Nothing Like the Threat of Snow
With every change of season there comes a whole host of chores that need to be done. Though we know this happens every year, we never seem to get everything done in a relaxed, timely fashion. This fall is no exception. The list of things to get done before winter sets in has been just as long as ever. Friday afternoon I began hearing reports of s _ _ _. (I almost hate to actually write the word for fear that my extended fall season will come to an abrupt end.) The reports said that we could have as little as 4 inches and as much as 10 inches. That lit a fire under me as many of my fall chores need to be done before the snow sets in.
|Bunny hutches in the barn|
With this forecast looming over my head, I enlisted the help of my daughter in moving the bunny cages to the protection of the barn. This involved scrubbing each cage, grain trays, and water bottles and then carrying them into the center part of our barn. The barn protects them from the intense wind and blowing snow that howls all winter long on our hillside farm. After about an hour’s time-both bunnies were snug in their winter quarters.
Some years I have no trouble getting hay purchased and delivered by the end of August. This was not one of those years. We found a source for hay early on and actually had our first load delivered in a timely fashion but then the farmer’s tractor broke. As September came and went, I began to realize that I needed to find a different source for the remaining 300 bales. I finally located another farmer, further away, that had just cut a beautiful load of second cut hay. It sat loaded on his trailer, we simply needed to coordinate our schedules with the weather for a delivery. September came and went and October came. We had trouble coordinating both our son’s soccer schedules and mother nature to make a delivery. He called this past weekend to tell us about a different farmer that lived closer to us who had hay available. So we turned to farmer number three-and began picking up the remainder hay 25 bales at a time in our pick up truck.
|Rolling up fencing|
The other task to be done before the ground gets covered in snow-is to pick up temporary fencing. My husband went from field to field rolling up the flexible netting that subdivided our pastures for summer grazing. Then, I went to work rolling up the temporary fencing which extends beyond our permanent fence into a hay field. Our sheep graze a little on the hay field after the second cutting of hay.
Lastly, the time had arrived to put our ram in with our ewes. We sold our ram, Elijah, and he goes to his new home this week. We had to move all of the sheep around to bring him to the barn so we could take him to the vet for his health certificate. I felt it was only logical to go ahead and separate our breeding groups while we had all the sheep in the paddock and barn. Though we usually hold off until the second week of November-I am excited to have lambs arriving in March this year instead of April. Jethro seems quite happy to be with the girls a couple weeks early as well.
All of these chores have been on our list for many weeks. With fall soccer and me making trips with my daughter to look at colleges, we have not been home on a weekend to begin to scratch any off the list. The chore list always seems to get done though-one way or another and there is nothing like the threat of snow to hurry things along.