We got the best present this morning. It was thirty five degrees when we went out to feed! Snow was melting on windshields and everything started right up without even being plugged in.
We did open our presents first. The cattle and horses have plenty of feed, they aren’t waiting anxiously. No reason to rush.
Bones, black kitty, is back outside where she belongs. Our daughter was holding her the other day and said a bug crawled off the cat onto her. She killed the bug, but there wont be very much cuddling until we can get to town for flea control!
Grey and white kitty quieted down amazingly through the snow. Once he discovered other kitties were getting fed, and the food wasn’t so bad he warmed right up. He is a strange kitty. I was trying to show him where I had left food. He attacked my hand, full on with claws and teeth. Then started violently rubbing against my arm. He may be crazy, but that’s my kind of crazy. Especially when I am fully dressed for winter and safe from his aggressive displays of affection.
The horses got carrots, my pet cows got cake. The rest of the cows got a cows favorite present, lots of food. We are cutting them back to normal rations, but it’s still exciting to get food.
We bought ourselves a flour mill for Christmas. I walked through the garden yesterday, looking for the sweetcorn we had left behind. We’ve always thought it would be fun to grind our sweet corn into corn meal. Two stalks still held ears of ornamental corn. The rest was picked bare. Deer had been sheltering behind the lilacs. Rabbit tracks covered the ground. Far better to feed the hungry animals with the remains of the garden. Who needed corn meal anyway. The sunflowers are picked clean too. Their heads barely above snow level. Now, barely into the bleak midwinter, what will they eat for the rest of the cold? I hate to have the easy pickings gone already.
Squirrels have been everywhere. We see them constantly on the snow drifts. They’re venturing far from the safety of the trees to gather kernels of corn left from the feeding of the cows. Pheasants are everywhere as always. A grouse wasn’t quick enough to evade the hawks. They feasted on her alongside our driveway. Hawks need to eat too. Bald eagles sit in the trees of the windbreak. The cats better be careful.
One calf died the first night of the blizzard.So far that seems to be the only loss. There were a couple of days we just could not get to the bulls to break the ice in their tank. They had feed and shelter. Just not water except for the snow. After the wind stopped and we could see enough to dig to them my husband took a chainsaw to the ice in their tank. He cut out thick blocks. Ten inches of solid ice in those two days. One bull is not going to be ok. He got frost bite in the most unfortunate of places. Poor guy. That would make two losses from the blizzard. Death isn’t the only way to lose cattle.
Christmas is good. Work still needs done. It is the work I want to be doing. The posts about thanking the farmer for not taking any days off, working on holidays and bad weather, always seem odd to me. What else would I want to do? This is the life we chose. This is what is good. Coming back in and sitting a bit is good to, but what would one do with a full day off anyway?