Thursday, February 23, 2012

lion's maw

Snow is coming and that means payment in advance. Payment in sweat and time, that is. I just got in from what I call "extra-dose" chores. The kind of animal care so over the top no part of you feels guilty sleeping in a little, knowing everyone had their dinner and enough leftovers for breakfast. They aren't calling for a lot of snow, 3 inches at the most, but this winter that is a damned Nor'easter. I plan on staying in to work on webinars, Birchthorn, and enjoy a farm morning at home. Heck, I might even get the coffee pot ready for morning right now.

The second Wool Workshop is Saturday. I had a cancelation if anyone wants to take the spot (email me please) and enjoy a snow-covered sheep farm on a mountain side. At least, I hope it remains snowy for Saturday's workshop, because everyone else who came this winter just got to see dead grass with sheep poo on it. Not exactly the kind of stuff on the cover of Mother Earth News. But the people and food will be great. The menu is pretty standard, but with a little more fatty comfort like a rich potato soup. Some day I will get it as good as Cathy Daughtons....someday.

As for me, I'm still in shock that I will be the future owner of a Fell Pony. Between Merlin and the garden plans, spring seems closer than ever. I have enough kale, greens, and arugula seeds hanging out here to start soon. I have little shoots of garlic already poking up out of the hay in their raised beds. Some neighbors said the snow drops were coming up and there are buds on the trees. Sap buckets are lining all the back roads and sugar bushes are running before March. Strange times, these. Am I the only one getting restless?

But if Nelson Green is right, our winter starts March 1st. He think the whole month will be the lion's maw. Part of me wants a shot of winter, and hopes he is right. But mostly I want to think about ordering spring chicks and green shoots. I'm a seasonal woman, moved by the wheel like a dervish, and this year Ol' Bitch Nature is toying with us all...

photo by tim bronson of 468photography.com

33 Comments:

Blogger Amanda said...

I wish we had a little snow. It was 75 and sunny here today, which was downright odd. I took the opportunity to dig one of the new potato beds. Nothing will have you respecting those who went before like digging a foot down with a shovel and a mattock. Whew.

I can't wait to hear and see more of Merlin! One of these days I'll have a pony. I just have to keep holding onto that thought.

February 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

We feel it too. Snow drops up. Spring is tantilizingly close but not here yet. Walked to the lake with dampness in the air tonight. Hoping for enough snow to take out the sleigh and hook it up to Steele- are you game?!

February 23, 2012 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

darling you just email or call and I'll be over for a sleigh ride with a mason jar of hot chocolate so fast it'll scare the night out of you.

February 23, 2012 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

this is my favorite photo of a sheep, ever.

February 23, 2012 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger PattyW said...

And I don't know if you've ever written about our friend Nelson's hands but there are no larger mitts on any man!

February 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

The weather has been downright strange all over. I keep waiting for winter to show up like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. If it doesn't show I can only imagine what this summer is going to be like.

I'm getting restless about planting things myself.

February 23, 2012 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Enjoy that snow! We had 70 degrees here today(not that I'm complaining), and nothing lower than high 40's in forecast for the next 10 days....I'm pretty sure winter bypassed KY this year. It's all good though, our 6 chicks arrived yesterday afternoon, and seeds are getting started tomorrow. We're ready to welcome Spring with open arms!

February 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Yea, enjoy the snow. It was an odd one here as well and I too am dreading the summer we're in for. But spring...oh spring-you can't get here fast enough. I have seedlings started as well and 1/2 my soon to be garden bed cleared. More this weekend. Can't wait!

February 23, 2012 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Tulips are up, lettuces, radishes, and onions (under a real rustic cold frame) as well.

Can anyone say "weird weather?" The thought of fresh greens before the Ides makes me giddy.

Got to revamp my spring/summer emergency plan. Before you know it we'll be in hurricane season. Oy!

February 23, 2012 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I've been living in SoCal for the past year and man is the change of seasons odd here (or, rather, the lack thereof). It's been a perfect 72 for the past few weeks and I can't get enough of it. Yesterday I put some seeds into the ground and it felt great.

The rest of the year, though, I could live without. I really enjoy feeling changes in the weather, and this isn't the place to get it. Not to mention the layer of brown at the horizon and the constant feeling that my lungs are working extra hard...

February 23, 2012 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

We're getting snow early tomorrow morning (supposedly 3 to 6 inches) before it changes to sleet and then rain. Ahhhh February ~ I can't stand this month (except for the fact that my oldest grandson was born in February which makes it special). I can't wait to get rid of February and March ~ I'm tired of this non-winter. We need a true season that we can rely on. Maybe Spring will be more successful in flying her true colors.

