We worked in the grim cold and blowing though inconsequential snow all day then at the moment the sun committed to dropping below the horizon, to begin her journey to visit my children, she turned her fleeting lights on me. Suddenly and very briefly, sepia turned to glowing golden.
Today I hope to load up Txiki and Aunty Anna and Stupid and take them over to the other side for the rest of the winter. Aunty Anna will be sold in a month or so. I am still loath to sell Txiki. She is such a nice fat heifer. I really want to keep her for breeding this coming summer. The hay is going down fast though. I did not plan on having so many cows so I need to push forward with sales. I am a farm after all – not a zoo.
The moves today will leave only the milking cows and the calves here at the home farm. The barn here on the house side is much smaller and more difficult to manage in the winter. Having said that I am tempted to bring Tia back from the West side to the house barn. She has grown to be a lovely heifer. Big and black and shiny. Her winter coat is luxurious. And if I am to breed her and train her to be a milk cow for the summer of 2019 she needs to be closer to the people for taming.
I will see if I can cut her out easily. If it is easy I will bring her back. But it is better to go slow in this cold. So I will be an opportunist.
Yesterday afternoon during the milking a fuse blew in the barn and suddenly everything was at risk. Luckily the fuses for that box are stored right above the fuse box in the barn so it was an easy fix, and Lady Astor was more than happy to wait in her stanchion in the milking room eating her extra rations of hay while we sorted it all out, but it did bring my reliance on electricity into sharp relief. Water immediately starts to freeze in these conditions.
In the few minutes that we rushed about seeking the problem, then fixing it, the pump and the pulsator began to cool (I bring the machinery out of the warm house at the last minute before milking). The pump and pulsator, which is on top of the bucket, sit under heat-lamps to keep warm and I had turned both lamps on in that blowing cold, so the heat-lamps blew the fuse. It was 25F/-4C and dropping. So the milking itself took a long time with the cold pump labouring.
Today I will unplug the water heaters before plugging in the heat-lamps. We have more water heaters going this year which is probably the problem.
Because John helps me with the chores now, I am getting through the work much faster and getting more done each time. So, by early evening, just as the sun showed her colours, all the farm work was done and I had already started the yoghurt and a sourdough focaccia.
I have never made focaccia bread before so we will see how that goes.
It is 7F/-13C, as I write in the dawn light this morning, but the sun is actually coming up into a clear sky and the wind has dropped so that bodes well! Everything feels better with sun.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: A sunny day! Cold but sunny.
Saturday 01/13 0% / 0 in
Sunny. High 18F/-7C. Winds NW at 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday Night 01/13 0% / 0 in
A clear sky. Low 3F/-16C. Winds light and variable.
7:16 am 4:47 pm
Waning Crescent, 11% visible 4:17 am 2:23 pm