January 1, 2010
2009 was the year the rains came. After 18 months of pond-evaporating, cough-inducing aridity, the rains were a satisfying sight. They replenished the ponds, put a fresh coat of green on the grass and produced food aplenty for the sheep out back. Had they left it at that, the rains would have been a very welcome addition to the year. But of course they continued, flooding the creek, washing out parts of the driveway and leaving low-lying parts of the property a mucky mess.
Now that winter has arrived, the colder air has locked into place some of these changes. Tire grooves in the long driveway look as permanent as cement. But it’s never as cold as the weather we left back North. And we know now that with the new season and the new year, other changes will arrive that undo everything we thought we knew in the past and that create opportunities in corners that once looked bleak.
Some of the changes this year at Sun and wind Farm have included:
– As previously reported, the Shetlands have moved on to another owner. But in their place, we have been blessed with two personable Suffolk lambs – Molly and Daisy – with whom we now enjoy our daily walks, accompanied by the faithful Freckles. Although Freckles’ job is to be a guardian dog for the livestock, she’s really more of a sidekick. Molly and Daisy scarcely know they are sheep and we have come to think of them as our second and third dogs. If all goes well, four Icelandic sheep will join us in February — two bred ewes, one ewe lamb and a little wether who goes by the name of Warlock. That means new lambs in May!
– It was a tough year on the chicken front as all but one of the commandos -– the indomitable Miss Herman — were taken this fall by a hawk who lives in the back pasture. Herman continues to thrive, catching free rides from Molly and Daisy and sneaking out of the pasture into the back yard on occasion. She will be joined in early February by a fresh corps of recruits, Rhode Island Red chicks who will assist in her strategically important role of pecking and scratching at imaginary bugs.
– Freckles continues to patrol nicely for predators, a more important role than ever as hungry coyotes test the border and — we suspect — a lone bobcat may be roaming the adjoining property. But she may not have to pull solo duty much longer. We’re in research mode and plan to choose either another Great Pyr from a breeder or work with a North Texas rescue organization to welcome into the fold a livestock guardian dog who has been abandoned by its original owners.
– Evenings are spent on rug hooking, quilting or spinning – we are bursting at the seams with fabric and none of it goes unused, particularly our hand-dyed wool that’s found its way to ebay.com.