We’ve been fooled, yet again, by the ever transient seasons of this state. It seemed that spring was here with flowers popping up, sap flowing, and mud making the driveway a nightmare to drive on. Then it got cold again, the ground froze, and flowers who had been bold enough to stick their tiny green heads above the soil have now turned yellow from the frost that sticks to their soft skin. My chickens are not pleased either. They have been enjoying themselves in the sun and the mud, scratching through the goats hay and digging up any and all edible bits found in the newly thawed earth. Today though a few poked their heads out but then quickly receded back into the hen house, too cold, too white, no fun.
My goats didn’t seem to mind, although they were nestled into the hay in their goat house they quickly got up to say hello to me and poke their heads aggressively into the hay bag as I stepped into the pen. New hay always seems to be so much better the moment I bring it in, half an hour later it is old hay, I don’t understand goat psychology. The snow is wet and sticky because the temperature is still pretty warm compared to mid winter standards. The wet makes my goats hair get spiky and they look very chic nibbling away at their fresh hay.
The coyotes seem to be getting louder I don’t know if it’s just my heightened sense of their presence with my goats to worry about or because the pups have started to sing too but they wake me up at night with their sonorous activities. They live pretty close to us. They have a den in the crevasse above our house and they hang out over by the cabin my friends and I built in the woods. They are close, I’d say living easily within a mile range of us. When you are outside and they start howling it seems like if you look hard enough you should be able to see them, it is truly eerie. Louis and I took a walk across the brook yesterday which in hindsight was probably not very smart, we didn’t see any coyotes, but there were lots of tracks and Louis’s hair was up on his back the whole time. I actually found myself looking over my shoulder several times, it was so darned spooky, especially because there are clearings with all these trees cut down and then woods and snow, and it just looked…..like the perfect scene for something scary to happen. Being the only one home didn’t help the matter.
One of them is really big, you can hear him howling. He is usually the one that starts it and he just has this bone-chilling howl that is low and long and makes your hide want to jump off. He usually howls about three or four times and then the others join in with their higher yips and squeals. It is amazing to listen to and their ghostly melodies will keep you in one place just listening, it is so other worldly it makes me giddy. I used to be obsessed with wolves when I was about nine. I had an entire wall covered with wolf pictures and several wolf calenders. Now that I have livestock though it just makes me wish I had some fool proof way of insuring my animals safety. My goats are safe right now with 5′ wire mesh fencing and only about 100 feet from our house, but when we put them out in the woods with the electric fence I think I will have many more sleepless nights. Everyone assures me that they will be fine, coyotes don’t like electric fences anymore than goats do, but I also can’t help but think of all the people I know who have still lost livestock despite all their precautions. I talk to them though the woods though, and tell them to stay away from my goats. They seem to have gotten the message so far.
Despite the snow and the cold spring feels like it is here. It is hiding now under the snow sinking it’s way through winters layers of frost until it finally reaches the last layer and we have our big melt. Our ice house is coming along, Louis is pictured above with some of the bottles we are freezing for it. I now know more about soda bottles than I ever thought I would. The ice house is one good reason to have this cold freeze but mud season will be here soon, if it hasn’t already begun. We are prepared for it with cold frames and plant starts ready to go in the ground!
I can’t wait!