Sunday, December 31, 2017

November Hill farm journal, 43

Long overdue for a farm update here, and happy to have the quiet time to sit down and write it!

This weekend we’ve taken a huge dip in temperature, with highs during the day in the low 30s and lows at night in the teens. I think I saw a low of 11 coming up. We decided to set up the water tank heaters so we don’t have to do so much breaking of ice. I have one tank in the barn aisle for Keil Bay and Cody and another just outside the shelter where the pony and donkeys are at night.

The buckets inside the barn are not freezing since we got the new barn roof so winter and water is already easier than it used to be.

My daughter and I returned from California on December 19th, my son came home from grad school on the 22nd, family arrived on the 24th, and on the 26th, the farmsitter arrived and we headed to Corolla for a family getaway. I’m grateful for our farmsitter, who not only stays and takes excellent care of all the animals, but coordinated with our contractor to ensure no blips occurred with fencing.

Before and up to Christmas Day the herd was in the back field and the day after we went to the coast they moved to the front. I came home on Friday to the front field totally enclosed with 3-board and no-climb wire. It looks terrific and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to finally see this being done.

On Tuesday he’ll work on the back field (posts are already in) and then the back property behind the back field. It won’t be long until this will be done and I can start the process of incorporating Corgis off leash (supervised, of course) on the larger property. Once we make that transition I am starting my search for the Maremma pups.

We’re all the way into winter landscape here. Mostly bare trees, pink winter skies, and evergreens showing off their foliage in the otherwise bare landscape. Our fallen branches and leaves have never been better managed. I am a little in shock at not having to continue doing my branch and leaf management that generally lasts all the way to spring. This year I’ve had help and he stays on top of it. The arena is totally clear!

One of my Christmas gifts from my son is a farm journal - it has all kinds of pages for all kinds of tracking of things - I’m very excited to get busy filling it in.

The cats and Corgis are enjoying their naps inside with the cold weather, but I have to say the horses and donkeys are going the other direction. This evening just before dusk the herd came into the grass paddock (long, narrow, just by the house) and put on a galloping show. Keil Bay was the ringleader and he was doing his huge power trot, turning on a dime, and generally looking like a 5-year old. They were all in fine form and while I don’t really like them to do this in the narrow grass paddock, I just stopped myself from fretting and enjoyed it.

The horses have been especially clingy since we got back from Corolla. Between my being gone 10 days, then 4 more, the fencing, etc., I think they just needed some time with us. I spent hours with them on Friday, yesterday, and again today, and even so they were clustering by my bedroom windows last night and at the back gate to the house this morning.

Today’s little rodeo was the perfect way to end 2017. Happy, healthy horses and donkeys having fun. May we all be so lucky as we move into the new year!


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like everything is going wonderfully by you, except for the cold temps. We’re dealing with very frigid weather and snow here lately with no end in sight. I’ve had enough and can’t wait until we get to at least 30 degrees. Have a very Happy Healthy New Year!

billie said...

You too! Not too long after posting I and husband and daughter all came down with a flu that hit like a surgical strike. We are still down for the count though having ups and downs now instead of just being slammed with it. Nasty fevers, deep chest congestion and coughing, aching head to toe. Add that to the week from hell in terms of temps at night (for us, not in the negatives like so many other areas are having) and our new year has gone off the rails a bit. We’ll get back to the normal gear soon I hope!

Matthew said...

And with the snow, winter landscapes are truly here.

Not quite so much fun with the flu, though!

billie said...

It’s definitely not much fun with the flu. May we fight our way back to good health soon!