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Farmette1769's Blog

by Monica Melograna-Ward

In the Charlotte Region of North Carolina, we have had the first White Christmas in 63 years. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, did not give the luster of mid-day to the open country at that time. Even if the snow had stopped and the clouds cleared, at most, there was merely a sliver of the moon visible on December 25, 1947.

The snow started here in the evening on December 25, 2010. We were full from a lovely holiday meal, as we gazed out at the gently falling flakes. It was peaceful and beautiful. Since it started at the end of the day, we had little left to do but enjoy the calm that belongs to natural winter blankets. The livestock were nestled all snug in their straw, while visions of sweet feed danced in their heads – and their jaws.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;*

Our pack of canines had not dared venture out the dog door into the cold, wet world of wintry splendor. They truly enjoy easy access to the warmth of the mud/laundry room. Luckily, the weather keeps any mischievous souls away from the country roads, and so, no need for the watch dogs outside.

When I had gone out to check on our flock for the night, our homing pigeon was out collecting snow on her wings. I had put up a shelter for her the day before, after the coops had been re-arranged. Apparently, she did not approve. I grabbed, luckily caught her and placed her in the main coop for the night. We’ll have to keep putting her food at the door of her new house to help entice her in.

Our small goat herd came out briefly to wolf down their grain. Then they scurried back into the well shed. They like to be out in the freezing weather, but do not normally stay out in precipitation.

We lost a nanny to the cold/wet about this time last year. She and her billy had access to two small shelters on pallets (the male goat had just broken the third; the one on stilts). The pen had gotten too muddy.  The day had started out wet and warm. It had ended icy and cold.

The high strung billy that had a knack for breaking everything, was replaced with a tiny, mild-mannered billy. Ever since then, our goats have stayed in the fenced area with the shed where we can keep a close eye on them, instead of in the small pen on the far side of the house.

I find it amazing how the equine will stand out in the cold and rain to munch on a round bale of hay or just stand in the field. “Rocky”, the Shetland pony, presently looks like a woolly mammoth, so I do not worry about him. The “Big Man” Dakota has a good winter coat for a small cob size horse, but not the stout body. He has a water-proof blanket on the way from ChickSaddlery.com.

In the dark, they were lured into the run-in using a grain incentive. Grain is like a drug to them. If you ever have trouble catching a horse, just shake a bucket full of pelleted feed and they will come.

View from the road*

We enjoy the changes of the seasons here on the Farmette and the snowy wonderland. The New Year is nearly here, but winter is just getting going. The temperature will remain low for the next few months.

The magic of the winter holiday season bestows upon us many gifts. It also a reminds us to contribute to peace on earth and goodwill to men (and beast). Our life here would not be whole without having both storms and clear skies. But, Spring will be very welcome when it arrives.

* Pics were taken the next evening, December 26, 2010.

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