Autumn Rains

And rains and rains and winds and winds. Though today is just wind. Cold wind.

hereford steer

Yesterday evening, in my clown suit and jacket, I opened the gates for the cows to come up and shelter by the barn for the night and they GALLOPED through the fields to get to the trees. Clods of soil flying up behind them. Ah well.

There is still feed in the home fields so I don’t want to take them across to their winter quarters just yet.  Generally the forecast is still pretty OK. Especially if you are a cow. We have done very well for pasture this year. It is almost November and I am still not feeding out. This is very good. My objective is getting to December in the fields. I have yet to achieve that though.  But maybe this year I will.  I love to have hay in the barns, but then feeding it out hurts! It is like spending your savings on groceries.


The only one getting hay at the moment  is Lady Astor (and of course the pigs) . Lady is on dry forage to help her cut down her milk production.  We are down to just under 20 pounds a day and dropping. Once a day. I need her to halve that production then I can dry her up.  She is unimpressed by this new regimen.

lady astor

It is cold and blustery this morning. So I will not start chores until it is full light. The animals like to stay tucked up in their warm beds until I come out with my buckets.


It will be a tucked- up-in-straw kind of day.



I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi



71 Comments on “Autumn Rains

  1. And maybe even a bit of a cozy, tucked up in front of the fire for a spell kind of day too? 🙂 Hope so! xo

  2. I think Lady Astor might be glaring at you. That is one miffed lady. A very good morning to you, c., and keep warm, if possible.

  3. It sounds like the perfect weather to make something meaty and rib-sticking, that will fill the kitchen with the delicious smell of beef simmering in a red wine gravy with bay leaves and peppercorns. Mashed potato on the side, I think, and perhaps some nice fresh cabbage. Toes to the fire, a mug of hot tea in hand, and a fresh warm scone to be going on with. Of course, knowing you, Miss C, it’ll be an apple and a bit of cheese, gulped down in haste before you embark on yet more chores.

      • Tonight’s menu is thick pork chops pan fried with sliced onions and apples, finished with a mushroom cream gravy, and served with brown rice and seasonal asparagus and snow peas….

        • Can I come over? My John is in the north woods chasing ruff grouse and I’m darned if I’ll cook for myself! (Me who just stuffed the freezer with a half of a pastured tamworth hog on top of a quarter of grass fed galloway beef.)

            • Only if you want me to make a huge fuss of your piggies while you hang around with glasses of wine in your hands! Seriously, I’m never, ever, short of ideas about what to cook, even when I’m doing what the Husband calls ‘cooking the fridge’ – making something with whatever’s left over in there. Generally that sort of meal turns out to be spectacularly good!

            • Oh yes, my stock pot is always on the go.. I saw a copper stock pot once – cost a million dollars or something but I wanted it BIG TIME! It had a tap at the bottom – such a good idea.. c

              • I’ve usually got one going – I never throw out bones or vegetable trimmings, but my stock pots are just catering quality steel with heavy bases, nothing so swish as copper with taps! I have a leg of ham in the fridge that needs carving today, and the bone from that will make several pints of good ham stock for pea & ham soup or curried pumpkin soup.

      • Okay…you asked for it.
        Gayle’s Chicken Stew
        Get a family sized package of chicken thighs (easier to de-bone)
        Cook in crock pot on slow overnight.
        When cools, de-bone and leave chicken in stock.
        Meanwhile, you have been boiling five pounds of potatoes in your six quart pot.
        When they cool, smush them up in your hands. It’s FUN!
        Get some vegetarian chicken stock powder from health food store.
        Add to broth to taste. Vegetarian isn’t importaht. That’s just what I’ve worked with.
        Combine ingrediehts and add lemon pepper to taste.
        Add one or two bags of frozen veggies…the big size. And let simmer.

        Now I realize this won’t be quite to your liking, so feel free to improvise, your chickens, etc. Your potatoes?
        It’s been a real hit at potlucks, feeding kids, etc.

        Lots of love and some lemon pepper to zing it up,

    • Mmmmmh, you make me so hungry, Kate. You always picture the things so nicely that I feel I’m in. Aaah and oooh, so fine, warm and well-scented, I’d like to be there in reality… Words can be magic. – And what a nice recipe you describe! Mashed potatoes had been on my menue today, but not realised. And it’s already evening. Still being hungry. Have to hurry up and into the kitchen…

      • I hope you find something lovely to cook in there! Cold weather needs good food so people stay optimistic; there’s nothing worse than being cold, miserable and HUNGRY!

        • … maybe miserable is it? No, I had no desire at all to cook. Joyless. Just had some sort of a salty cake and a hot chocolate. Not really satisfying. Comes another day … Have a nice sleep, Kate! Must be late over there in OZ…

          • No, it’s early, 6.40am on 30 October… I wish I could cook for all the people who dislike doing it. I love cooking, I love to feed people and make them happier with things that taste good and the feeling of a full tummy.

    • Oh. My. Goodness! Kate, have you been looking over my shoulder this day? We are having just the meal you describe!….except that we are having pork roast instead of beef and pork gravy instead of red wine (one must have the meat of their child’s labors.) Our youngest raised pigs for 4H and our table. He is quite proud. So are we :).

      • Oh, I agree! There’s absolutely nothing to beat food you have raised yourself. When I was doing that, friends coming for dinner used to ask “and who are we eating today”…

  4. Poor Lady A, she is going to miss her daily date with Our John. Laura

  5. I remember well those first blustery days where the north settles into a different rhythm than what was practiced in the summer months. I would love to see the “clown” suit. I’m sure I have my own version here. I have posted photographs of myself in a very old duck hunting coat that I cobbed from FD. It’s my best outdoor jacket for chores. I mend the rips every year and hope it lasts another season. It’s so difficult to part with these threads that become a part of us…

  6. I’m dreadfully uninformed here, but why are you drying Lady Astor up? I thought people milked cows year round. Or does she have to be dried up before she is bred again?

