Yesterday three yearlings had babies. So far, so good for this batch. Here's a proud teenage mama with her sweet little prize. I'm wondering if you all are paying attention - can you tell that this is a youngster, not an older ewe? Do you see how her nose is smaller and less round - how her face looks less developed? Nothing on her has started to sag??
Wow, haven't these lambs grown? Can you believe they are the same ones that were born in January? They're snacking on the snow that falls off the greenhouse roof. Resourceful little things.
Mud season is here. This really is the worst time of year to live on a farm. We cannot escape the melting snow, the ground that is thawing out, the manure piles that are turning into giant piles of sloppy muck. Even I - queen of the non-chalant, nothing bothers me - type of girl, find the mud hard to take.
When I first moved to New England, I really didn't know what "mud season" was. I grew up in New Jersey and all the roads were paved with asphalt. When I lived in eastern Mass I heard friends complaining about "mud season." Let me tell you - they had not a bit to complain about. That mud is nothing compared to what it is like to really live through "mud season" in the country. Our road is barely passable - the town road crew tries by running the grader over the dirt road, dumping gravel. There are spots where there are giant sinkholes. I just grit my teeth and churn my truck through it. Sometimes I think we will be swallowed up by it.
The yard outside the sheep barn is a quagmire. You really haven't lived until your boot gets swallowed up in a winter's worth of manure and hay.... It happened yesterday. I thought I wouldn't escape. I've got to wear higher boots this time of year - my Blundstones just don't cut it.
The Farmer came home the other night totally demoralized. He said he has had enough of the mud. He never complains about anything so I could tell mud season was in high gear ......
His overalls are covered in mud and muck. On the way home, a neighbor was stuck so he helped get the little car with small wheels out of the muddy road. My Farmer is a good guy - he lay down in the mud and hooked a chain on the car, put his truck in four wheel and pulled the neighbor to his house. I think I had better put those Carhart overalls in the wash tonight. But then, maybe not, they'll just be covered in mud again in the morning......
I can't imagine how the sheep feel - every where they walk, they sink into the ground. It's not good for the pastures either. It's getting impossible to spread manure because the heavy tractor can sink in and compact the soil. That doesn't help the fertility of the soil, nor the roots of the grass. Pretty soon, there's going to be another giant pile of manure to be spread on the fields when it all dries out.....
It's a bit hard to go to town. Today I did and considering the state of my boots and mud on my pants, I was really hoping I didn't see anyone I knew. I didn't. And then I looked around and there were a bunch of people who were just like me - escaping mud season in the hills. They too had mud on their boots and pants..... As you can tell, we live in the fashion capital of the world......
I can't imagine how hard it must to be keep a proper establishment clean this time of year. I don't even try here. Our place is definitely not "proper" - it is a farm. And besides, who wants "proper?" Not me, for sure..... I know that mud season will pass one day. Then I'll get out the bucket and the mop and hose it all down.
BOOK PARTY - MAY 5-6
to celebrate the publication of my new book
CRAFTING A PATTERNED HOME.
Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.
This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.
The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.