“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Last week we were relieved of another grey rain for the excitement of a nor’easter snowstorm! The storm began low in the Gulf States and slid east to the Atlantic where it developed off the coast of the Carolinas and moved north, dumping snow from Virginia to Maine in a matter of days.

We were spared from the worst here, receiving about eight inches of snow. Some parts west and north of us got up to twenty or more inches.

The horses loved it! Throughout the storm, they stayed in their paddock area kicking and romping and rolling in the snow. At times they got to playing “horse tag” – one would sneak up to the backside of the other and nip and run away, kicking up snow in flight. It was just like watching kids playing!

Snoop liked it too…following me through the drifts to the barn, hopping here and there, and pushing her nose into the snow as if to see what was “in there”. Once in the barn she was content to sort through the hay bales, picking out what ever it was that tasted good to her.

The chickens did not like the snow at all! Chickens tend to sink down in the snow, and their flailing wings do not lift them out, but work them deeper into the snow much like how quicksand did in the dinosaurs. A chicken stuck in the snow and in total contrast to the white background, is a billboard advertisement for a hungry hawk…so instinctively, the chickens roost. So that is what they did, and are continuing to do while the snow is still here. To accommodate them we’ve been putting their feed in a pan and placing it in the coop….they are a bunch (I mean flock) of spoiled chickens!

The bees are “balled up” in their hives now. The only evidence of them are a few dead ones that have been pushed out side the hive by workers who are still roaming unattached to keep the hive clean. Before the storm, I bundled hay bales on the sides, backs, and tops of the hives to insulate them. Now it’s up to them and God. Well, really, it always was and will be up to them and God…

The tv news anchors – those are the people who tell us to stock up on bread and eggs, and who work so hard to instill exaggerated fears into all of us for each coming wonder of nature – are already clamoring about the next snow storm that they predict will be here a week from now. I think that it is kind of funny how they try to hook us, but then again I think it’s sad. I just turn the tv off.

I like how the snow slows things down and quiets the world under an insulating blanket. Often I have wondered if the snow is meant to give us time to roost, or huddle up inside with our families. I think that our instincts have become separated from nature so much that we no longer know how to walk with her. No longer do we enjoy and live alongside her seasonal rhythms. Instead, we have replaced them with economic rhythms, which is not rhythmical at all. It is a forward burst that ceases to quiet down…it runs us over and then drags us along in an unending quest to catch up. Unfortunately, when nature slows down so that we can catch our breath, we’ve become so unconnected we don’t know it. We don’t enjoy those times or even appreciate that she is only trying to help us out….

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009

…When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donner and Zippy!”

Zippy? Did he really say Zippy…????

Merry Christmas to All!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009

Lately, the only thing that seems to be on my mind is the rain…there is a lot of it. Our area, and our farm, has received over sixty inches (that’s more than five feet!) of rain so far this year. We are close to twenty inches above the historical norm.

I have to admit that all the grey skies, water laden fields, and deep mud are getting to me. Nothing has time to dry out from one rain storm to the next. Not even my fleece jacket, or the coats and feathers of any of the animals. There is always dampness everywhere these days.

The horse paddocks have been churned from grassy waves to swales of draining water and deepening mud that seemingly sucks at my feet, and holds me in place. The horses, who do not mind the rain, mind the mud, as they have trouble lifting their feet through it, taking away their instinctive ability to take flight if necessary. So instead, they huddle in the stable, staring to the outside, no different than bored children at the window on a rainy day.

And so it is the same with Snoopie, who curls up in her house and stares out. And so it is with the chickens, which perch on their roost next to the shed door and blankly cock their eyes toward the clouded sky.

I keep reminding myself to not complain about rain. I know that some year coming there will not be enough and had I asked, I will then wish I had never asked it to go away. So I don’t.

I think God has His reasons for all this rain, and they are much more important and purposeful than I can sometimes comprehend or appreciate….