I have to tell you... my heart is filled with so much optimism right now.
It's a side-effect of late-winter sunshine. Every day I see more and more evidence that winter is beginning to pack his bags and catch a ride out of here!
Yes, there is still snow on the ground that melts a little more each day. But, the days are decidedly longer. The birds are definitely louder. And vegetation is beginning to awaken. Everything is as it should be.
We've been patient and rested and planned and schemed for the past several months. And soon- very soon- we will start bringing all of those dreams and schemes to fruition. We will dig and plant and weed until our world is once again filled with color and delicious homegrown food. One of these days, very soon, I will begin to get some early seeds into the ground. Vegetable seeds that can tolerate the cold will be placed into the warming earth so that the magic can begin. I am so ready!
It's just about that time, that the fairies return to the farm, and all sorts of magic and mayhem resumes.
Yesterday, as the horses and donkeys were napping in the dry lot, after an exciting morning in the pasture,
the dogs and I spent a little time picking up the morning's deposits of manure. The day lily plants are peeking out of the ground...
as are the daffodils.
Very soon, there will be daffodils blooming in the front pasture.
Moments later, everyone was asleep... with Moonie standing guard. By the looks of his back leg and his lower lip, though, he was also asleep standing up.
Moonie, the one-eyed watchman!
I often speak of how Brown Sammie saves his energy. Most photos show him catching a ride along in the gator, or sleeping in the sun. However, yesterday, I was able to catch the other side of Sam.
The side that's ready for fun...
Those bouts of energy are explosive, though short-lived. I assure you, within a half-hour he was out cold in front of the fire!
Friday I gave you the bad news about our Fred turkey. This post generated a few questions as to whether we are going to get another turkey to keep our Old Tom (one of our original bourbon red turkeys) company. In my heart, I believe that getting a companion turkey would be a mistake now that Tom is so old. Turkeys are generally peaceful, but there are times of the year when they get quite competitive. Because Tom is so old, he would not be able to defend himself against these testosterone-driven bouts of domination. Also, based on prior experience, adding a female would be just as stressful to the old guy. I am sure he would feel the need to try and mate. Female turkeys can be quite strong when they are not in the mood. I have seen our previous females pin a male down when they are rejecting their advances.... something that Ole Tom really doesn't need.
On the other hand, we feel that all animals are sociable and thrive when they are not alone. Over the years, Ole Tom has spent his days hanging out in the chicken yard for the most part. So, what we have decided is this:
Each morning, we walk Tom over to the chicken yard and close him in the yard with the hens for the day. There he can visit, and eat, and snack in the company of the girls. The rooster gives Tom wide berth, so, there are no worries there. Then each evening, we walk Tom back to his house where he can roost in peace for the night. The next day... repeat. It seems to be the best alternative.
Right now, because all of the predators are quite hungry after a long, cold, snowy winter (in which all of the prey has been burrowed away)... we are keeping all of our birds on lockdown for their safety. This is why we are closing Tom in with the hens. We have learned our lesson. Turkeys are no match for a big, hungry hawk.
At eleven years of age, Ole Tom deserves a peaceful, stress-less life. So, that is our aim.
Being the least domesticated of any of our birds, they pretty much come and go at will.
Though, they do seem to have enough sense to find shelter (in the duck house) when the weather is frightful.
The rest of the time, they roost in the maple tree next to the barn and spend their days patrolling the farm and neighbors' yards (it's impossible to train a guinea to stay in their own yard) for bugs and ticks.
As for our weekend, it was delightful. I baked bread.
I finished knitting the blanket I was working on, and jumped back into another knitting work in progress. Though sunny, it was cold enough that the roaring fire in the fireplace called to me.
We visited a new ice cream/bakery shop in our favorite little town, close by. It is adorable, and very trendy looking... just what was needed in our little town.
Unfortunately, the owners refuse to wear masks as they serve the public. I had heard that the gentleman who roasts their coffee is in the hospital with Covid, making this whole mask refusal even crazier.
This distresses me as I know that wearing a mask works - it protects others. Months ago, after being frustrated by some local businesses' refusal to wear masks to protect their patrons, I made a pledge that I would no longer support these businesses. I strongly feel that if you cannot do a simple thing like wear a mask to protect your patrons, then I cannot support your business. It's a hard line, I know. And believe me, I would rather support a local business than any other. I LOVE small businesses and local businesses. I just ask that they love me (and their at-risk patrons) enough in return, that they would do what they can to protect me as well. It's just not asking that much. It is the kind thing to do.
Sorry for the rant, but I truly feel that we are all tasked to do whatever it is we can do to help others. How do you feel about this?