The dark-en deepen-eth

The nights are coming so early and the clouds have been so thick and low lately that it seems to me I have to start evening chores straight after lunch or I won’t be done by dark. Sunset is at 4.24pm.

cows and pig

Luckily Our John has taken to the milking and is doing very well, so while he milks I can zoom around the farms feeding and watering and be back inside by 4pm when it begins to get dark. My animals go to sleep at dark so I like them to be all tucked up according to their natural rhythms when it is cold.


The plonkers have come in from the Rat House paaddock and are lodged in  the barn as five of them are sold on Wednesday so I have to draft out the five biggest.  Plus there is snow forecast for today and if we get snow and then it melts, the trailer will not be able to get across the muddy fields. And if by some happy chance (I love snow) the snow does not melt it is hard to run pigs up to the barn through snow drifts so I am erring on the side of caution (actually I am erring on the side of what is easiest for me and the least traumatic for my pigs).


And now that I am ahead of the game there will probably be no snow at all and I will be sad because it has been so gray and gloomy lately that snow would be a nice break.  They are forecasting between one and three inches but we will see. Our temperatures are hovering around the low thirties. 32F is freezing point. I am not sure it is cold enough for a significant snow “event” as they say.


Boo is still limping though I think he is putting his foot down a little more now, (lots of wishful thinking there) but when he pauses he definitely holds it up off the ground.   I miss having him with me all day. I take him outside with me on a leash then he goes to his chain or he will be hooning about jumping on and off everything. But he looks so despondent, and he is so BORED!  But I have to believe that the forced rest of that joint is helping the cartilage build up around it as protection.

dsc_0216 peacock

Do you see Mr Flowers’s tail growing back in?  The eyes are showing – it is going to be a beautiful long tail this year.

I am going to get to work early, the snow is forecast to roll in about 9am so I intend to have all the chores done by then.

I hope you have a lovely day.



51 Comments on “The dark-en deepen-eth

  1. I love the “mouth full of hay” image – doesn’t everyone have photos where folks are gathered around the table with mouths full when someone snaps a picture? Ha ha. I could just feel the chill and gloom you described. We’ve had cold rain and overcast skies for two days and it’s a mucky mess all around. This week our temps plummet into the teens and twenties. Poor Boo. Being physically laid up is just as much a psychological struggle when one thrives on being active.

    • I hope this is not his life from now on. This is what worries me the most. He and I have always been joined at the hip on the farm – it is sad not to have him with me. And his training with the cows was doing so well. Miserable really. c

  2. The light in those photos really conveys how cold it is, even here, where it’s 10.30 at night and still 27°C/80F. Love the photo of Tima and Tane with the straw doona pulled up around their ears. Poor bored Boo, but he doesn’t realise it’s for his own good…

  3. stay warm and dry Miss C  and all the animals …It is also cold here in Bulgaria..we had some snow a week ago but its all melted but it is still very cold and more snow is due.

    Tell Boo I got problems with my joints too and have rested for three days…no walking…hasn;t made much difference.. Age is the problem


    Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2016 at 2:05 PM

  4. Much to my husband’s dismay, I announced yesterday that I’m a little sad that we are now living somewhere that rarely gets snow. Hearing about the snow you may be getting there causes a bit of jealousy in this Illinois native now living in Texas.

    I do hope Boo’s injury heals soon. One of my dogs had a similar injury now that she is older, arthritis has set in. Her walk is very stiff, but once she is up and moving about, she enjoys a slow run and play session with our little dog that has the most energy of the three 🙂 Of course none of mine would make great farm dogs, so I can only imagine just how difficult this has been on you and Boo.

  5. Let it snow, let it snow 🙂 being sung here. Mr Flowers tail train was pretty impressive last year. Laura

  6. No snow here in Texas. Just cold drizzly rain. I would love a nice snow but, unlike you, I’d be very happy for it to melt away before it got all dirty and slushy.

    I had never considered the shortened days and animals’ sleep cycles. Makes for busy days but hopefully a little more time to relax for you in the evening.

  7. Something is out of place in that cow picture…why it must be the brownish-red pig! Sheila needs some black accessories to adorn her magnificent self and truly be ‘one of the herd.’ We have a bit of snow predicted for late tonight as well, and tons in our mountains so give it time Miss C, your snow is coming. It is just playing in my backyard right now 🙂

  8. [J] ‘Ahead of the game’, Celi? In agriculture? With livestock and and weather to contend with? And pigs?!! If so, you must be psychic! ;~) Weather has changed here too – looks like snow for us, also (though maybe only on the mountain tops). Jet stream must be shifting.

    • No, I am not psychic but I can think like a pig!!. Well, we Have to try to be ahead of the game with livestock. And lucky I did bring them in – it has been snowing for a few hours now!

