Winter arrived quickly here with several feet of snow on the ground by mid-December. The snow insulated the ground, which still hasn't frozen. As a result, the cows are still eating green grass. If the pasture beneath the snow is tasty enough, they'll use their muzzles to push the snow away. We've got several fields stockpiled for winter grazing. As long as conditions are favorable, the cows seem to do best outside and on grass.
We have a couple of barn cats that help us with the rodent population around the barnyard area. Norman has certainly become the most social of the lot. He'll climb up and walk along the wooden structures that are just high enough to then reach onto our shoulders and sit on the backs of our necks. It can catch you off guard, but he seems to enjoy it. He's a friendly furry fellow, and a great mouser. Meanwhile, in the fields, we've noticed several Northern Harrier hawks. They sit atop the fence posts, waiting for the subtle scurrying of field mice as they move through their system of tunnels in the snow and tall grass. The hawks fly close to the ground where they can deftly drop down to pick up a meal.
Pigflakes: a new kind of breakfast cereal? Not really. We celebrated the end of yule and the calendar year by hosting a Feast of the Boarshead at the farm. It was a lot of fun! A bunch of our neighbors turned out. We feasted on some fantastic soups- and scrapple. Then headed out to the boars pen to make our oaths for the coming year. We'd like to host more festivals that relate to the changes in the seasons in the coming year. Let us know, if you'd like to get involved.
Happy New Year!
Will & Gretchen