and noses.  

After a few minutes with the horses, Deirdre and I told Marj that we needed to head back to the farmhouse to pack for our trip home.  We started to walk to the gate the leads from the pasture into the main area of the farm.  Three of the four yaks were nearby, but Marj assured us that they were docile and tended to avoid contact with us.

As I was walking to the gate, Tesha the Yak decided that instead of avoiding me, she did want to have contact with me.  She dropped her head and charged me, pointing her horns at the center of my torso.  I tried to avoid her charge, but I was unable to get away from Tesha.  She hit the right side of my abdomen with her left, though I was able to push her head away to deflect most of the energy of her charge.  Tesha quickly moved away from me and Marj started yelling at her to run off.  Tesha quietly moved away and we were able to walk to the gate and get out of the pasture.

At first, I did not quite know how if I had been injured.  It felt like I had been punched in the stomach, which is sort of what happened.  I pulled up my shirt and I saw that I had a four inch abrasion on the right lateral side of my abdomen.  My immediate concern was that the blow from Tesha was more significant than it originally felt, but after a few minutes I came to the conclusion that this was just a flesh wound, or more precisely a subdermal hematoma.

Subdermal Hematoma

Despite my interaction with Tesha, we had a great time spending the afternoon and evening with some old friends.  I also learned first hand that despite published reports that yaks tend to avoid contact with humans, they will definitely let you know when they do not want you near them.  Yaks are furry but they are not necessarily friendly.

In closing, I also have a new found respect for bull fighters.