Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Yesterday, a beautiful 50 degree day, I pulled up the last of the carrots from the veggie patch. I always try to leave them in the ground for as long as possible because they just seem to keep better in the soil than they do anywhere else. Just a few days ago, I pulled up a two gallon bucket and yesterday another two gallon bucket was filled. Needless to say, the two of us don't need four gallons of carrots so I've been sharing my organic treats. They sure are sweet and crisp!
Today my folks came out to help butcher a few chickens. The coop is now a quiet and peaceful place without the four roosters. We weeded out some of the non-laying, old hens too. The folks took a bag full of fresh chickens with them before they went home, and eggs too -- the beginning and the end. We didn't have chicken for supper tonight. It's hard to eat chicken after spending the afternoon killing and cleaning them. 'Nuff said.
As the day progressed, the big chill came in. As I type tonight, we've sunk down to 12 degrees, and the wind has whipped up to make the windchill about -9* according to my windchill table. We're expecting a little snow to blow in tonight too. Thankfully, everything's buttoned up for winter for the most part.
It always amazes me how quickly we brace ourselves up for the cold. Frosty mornings force us back into the winter coats, the heavy socks, boots, gloves, caps and neck scarves -- all in full service now. It seems we don't miss a beat adding them to the daily dressing routine now that it's cold outdoors. We just do it. It seems natural. We don't even have to look for those things in the closet because they are always at the ready when you live up north. We know it can turn from bikini weather to parka weather overnight, and that's no kidding. All summer long the winter coat stays on the peg right next to the light sweatshirt, and gloves have a permanent place in the pockets of that winter coat 'cause you never know when you're going to need them.
The weaned calves look great. They've got a good, thick, curly coat of hair on them, and the mother cows are fat and ready to go through the winter. The sheep are heavy with wool. The migrant birds are all gone, but the chickadees have arrived and spend time at the feeders along with the wood peckers and nuthatches. The American Goldfinches have changed from their summer golden tuxedos to their winter gray tweeds. I noticed a jackrabbit in the pasture has turned it's coat from gray-brown to winter white. The green world has gone to sleep, the hoar frost has coated bare trees, and thankfully, winter friends remain. Everything, every creature, and every human here has braced up.
“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix