Monthly Archives: March 2013
Nature often offers clues about how we should live our lives, if you are tuned into her. Farmers spend many hours outside, no matter the time of day (or night), all seasons, in all weather. There are quiet moments in this work when we stop, look around and notice many things. Things like subtle changes as the seasons evolve, little views of beauty both large and small.
Many people complain as they look at the calendar and wonder why Mother Nature is not following it. Well, the calendar is man made without the wisdom the earth processes. There are blessings to be found if you give the reigns over to that wisdom. I am not a believer in luck. Luck is a discovered blessing that was there all along. It is just many of us are not paying attention.
So what is the reason for snow on a Spring morning? I want to know, so I head out. I am met with the contrast of spring flowers under cold crystals of snow flakes. I even find my rosemary in bloom and hyacinth. I love blue in the snow. Cool color on a cool morning. As I look at my garden, I notice how behind I am on chores to get ready to plant. But nature is telling me it is ok, because she is behind too. And I can’t start planting until she decides anyway. I should not be in a hurry.
My chickens are out on their morning stroll too. They stop and examine everything. Nothing is too small not to get a close inspection. All of our blessings, the big ones and the little ones are very important and not to be taken for granted.
I breath in the crisp air. This air will not be hear for long. The heat of Summer will be here soon enough. Even though it might seem this Winter is without end. It will of course…not on our time but on the schedule of the Earth. Trust in her. She has done a good job providing for us so far. Good fortune and wisdom are all around, if you just look for it.
The world is stirring. If you are outside on a regular basis, the world gives you little clues it is waking up from its winter nap. The fields are sporting a new green hue. The winter cast of birds-the titmouse, the snow birds have left. They are replaced by blue birds, numerous robins, downy woodpecker soon to be followed by the swallows. Hubby has put up his Purple Martin house in anticipation of the beloved Purple Martin’s.(Don’t tell him, but the usual irritating birds have already visited, the dreaded starling.)
I love the smells: fresh moist dirt, and the absence of the outdoor wood furnace belching out smoke. And I am checking out the garden as I have made mental notes as to what I will plant this year. I have lots of cleaning up to do as I did not get to a lot of my fall clean up chores. It is warming up, but the soil is very wet at the moment due to our recent snow storm.
I am off to attend to chores…checking up on our baby bunnies. 7 have survived 3 nights. If they survive 4, they have a good chance to survive to weaning. My chief concern is that ALL are getting fed. Some are definitely skinnier than others. I will let Saphire handle things, but will keep tabs. Colors are starting to be apparent. We definitely have a black or blue, a couple of chocolates, some lilacs and a fawn or two. We will see.
Hickory, our sheep patient is struggling along. He is moving around, but on 3 legs. The joint on his front left leg is a bit swollen and can’t be straightened. I am giving him twice daily injections of steroids to get the swelling down and encourage he use it. In the meantime, he will get up and hobble or crawl on his knees to move around. I discovered him out under the Magnolia tree munching on a branch of leaves that had fallen during the storm. He is a funny guy. I hope he fully recovers.
With daylight savings time now in effect, I have a bit more time for those outdoor chores, and a little romp with guardian dog Nisa. There should be a bit of fun in Spring, right?
This week was one of those that no matter what you had planned, the universe decided that it would be in the driver’s seat.
Week started with one of our rams getting caught in the electric fence. I am thankful my neighbor gets out a bit earlier to start chores than I do. He found him and called me as I was getting ready to head outside and he shut the fence off. We both cut him out and got him to the barn. Hickory was breathing, but could not walk, or even hold his head up. I try to do most of my vet work, but this situation was beyond my know-how. I took Hickory in and he was examined. His heart rate was fine and he was not in shock. He got a steroid shot and some fluids to help with any swelling. I put him in a stall and started him on sugar water and then gave him a slurry of lamb and sheep pellets, warm water and molasses. And finally adding hay. I would lift the little guy to try and get him moving, and massaging his legs.
As we were nursing our little guy, we were hit with six inches of wet heavy snow. This meant moving goats and other rams to the barn area for shelter. I needed the stall so Hickory was moved to the central portion of the barn where we keep bales of hay. At least for the night. During the day, I put him outside under the pole barn so he could get fresh air. And I was continuing his physical therapy. He is getting his strength back little by little. All of his legs seem to be improving except his front left leg, resulting in several face plants. So we are continuing the nursing, refusing to give in as Hickory is giving it his all.
So today, Friday…our blue French/English Angora bunny gave birth to seven kits. Actually eight, but one was still-born. They are all good size and Saphire prepared a lovely nest. She was putting the finishing touches on it this morning and she was ripping fiber from her tummy with urgency. Angora was flying everywhere as there was a bit of a breeze. I knew at that point, she would have them today. And with so many, well…I hope she can feed them all. We will see what kind of mom she is. She certainly has lots of work ahead. And for those wondering- we will have some to sell, including one black adult. Keep you posted.