I milk at three in the afternoon. My cows are trained to milk once a day at three which is the warmest patrt of the day. And everyone is happy with this arrangement especially John who is doing very well learning to milk.
Milking is the pivot of a farm day and the sunsets come so much earlier now, the night closing in before I feel quite ready. I like to have all the farm work done before dark. All animals like to be tucked up in their safe spaces before the dark. So I race through the afternoon to get it all done earlier.
This means that on a farm your work day really is much shorter in the winter.
The forecast for last night was for 22F/-5C (actually it is 21F/-6C) so I gave Sheila some new straw, I threw the bale the fence then went and filled the piglets bed with their new straw first (all these pigs are sleeping outside in tin huts) and when I returned Sheila was carrying her straw mouthful by mouthful into her bed making a mountain of straw right in the middle. She was having trouble getting it all inside her house before dark so I helped her out. Shoving an 800 pound (360 Kilo) hog aside so you can crawl into her house might sound a bit dangerous but this is Sheila. Sheila and I are like THAT.
She atood outside and watched – literally nudging my ankle with her nose ” Get a move on then!”
Then she went to the corner of the house so she was out of the way. “I’ll just wait here out of your way shall I?” And stood aboout looking photogenic..
When I had finished fluffing it up so she could get in under it she saw me to the gate then returned to her new bed with a happy roll to her step. She has a very deep bed now in her cow free bedroom, a good dinner, a good friend and all was well with the world.
We eat greens from the garden every night. Above is a shot of a bowl of salad I picked for last nights dinner – though you have to look carefully for the bowl, sitting in the bed of greens. I even picked some very Babyish baby carrots and beets.
It is not windy now though. But the clown suit comes out this morning.
The clown suit is a pair of insulated bib mans overalls. It is not because they are ugly that I don’t like them – though they are very ugly- it is because they are so bulky that they restrict my movements. I cannot move as fast. And I like to move fast.
20F now – almost dawn. It is usually the darkest BEFORE the dawn but it will be the coldest just AFTER dawn. Even though the sun is coming up the land is still losing heat faster than gaining it, the magnificent force of the sun does not immediately turn the tide of escaping heat. Dawn is a stunning time to start my day. It is 6.11am and we have First Light as I write, (This is when I begin my day) – first light – I post. Dawn will not be for 30 minutes or so. The sun takes her time. By dawn I will be showered, dressed, coffee-ed and pulling on the clown suit!
So the temperature is still dropping further as I write. Sheila will be snuggling down even further into her bed of straw and it is time for me to get their breakfasts ready.
I hope you have a lovely day.