Monday, November 03, 2008

Gray November Days

The Farmer absolutely hates the month of November. I've asked him why and he says "because it is so gray." Guess I'm not the only one in this household who craves color. For me, November is about getting used to the shortening days, colder weather, and being inside more than I really like. For him, I suppose it is that the grass stops growing and his hay harvesting - with either his tractor or his sheep - comes to a slow stop. His days aren't as crazy as when the grass is growing. I know it depresses him. He hates to be inside because frankly, he feels like a caged lion. He paces across the floors when it is dark outside. He can't find anything he wants to do except perhaps read. And he's an active guy -- reading only does so much for him.

By the end of November he settles in and is used to the lack of crazy outdoor schedule. By early January, lambs are arriving, it's freezing cold and he's outside again - loving it - whether it is below zero or not.

All that said, I don't like November gray because I know everything is going to look like this until April. That's a long time of grayness - no leaves on the trees except for what's left hanging like the beech leaves and of course the all too dependable everygreens.

This gray November day, I'd like to introduce you to our new bit of gray.

We've named him Eeyore. I know - not too original. We are big fans of A. A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh around here. (I must admit, before I had Julia I had never read Winnie the Pooh. Once I started reading him to Julia, I realized what all the fuss was about. What a mesmerizing cadence of rhythm every line is!)

Eeyore is on a trial basis now. One of our neighbors bought him at the local livestock auction and we're trying him out for coyote control. Although we were cautious at first, he seems to be fitting into the sheep flock. He definitely hates dogs (canines). Whenever Phoebe and Nessie come too close, he torments them. We're hoping he'll do the same to the coyotes. I must say, he adds a new dimension to my sheep photos. He is quite photogenic and I look forward to taking more shots of him soon.

When I was up the hill the other day taking these photos, I got this nice shot of our new Border Leicester ram. He is quite handsome and his fleece stands out because it is longer than the rest of the sheep. It has been breeding season since August and we're anxious to see what kind of lambs this guy produces come January.

Late this afternoon, I was driving down the road, on the other side of the mountain, to go to pick up my Sunday Times. I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a flock of wild turkeys. I always like to watch them when I get the chance. I stopped the car and backed it up. No, it wasn't at all wild turkeys. It was five coyotes romping around. Wow - that was a pack. I've seen plenty of coyotes in my time - but it is always a lone one running across the road. This pack was out in broad daylight. It made my day even if they do eat our sheep.


Anonymous said...

where's Jeremy?

martha said...

I enjoy your sharing. May there be some sunny days tucked in among the gray days.

Bonnie said...

There's one positive anyway - the soft light on gray days clearly makes for excellent photos! These are stunning. Love that first one especially.

Beth said...

What a great face Eyeore has! Looking forward to more pictures.

We, too, love A.A. Milne. I can still hear the sing-song of my now grown daughter reciting,

John had great big waterproof boots on,
John had a great big waterproof hat,
John had a great big waterproof mackintosh,
and that said John, is that.

I expect the Farmer could use all of those things some of your gray November New England days.

Laura said...

You know, you may find your gray days depressing, but based on the photos, I find them absolutely gorgeous!

I guess it's all about where you come from and what you're used to seeing.

Kat said...

Eeyore is adorable. Have you tried using Huffalumps for coyote protection?

thecrazysheeplady said...

I know exactly what you mean about seeing the coyotes.

Anonymous said...

Your Eyeore made my day.He is very handsome!

Teresa said...

Eyeore is lovely. My parents have had various donkeys and mules over the years and they have each had interesting personalities. I hope he takes care of the coyotes, especially if they are running in packs.