Winter is over.
And although the chilly winds of March are roaring through our treetops as I write this,
there are so many visible signs of Spring's arrival here on the farm.
Besides the verdant hue to the underbrush,
the daffodils with their joyous faces turned towards the sun,
and the eruption of tiny blossoms on most of the trees...
the animals are giving us signs that the warmth of the sun is not just a fantasy.
The fainting goats are changing out their winter vestments for their summer attire.
These peaceful grazers are well equipped for surviving frigid winters,
as they are amazing cashmere growers.
As you can see on Sally...
her cashmere coat is starting to shed,
hanging like blond dreadlocks from her normally red sides.
This is just the beginning of their shedding.
In a few weeks, they will look as though they've been attacked by moths...
their fine winter coats hanging in shreds across their backs.
Each year as this super soft undercoat begins to loosen,
Becky pulls it from the goats and saves it in a bag.
(Eventually I will spin this cashmere into yarn for her.)
There is a specific goat breed that is raised for cashmere,
and fainting goats are not that breed.
However, any goat can grow cashmere...
and it just so happens that several of our fainters do it quite well.
I've been slowly changing our home's winter look to a light spring one...
opening porches that were closed due to winter's chill for the past several months.
This is the screen porch off of our dining room and kitchen.
It's where we eat most of our late-spring to mid-autumn meals.
We had hoped to eat here this past weekend, but the thermometer advised us against it!
It won't be long before we will be sitting there obeying that little red sign on the wall.
Our new house kitty Ivy has adjusted well to her new home.
She has learned that height is her best friend when navigating rooms with dogs.
Window sills provide a place to safely hide,
as well as a great vantage point for watching the birds and squirrels who frequent our feeders.