    • I am as uninformed as you, because I thought the same thing and wondering why when milk is needed year round. 🙂

      • Good question. If you want milk year round you will have to have two or three cows in rotation. They need to dry up about five months before they give birth again, the baby needs the energy and nutrition. PLUS it gets VERY, VERY cold here and I do not have a heated barn, so the pumps will not work when it is below 0F (-17C.) which it is for much of the winter – so I try to arrange things so that I do not milk in the deep winter. I freeze butter and do without milk during the dry time. John buys some for his coffee. It is the old fashioned way. PLus of course the chickens do not lay in the darkest months either.. In fact I might discuss this in tomorrows post – it is a good question.. thank youc

        • Ahh, thank you for that explanation. I knew about chickens not laying in the coldest months but somehow I figured with a barn heated with the bodies of many animals the chickens might lay although not as much. I guess not. hmmmm

        • Oh, so you yourself are without fresh milk, without yogurt, without eggs during the dark months? What a life! Yeah, the old fashioned way. But isn’t it a bit poor?
          I remember the farm I visited as a kid had some more cows as you but no heated barn either. The cows themselves gave the warmth. I liked to be with them in winter. But I don’t remember whether we got milk from them in winter or not. They had of course no milking machines (in the sixties). And ok, it maybe was not as cold as you tell us: -17°C that is me a winter. Oh. That was indeed rare in “my” time. I remember one –20°C winter, but really very rare… We called them Russian winters then.

  7. Thank you for the cozy autumn morning feel. We are getting a break in the rain but tomorrow it will be back. I’m glad all have somewhere warm and dry to go. You too. Have a lovely day yourself.

      • The only time we don’t get rain anymore is summer. We are getting less and less and heading for drought conditions. We share our water with a lot of area including California. We get rain instead of snow. Ok by me but the snow pack is what keeps water flowing all year. The mountains are looking a little bleak. We call it liquid sunshine. 🙂

  8. I think the animals have the right idea. Perhaps Lady Astor will miss the milking feed time and be all the more cooperative the second time round 😉

  9. Lady A looks quite miffed! If she could talk….oh my! Have a lovely day- I so enjoy starting my day by reading your blog- Thanks!

  10. Beautiful photos! I love the weather you’re having now. Have a wonderful day.

  11. Rained here yesterday too and today the wind is a cold one. Your photos are very autumnal, with bare shrubs and ground covered in spent leaves. Those piggies are still adorable as ever though! Hope your day is a lovely cozy one too! ~ Mame 🙂

  12. We are due for rain this evening, tomorrow and Saturday. YAY! It has also gotten a bit chilly in the morning here in central Texas, but warms right up to 85-90F by the afternoons. The cats have started sleeping in their cozy winter beds instead of lolling about on the floor trying to stay cool. Please give all the critters a hello pet for me. Have a good day!

  13. Beautiful! It looks just like where I grew up in the midwest, right down to the peafowl! I don’t envy your cold weather but I feel nostalgia for the woolly coats:)

  14. It is often best that I check our weather forecast by reading your blog. Your cold winds AND glorious sunshine arrived here about an hour ago. It was quite something when I was out doing the chores this morning. I’m having to dose two of our donkeys with antibiotics each morning … which works best one-on-one in their favourite donkey barn. That means the others have to be outside the stall gate … clamoring to get in so they can also enjoy the reward treats. The rain was pouring down, the wind was whipping the leaves about, the sky refused to lighten up even after ‘sunrise’. Then, an amazing glow filled the paddock as the edge of the storm system began to move off. It was a stunning contrast in a very short time.

  15. Good Morning this cool, wet, dreary looking day. Just the kind of day to do some baking and sewing here. To update on my medical condition: am now in remission, thankfully. Am still fighting some of the side effects of the chemo but am sure that………..this, too, shall pass……….and I will be free of all of this. Turns out I was allergic to one of the meds in my chemo. Am so enjoying life and grateful for every day. So enjoy catching up on this blog. Sure did miss my daily dose of the farmy when in the hospital.

  16. I love the contrast of the photos, cool autumnal but cosy and inviting, and the reminder of the cycle of the seasons, which seems right although it does have its challenges. But without the challenges, then what? I don’t believe we were meant to live generically, we need the climates and seasons and weather and landscapes and economies and ecologies and individuals who have beautifully crafted lives not something factory produced, processed and marketed!

  17. I did not comment on your photographs yet: They are lovely. Or shall I say: Your animals are so lovely? And you catch them so wonderfully with your camera. I love the expression of the Queenie’s Bobby’s face, the gilts seem as happy as always, Lady A’s meaningful eyes, the KuneKunes, the birds, not to forget the cats, your dogs – all count on you, all rely on you, all trust you. That gives me such a warm feeling….

  18. The one time of year everything seems to wear the same color scheme. Love the picture.
    (Clown outfits? In wet weather I have some old foul weather sailing gear from our boat – school bus yellow(so you can been seen if washed overboard) coat with hood and farmer style overalls. Just as good for walking dogs as it was for sailing …and I have to work to stay an appropriate size in order to wear them…so motivating, too. Who knew?)

  19. Gray, drizzly, cold and windy here today, I’ve started a fire in the woodstove but the weather guys are saying near 70 next week! What on earth? I won’t comlain, last year we started the woodstove in October and it never went out til spring!

  20. Lady A is giving you ‘the eye.’ Better stay on her good side! I’m glad Hugo makes a suitable stand-in for her while John can’t be there. Lovely carpet of leaves prepared for you.

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