After dropping a couple of teenagers at school, and hubby has long left for a real job…I come back to visit with my critters…or as they like to be called…my co-workers. Often I prefer their company, especially as the craziness of the world swirls around us. It is breakfast time. They get theirs before I get my first cup of coffee.
So this morning is a little chilly, but the sun’s warmth is welcome on my shoulder. The chickens who did not make it back in their coop last night, run from the barn to greet me and provide companionship as I go about my chores. I let the rest of the gang out of their coops to help in the search for grubs and other tasty treats.
I head to the barn to prepare breakfast. On the menu is hay. The tiniest shoots of grass are beginning to appear in the pasture, but do not provide the needed nutrients for pregnant ewes and rams and goats. I slide open the door and take in the smell of sweet hay. I grab bailing twine around a fat square bail and pull it down. I reach for my favorite Tony Stewart knife and pop the twine and peel off a few slices and head over to the near by fence and drop over slices into 3 even piles as the ewes come over for their meal.
I check out the pasture as the sheep crunch away. The geese are on the banks of our lake digging around the shore for their breakfast. I scan the ridge and find Nisa in her usual morning spot-flat out on her back to napping while taking in the morning sun. I envy the life of a dog.
A deep baritone baaaa! brings me back to the task at hand. Old Rosie is in the paddock by the barn with two yearling ewes who were not bred this year. She is 12 years old and officially retired and acts as nanny to the youngsters. She is hungry and always tells me so. Off to the barn for her share as the chickens follow me in hopes of some seeds dropped from the hay.
After Rosie and her charges are fed, it is off to the rear field with a big stack of hay for the cashmere goats and the yearling rams. They don’t share so well, so for the next few minutes, I run around the electric net fence and drop off 6 or 7 separate piles of hay so everyone has a bit without fighting.
Finally, I check in with the rabbits. I fill water bottles and give each of them a share of hay too. Crunching noise follows as all approve of the menu. I look in on Saphire, who will kindle in about a week. She is already building her nest of hay and fiber from her tummy in the nesting box in anticipation of her babies. Good. Right on schedule. I sigh as I look forward to new Angora bunnies.
I look around and am happy and blessed to begin my morning in this place and with such lovely company. Now I am off for that cup of coffee and to work.