February 23, 2012 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

It was 83 in AL today...broke a record! So excited to hear more about Merlin, gardens, and chicks :)

February 23, 2012 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger jim said...

79 here today- tilled the garden, did some weeding, hopefully this summer won't be a repeat of last year when we had over 100 days over 100 degrees.

February 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

83 here in La. Beautiful weather the last couple of days and I wasn't able to take advantage of it to plant anything as finals are here and I am lip deep in statistics.

February 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger TwoBlueHeelers said...

Could there be a mysterious black pony making an appearance soon in Birchthorn, perhaps? (grinning like a Heeler) We are so excited for you and Merlin!!

February 23, 2012 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

75 here today in North Ga. HOT! Can't even imagine snow. It is beautiful but I'm glad it's up there. It has been a strange winter but after the last 3, I'll take it. Although I am sick of all the rain and mud. It is not good on sheep hooves. Had one limping today and had to doctor her. I'd love to see some dry ground. And I know they would too.

Have fun Sat. I sure wish I could be there.

February 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger LeaningDuckFarm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger LeaningDuckFarm said...

Jenna, I've been following for about a year and I find wonderful things in your writing - things that, even if I wasn't already inclined to live a similar lifestyle, would entice me to start. We are taking the plunge this year and acquired operatorship of a farm near Blue Ridge, GA - near the Folk School. Talk to you soon and keep up the good work.

February 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger D and the girls said...

I follow your blog and read your books, actually that's how I found your blog. I keep up on your blog more than my own. I was once a city girl but for a while have wished my .39 acre lot was a small 5 acre farm. Oh well, I am slowly turning what I've got into a very very small partial farm. Anyway I think your writing is very inspirational and lets me know I'm not the only one out there with this desire to get back to basics and be more self reliant (unfortunately for my 17 year old daughter). So Thanks for being so inspiring and entertaining

February 23, 2012 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Since we almost never get snow, my place is always dead grass and poop ALL winter long. Even though I know this is normal, it's still embarrassing when people come over!

As for the early spring, my jonquils are already open (!!!) and we've just had what seems to be a large wildlife population explosion, of the sort we usually don't see late March or so. My prediction of a "no snow" winter proved at least semi-wrong, since it did snow for about 90 seconds the other day (we usually get 1-3 "decent" snows per winter, on average). At this rate I'm going to have sunflowers up in April. It was 80 degrees here yesterday. I nearly wore shorts.

February 24, 2012 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger phaedra96 said...

We have snow predicted--anywhere from 1" to 7"--depending on where you live and who you listen to on the radio. Nothing yet. Dampish and the bloody wind. Tell me we cannot run wind generators in central Indiana. I dare you!

February 24, 2012 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Its amazing to see snow. Im in central PA and we've hardly had any and, yes, I have snowdrops up and blooming, along with daffodils and tulips that are all peeking up and getting ready to bust into bloom. Congrats on your pony!

February 24, 2012 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Snow drops are up. Seeds are started. Giant wet snowflakes are falling. Almost like a reminder tht winter still exists and will be back next year. Although March could be a killer.

February 24, 2012 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

march will be a killer- that's when our lambing starts...

February 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

someone recently told me that a Leap Year is always a Bad Sheep Year...

I hope your lambing goes smoothly, J!

February 24, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Joie said...

I took 11 days off from blog reading following the birth of our first child, and I have to say, sitting down to a breakfast of waffles and milk and 25 CAF entries pretty much was the best start to my day! I'm so excited to continue reading about Merlin as the weeks go by.

My snowdrops are up, but I am with others on thinking that march will be our winter this year. At this point, I don't even care about snow - I just want the lakes to be covered in safe ice so we can get some fish!

February 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger gooddoug said...

This "early spring" makes it _really_ tough to not jump the gun and start my garden early. My brain knows better, but my heart just wants to start shoving seeds in the ground now.

February 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger karental said...

It's 84 and humid here. Weather's gone crazy!

February 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

In like a lamb,out like a lion.

I hope not. I too am restless. Had all my windows open today like it was time for spring cleaning,lol. I can see the little tops of crocus coming up in my garden and feeling the need to check the garlic soon.

Here in Newfoundland though, we have what is called Sheila's brush. Almost every single year there is a huge snow storm right before St. Patrick's Day. Can't do much outside until Sheila has had her say.

February 24, 2012 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Congratulations on Merlin, another miracle that did happen!!!!

February 24, 2012 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

That sheep looks so incredibly, purely happy. I swear the creature is smiling with her mouth full.

Lovely.

February 24, 2012 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger euclid314 said...

This is my favorite of all the great photos that appear on your blog.

February 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger joenkate said...

Climate change sure is messing with our weather - we've hardly had any winter up here in Ontario either. The new normal, I guess :(

February 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM  

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