  9. I’ve been meaning to write about Boo for a while now. My dog Joe, similar size/activity level (though middle-aged) tore the ligament in his back right leg this past March. (I can’t remember the name of the ligament, she may have called it the ACL, but maybe that stuck in my brain because I had ACL surgery 30 years ago.) He was bounding through grasses in our local open space and his leg got caught in some hairy vetch (a wildflower, legume, really vine-y) and that’s how it tore. Well. It was terrible at first. He hopped around on three legs, had trouble sitting down, and then couldn’t get up, had trouble going to the bathroom because it takes two legs to hunch, etc. The vet was adamant that he needed surgery, $4,000. We needed some time to figure out how to put that amount together, and we decided to give Joe painkillers, watch closely, rest intensively, and see what happened over the course of a few weeks. At first it was truly miserable. The dog was never comfortable. He was used to going everywhere with us and he couldn’t do anything but go across the street to pee, and even that was a struggle. I cried and cried, thinking that we were giving him a life that was no fun at all.
    But here’s the thing. Slowly, slowly, he started to put the foot down. He started to hobble on it. He started to get better. After a few months, I saw him trot! Albeit erratic, but still, a trot! Over the summer I started taking him for longer, leashed walks, which he tolerated well. By the end of the summer, we were even lifting him into the car a couple of times a week and going to walk in more challenging terrain (but still pretty short walks, and no running!!!). So now, by December, we are up to two miles a day if we’re on paved surfaces, a mile and a half if we’re in the hills, and I can put him in the car once a day to take him somewhere if I want. Some mornings we even find him up on the couch, which means he is jumping a little.
    He’ll never run flat-out like he used to, and he’ll never chase frisbees again, and he’ll never jump into the car again (we have a higher car and a lower car; once in a while he’ll jump into the lower one, but more often he waits for a lift). I’m always worried that when we run into another dog, that it will incite my dog to play and run and leap, so I’m very careful about that. Really I’m overly careful about everything, I think it drives my husband crazy, but always in the back of my mind is the fact that it wouldn’t take much to hurt him again and put him back into that miserable state. But right now, Joe seems very happy; through the whole thing, he never stopped eating or drinking, he was always interested in food and treats, he’s happy to be with us and wags like crazy, as long as he was happy I was ok going this route. He’s still very happy, but this injury took him from a strong adult dog (like a 20 or 30 year old) to an arthritic middle-age, and now his chief joy is lying in the warm sun next to the chicken coop.
    I guess the upshot is that I think Boo will be ok after several months of rest – he is a much younger dog – and that’s something you can look forward to. The rest time, though miserable, is worth it! However I wouldn’t be surprised if Boo is a DIFFERENT dog afterward, and I had to mourn that with Joe and get used to having the different dog. And I’m also constantly vigilant, which as you know takes a lot out of a person. And you’ve got a lot more animals than me to be vigilant about!
    Gosh I wrote this to be encouraging but now I’m feeling a little morose. Well, I hope this helps a little bit. Apparently this is a very common injury, so I’m sure you’ll hear more stories that are even more encouraging.

    • It IS encouraging Elizabeth – there is no way in a million years we could afford a 4,000 dollar surgery. That kind of money is not there, I save very carefully all year long so I can see my children. But still that amount is huge. It also sounds like Joes injury was much worse than Boo’s so this gives me extra encouragement. The no jumping at all is the hardest! And no running! Mercy. It is good to know it will take a long time. c

  10. You have captured Boo’s state perfectly in that photo with him tucked sadly and obediently in his cold shaft of light in the back corner. Poor poor Nanny Boo. I hope your wishful thinking makes good things happen.

  11. It’s snowing here right now – 11:11am. It’s not supposed to stick to roads and sidewalks, but we’ll see. Smoky has done something to his right front elbow, it’s swollen, not hot or painful if touched, but he’s limping a bit. I can’t say I don’t expect things like this, he’s 13. We also have very slippery floors in these temporary quarters, he may have strained or sprained something. I hope Boo will be better soon. It’s hard to watch them wanting to do what they always did and not being able to understand why they’re not allowed anymore. I know Butch finally accepted that he couldn’t run anymore, he didn’t like it but he accepted it. I think that’s one lesson my dogs have taught me well, to accept some of the things that life brings that you don’t like at all. Sweet shot of Tima and Tane in their nest.

  12. Mr Flowers’ beautiful feathers, add a nice splash of colour. Nice picture of Sheila with the cows. It certainly gives us a good idea of her size, and she does look svelte and healthy. Fingers crossed for Boo. Time and patience will make a difference. “And they all settled in for a long winter’s nap..”

  13. l love that pig trying to blend in and yes poor Boo…..hopefully he willed over time. At least it’s winter and less daylight for him to be penned up.

  14. Boo’s situation is heart-breaking for both him and you. Did your vet say his injury could be fixed with surgery? I didn’t remember that. People start GoFundMe for all sorts of good causes. Maybe that would be a possibility.

    • The vet said – first we try to rest the limb and a course of anti inflammatories – if after two weeks he is not putting his foot down we sedate him and get an xray (200 dollars) – the xray would tell us if he needs further intervention. Surgery would also mean he would be crated and carried for 6 – 10 weeks. TEN weeks! This is why i am keeping him on a strict no exercise regime. Surgery is probably not an option for us. c

  15. It is easy for me to say (living in perpetual sunshine) but the dark gray gloom of December sounds a bit delightful for the holiday season.

  16. Such a contrast between your seasons and their repective workloads. Winter seems like working a part-time jobs hours… you still have to get the fulltime workload done pretty much…
    Not sure if would help Boo’s situation but the doctor suggested krill oil and green lip mussel supplements for the G.O.’s dodgy knee. Years ago glucosamine helped my cattledog Bo’s mobility as she aged.

  17. Your photos are beautifully real…and soooo very pleasing to the eye! I’ve been ‘offline’ for quite a while, But now that I’m back I’m reminded of what an eye-pleasure it is to browse your site…which is reality displayed at its very best!

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