Monday, December 21, 2009

The Sun Stood Still

Today is Winter Solstice and the first day of Winter. It is the shortest day of the year, but tomorrow the day will be a little longer. We are now traveling toward the longest day, June 21st.

Hope is restored as we come out of the dark tunnel. Burn a yule log, celebrate Saturnalia, Christmas, or Hanukkah!

We got about two feet of snow over the weekend. This is unusual or "historical" as reported by the media, for this area in December. It was hard going through the snow to get to the chickens and goats.

The first thing I did was to pour four jugs of warm water into the heated buckets in the goat barn. It was gone within five minutes and only a few goats got a drink. I started to collect snow in a bucket to refill the heated bucket. Little lightbulbs appeared over the heads of the goats, as they realized that they could eat snow to quench their thirst.

Some would only eat snow out of buckets. The higher IQ goats made the connection and began to eat the new snow off the ground. They were VERY thirsty and ate snow for a long time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

After the Ice Storm


After yesterday's ice storm, the runnoff got to be a torrent, and the geese and I sailed off down the James River in the wooden goose house.

But only in my fantasy.

Due to the resultant power failure, we had to settle for giving CDT shots and not trimming goat hoofs because there was not enough light in the barn to see what I was doing. We spent the afternoon bundled up in the house reading until the electricity was restored.

This morning, amazingly, there was a small newborn black calf running around happily. I don't know if it was born during or after the ice coated the trees and grass. Can you see why hope is such a tenuous thing and requires signs to keep it alive? I caught a few shooting stars during the night. Shall we call the baby Star? or Meteorite?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

The goose pond has overflowed its banks and there is shallow water all the way to the goose house. Run-off continues to trickle down from the surrounding hills -- that is, when it is warm enough for water to trickle.

We've had some pretty cold temperatures this week and it's slated to get down below 20 degrees F tonight. There was a freaky snowstorm last Saturday. It started snowing at about 7 a.m. and continued steadily for the next twelve hours, leaving several inches on the ground. During the week, it rained a couple of times so that the snow is gone, but the ice is keeping the livestock from drinking freely. I had to haul water from the greenhouse to the chickens this afternoon.

My bulgy eye is hurting and extremely light sensitive, so my husband is buying me an eye patch at the drugstore today.

Oh, boy. Now I can add to my normal winter farmer ensemble of old Army fatigue jacket, possibly purple pants (I have a pair of nice thick fleece ones), wild greying hat hair and AN EYE PATCH!

Arrrgh! I'll be a fierce pirate/soldier/farmer woman navigating the frozen goose pond. Ahoy, geese!

I like it. Who'd have thought I'd end up such a colorful character. Too bad it's not close to Halloween. I'd probably win some sort of contest for original costume.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


As I sat down to the computer this morning, it was still dark. The silvery dime of a moon appeared in the upper right side of the window by my desk. Because the dark clouds were being chased away by morning winds, it looked like the moon was falling to the earth.

Of course, it was no such thing. Now that it's light, I see that the moon has maintained its position, although newly formed dark clouds periodically rise to cover it.

The landscape is decidedly December: brown trees and dark grey clouds overlaying a light grey sky.

It's coolish, but not terribly frigid. Yesterday it rained all day, today may be dry.

There is still much work to do inside and outside. I'm on a mission to clip all goat hooves and give booster shots and vitamins. I'm also repairing and washing goat collars, cleaning and sorting spaces and still working on that long job list. I'd better get to it.