As spring slowly rolls in, it always makes me think of how I could do things differently, more efficiently, better for me and the animals. This past winter was a real blessing weather-wise, as we had so little snow. I dont even think the ground froze for long, and just yesterday I threw clover seed out on already-growing pastures.
The cattle are making quick work of their rangey ragged winter coats; its almost as if they can not throw them off fast enough. A week of record temperatures in the 70's has really pushed us into a premature spring!
While the balmy weather is welcome after months of vitamin D deprived grey (aka: Rochester NY winter), it is a bit hard on the cattle as they stand panting in the sun under their winter hair. There is no shade to be found, as the trees have yet to leaf out. It is kinda weird.
This winter went by quickly for us here at the farm. No snow to plow, and the wood lasted with some to spare thankfully. My deep sadness has also embraced a new begining, and I now find myself looking forward to the future and all its possiblities. Its as if God Himself has said, "its enough". For my greif was great at the loss, but God is faithful, and now, looking back, I can truely understand the parable of the footprints i n the sand, where there is only one set of footprints, that is truely where He carried me.
And so here I am now. Expecting a few calves this spring and summer, the fences will be pounded and pulled, ratchted and braced. I was fotunate to find enough hay for the winter and early spring, which was delivered right to my driveway and unloaded; my ever so kind neighbor moving it around for me the next day. I wont mess with small bales anymore, or round bales, as they are difficult to store and feed...but prefer the large rectangular bales. We use approx. one 800# bale a week for the animals (8, differnt ages) so its farely easy to estimate what we will need.
The barn did not get pitched out this winter, instead I opted to bed on top of things to keep them off the damp ground. Needless to say, a loader and truck will be doing that chore as soon as things dry out.
Thankfully all the animals came through another winter in good flesh and fit.
And so did my girls and I.