Slower days of winter....

 This past week brought to the farm more ice, although also some warmer weather, lots of coyotes, Sammy and Izzie moos Birthdays (they both turned two) and for me, food poisoning. 

Thankfully I have been able to rejoin the land of the living (for a while I wasn't sure if that would ever happen) and today the sun was out and it marked the first day we've been off the farm in nearly two weeks. We went to the village and loaded up on animal feed and stopped at the grocery store to get some fresh fruit and veggies. It was nice to get out, and I enjoyed the sun. I'm still pretty whopped tonight, but feeling 100 times better that I was. Another good nights sleep should put me back to normal. Well, my version of normal.

It's been a time to slow down here, for all of us. The ice makes outdoor projects difficult and the weather for the most part, although warmer than usual for this time of year, has been many consistently grey days. It has given me a chance to enjoy working on some crafts, but sometimes the darkness of winter catches you off guard and you forget that despite it's good points, and the fact we've had a very easy winter, sometimes the repetitive overcast days do catch up with you, especially when you can't get around outside. Aside from the last winter 3 or four years ago when we got absolutely buried in snow, I can't think of another winter that has slowed me down from hiking and playing/working outside as much as this one has.
A woman in the grocery store today told me she has been using her golf shoes to get around on the ice. A few of you recommended some spikes you can get, which makes a lot of sense and would be very useful. In this area in the past 10 years I cannot think of a single winter when we have had to deal with this much ice for more than a couple of days at a time... This is going on two weeks at least. So this is a new experience for me, having to deal with walking on so much ice for so long.

Tomorrow, we are hoping to go logging, and then we are hoping to use up the remainder of the week before our little trip next week, to resume work on the sugar shack which has been delayed because of the ice rink our entire farm has become.

Izzie has made best friends with Flavious and they spend a lot of their time together now, when he's not playing with Max or sleeping. She used to be great friends with our blind sheep, Lambie, but she's decided she hates his guts and tries to hurt him at every chance she gets. I have no idea why, and can't figure for the life of me why she is acting like that. She tries to crush him in a rage every time she gets near him. He is probably the weakest animal on the farm, seeing that's he's completely blind, and he's also the gentlest. This problem started in the fall and I had to separate them because of it, and after 3 months I thought I'd try again... I had been thinking because it was in the fall that it was just crazy hormones. But it's worse now. She couldn't care less about the 13 goats or the other two sheep, she just goes mad trying to crush Lambie. 

I can't say I understand cow behavior well... goats, sheep, rabbits, I understand. But not cows. I've also never seen such odd behavior. I've been racking my brain on what could be causing this - I've went through the obvious things like dominance issues, but why? Have any of you with cattle experienced something like this?

 Sammy has decided one day is not long enough to celebrate a Birthday and has decided for now, it should be at least a week of special treats, minimum. Here he is on the morning of his Birthday, excited for the treats to come. He is looking at me in shock wondering where his carrot cake is.

Little Brie does this every morning while she is waiting for me to let her out. We boarded up the gate when they were born because they can get out of it, and because they are still in one of my main kidding pens, we've left the boards... so they can't see out unless they stand up on them, so they do it every morning while waiting for their turn to go outside and get their morning treats. She has the sweetest face.

I did make one small trip down to our creek to have a look around, aside from a Downy woodpecker there was no one around and no tracks. It's very difficult for the deer to move with the thin layer of ice on top of the snow, it's not enough to hold them on top of it so they break through, like we do, but the coyotes and wolves can run right over top of it, making it easier for them to get around. There are people out on the lakes ice fishing, but with the up and down temperatures we have been having, I'm not sure that any of the pond/lake ice is really that good this year.

At home, the wild turkeys have been spending all day here and they roost just outside the house in the trees at night. It's really getting kind of crazy, they follow me places, even come up to the little dogs when they are outside - not close enough to touch but within a couple of feet. 

The other night, I called them. They were out on the pond walking around on the ice. As usual, they came running fast!

Here they come...

 They are such a riot... they are just as goofy as my Bronze turkeys in the barnyard and nearly as tame which is pretty surprising.

Most of the yard is solid ice, but it hasn't slowed any of the deer down from walking around here. I can hardly stand up in the yard it's so slippery.

Deer Norman checking out the yard
 Deer Norman

 Torn Ear

Do you see what's wrong with this picture? Spike is standing inside my garden fence. We stood in the living room and puzzled over this -  did he jump in? Is the fence down? We've never had a deer jump over this fence - or bother with our garden when it's growing, however in the summer we don't have deer come around the house very often. So we waited and watched. Finally I went outside and when he saw me walk out on the porch...

he jumped out! I hope he doesn't remember how he did that and do it in the summer or fall! It was kind of funny, seeing that it's the first time ever we've caught one over the fence in the garden and if you ask me, he acted a little guilty after he jumped out of there too... 

For now, my Doctor is calling me to come and rest with him. I personally think his qualifications are a little shoddy, and that he has ulterior motives, but he has assured me they are legitimate and he has the best of intentions. I leave you with one of my favorites, hoping for you all, a warm, good nights rest.

Winter Sleep by Elinor Wylie
When against earth a wooden heel
Clicks as loud as stone on steel,
When stone turns flour instead of flakes,
And frost bakes clay as fire bakes,
When the hard-bitten fields at last
Crack like iron flawed in the cast,
When the world is wicked and cross and old,
I long to be quit of the cruel cold.

Little birds like bubbles of glass
Fly to other Americas,
Birds as bright as sparkles of wine
Fly in the nite to the Argentine,
Birds of azure and flame-birds go
To the tropical Gulf of Mexico:
They chase the sun, they follow the heat,
It is sweet in their bones, O sweet, sweet, sweet!
It's not with them that I'd love to be,
But under the roots of the balsam tree.

Just as the spiniest chestnut-burr
Is lined within with the finest fur,
So the stoney-walled, snow-roofed house
Of every squirrel and mole and mouse
Is lined with thistledown, sea-gull's feather,
Velvet mullein-leaf, heaped together
With balsam and juniper, dry and curled,
Sweeter than anything else in the world.

O what a warm and darksome nest
Where the wildest things are hidden to rest!
It's there that I'd love to lie and sleep,
Soft, soft, soft, and deep, deep, deep!


I'm sorry you've been sick!

We've never had a cow. Probably won't cause the hubby would want to eat it and I'd have to beat him up.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
maybe the cow knows the lamb is weak? not sure but i would love to know. great post!
I'm hearing some theme music in my head watching those turkeys running toward you...da,da,da,DAH!

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