I took a walk yesterday after evening chore time through the back 10 acre goat pasture. I was searching for foot prints in the snow. My curiosity had finally peaked and I wanted evidence of who else I might share this land with, how many, and how close. A walk sounds nice normally but the trudging through the snow I’ve been doing for the last four days to feed sheep, chickens and goats has just become a challenge. It’s getting better and walking down the paths I have shoveled out has made a big difference, but Advil has been a necessary accompaniment with my evening glass of wine.
Just before chore time the sheep decided they were board and walked through the electro-net fence and stood at the garden fence screaming at me. “do something”! “There is nothing to eat out here except this ol’ round bale of hay and we are completely fed up with this white stuff”! Okay, okay, I brought out a bucket of corn and they walked back into their pen and ate. While they ate I scanned the fence to find out why it wasn’t charging. The Llama Kalamazoo was not interested in going back with the sheep so he is out patrolling the whole 85 acres. Actually he hasn’t left the garden. He seems content and there is an old bale of hay I was going to use as mulch but he’s found it palatable and has decided he needs a break from his sheep.
So after I had that all sorted out, I walked past the round bale of hay the goats have been munching on I wasn’t sure if they would follow me out. Goats aren’t like sheep they don’t like the rain and hate to get their feet wet, so they stayed behind and I continued on and walked through un-trodded snow.
I saw them immediately, near the fence line. I wasn’t sure but finally surmised deer. Maybe 100 feet from the barn. They looked like goat prints but I know that to be impossible so I followed them and they ended at the fence and started again beyond. I looked up and all around me were foot prints, I was surrounded. Deer possible, raccoon, possum and coyote but I really wasn’t sure. But obviously these were new tracts and I know now I’m never alone. I never see them I suppose I am grateful for that. They keep to their business and I too mine. They have the advantage of a keen sense of smell so they are very well aware of me, and my comings and goings. I’m the oblivious one.
It really is beautiful, the snow. It makes farm life more difficult but it is beautiful. We’ll have a mess to clean up when it’s all melted, A section of roof in our barn gave away from the weight of the snow but if that’s the only casualty I’d say were doing pretty good. The roof needed re tinned anyway so I’ll just add this to the list.
Soon after the melt I will be able to chisel plow the garden and start getting it ready for spring planting. That’s one advantage of the quantity of snow we got, at least it will moisten the earth just enough for me to be able to work the soil. It’s almost time to start tomato and pepper seedlings. I’ll be grateful when this is all gone and life can get back to normal a little but I’m more
grateful that we got through it for the most part with no incident.