Two more weeks and still no sheep breeding. It’s beautiful if cold, so maybe today. Pelto’s hasn’t returned our call either. So we still have Gellert and the two ram lambs. The good news is that this late in the year we’re willing to breed the ewe lambs, so the logistics are simpler.
The weather of the year seems to be wind. Lisa and I have noticed it, and our hay guy mentioned it yesterday. The last 12 months have been the windiest I can remember, and now folks who have lived here all their lives are mentioning it. It got to -12°F (-25°C) last night, and our intrepid woodstoves got us through, albeit with a little electric assist. The woodpile is getting small. Of course 25% of the original pile has been rededicated as sheep fence. Backing that with cattle panels will get us more firewood in less time than any possible cutting expedition will.
Another bit of good news is that even a single month after the solstice, the sun is much warmer even if the air is colder. Not only can I feel it, but the Farm Office and Fiber Room (previously Valerie’s room and Jeremy’s room.) are now comfortable in the afternoons which they certainly weren’t during Christmas week.
Note to the climate change deniers out there. -12°F is a long way from -25°F which was the normal winter low 15 years ago. And besides the now annual bit of weird weather, the pattern of later falls and cooler, wetter springs is getting pretty well established. It’s five or six years in a row now.
That, by the way is a weather pattern that sucks for the bees. The warm weather in the fall, after the last flowers are gone makes them eat more of their honey, then the cold wet spring cuts back their foraging days in April, and cuts back what they can find when they do manage to fly. One more bit of stress that they don’t need.
Getting rid of Polly has made a noticeable change in the the hay bill. Apparently our teenager was eating more than either of the older horses. I thought only teenage boys did that. The switch from first to second cut hay has made a difference too. Critters with better food need less to keep warm. What a surprise.
Ella May has pretty well demonstrated that she is not pregnant. The consensus on the Family Cow board is that to go this crazy when in heat, she probably was pregnant and had a miscarriage. So now we’re trying to make her a date with a real live bull.
While I’m posting cute videos, here’s another. The tom turkeys have joined the pups grr and aargh game. It’s hilarious.