Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 2-2

So…it’s Groundhog Day…and the prediction is:  six more weeks of winter.  

All I can say is...seriously?  

Did you really need a “legendary, magical 127-year old groundhog” to tell you THAT?  

Sorry, I have some serious “groundhog issues”.  ( although, I must say I admire that amazing marketing genius who is responsible for Punxsatawney Phil’s great fame)  You might want to read this.  Or just type “groundhog” in the search box near the bottom of the blog and you can read all about our skirmishes with the pesky varmints. 

In other news, by reaching the end of January, it seems that we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel…that warmer days are really coming.  Oh…wait…check out the forecast.  Snow, rain, freezing rain and more snow…and what’s this about a “snowpacolypse”?  (who makes up these words?) 

now you see it...

now you don't

We did have some rather unexpected snow.  The sky grew heavy, the mountains disappeared…and everything turned white.  By the next morning, most of it was gone.  The frigid temperatures kept it from melting.  (We didn’t get out of the teens for a couple of days)  

The snow simply blew away. I, for one, am thankful to see it go. Although there will be a snow bank in the shade of the barn for the rest of the winter (and maybe even the spring)…much to Gus’ delight. 

Thankfully, things have warmed up.  We are laughing that normal winter temperatures now feel like a balmy Spring day.  The sheep actually got out of the barn lot and into the winter paddock.  While there’s still no grass for them to eat, at least they get to feast on hay in an al fresco atmosphere. That seems to have helped the “baaa-d” attitudes in the barn somewhat.
leaving the barnlot

outdoor dining

the lambs' favorite spot is the rock pile

The Boss was finally able to get the pullets moved out of the brooder into their temporary housing in the henhouse. (I'll have to post about this whole process later) After about two weeks of acclimation, they will be allowed to freely mingle with the layer flock.  This acclimation process cuts down on the whole "pecking order" deal and somehow teaches the bird-brains that they are to go inside at dark.  

The bottle lambs in the shop are growing incredibly well and were scheduled to move to the barn this week.  However, with snow in the forecast three times in the upcoming week, we will wait.  (more for my convenience than anything…the shop is way closer than the barn!) The little one that was so tiny and needed so much care now weighs 16.5#! He's quite short and stocky.  The other one is tall and stylish and weighs 14.4#.  Looks like I'm doing a good job as a substitute ewe.
they can hardly contain themselves when the bottles arrive

Aside from the whole Groundhog Day extravaganza in PA, there are actually signs locally that Spring is indeed coming once more. (I don’t know about you, but about mid-Winter, I have some serious doubts)  For one thing, it’s not pitch black when I head out after supper to check on the lambs.  Last night was crisp and clear and simply beautiful.

Then there are the robins.  We live far enough south that the robins don’t migrate completely. Some hang around all winter, but you don’t see them too often.  Yesterday I saw a bunch in the neighbor’s field as I was out walking. I got a funny look from a driver as he saw me photographing an "empty" field. 
Look close...there's a robin!

…and tomorrow is marked on the calendar as the day to start the flats and flats and flats of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage for the early spring planting. That means I better head out for a little cleaning, organizing in the greenhouse this afternoon.

                                                     Here's hoping you have a 

               Happy Sunday!

Y'all come on back now...ya hear?
Ellie greeting Mama at the gate


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