Someone told me that today is Groundhog Day, when I commented on the welcome change of sun bursting through the clear blue sky. I guess that is bad news because that sleepy old rodent will see his shadow and scurry back down the hole for a longer winter.
I don’t even care today because we got into the 50’s and it was a reminder of the spring to come. This afternoon I put the dogs on leashes and took two loops around the property to smell the fresh air and enjoy seeing grass again, however brown it still is. Then I left them to roam the yard within the invisible fence and I went to check on the barn animals.
I’d noticed the goats forlornly walking the narrow 10 foot hike from their shed to their food and back, and Eddy was limping a little. It could have just been his careful goat stepping in the uneven muddy path, but I knew I had to check out their feet. I herded them into the stall in the barn yesterday and trimmed up their hooves. The outside edges grow out like our fingernails and begin curling under and the heel end grows into a big lump over time. The “farmer” (me) has to trim it all back so that their feet are flat across the bottom, and I have gradually built up some rudimentary skill at the task.
Today, I was checking to see if Eddy’s gait had improved so I coaxed them out into the pasture. They are such curious creatures that they often follow me around, especially if they think they can steal something — a hat, a glove, a tool. When we got way down to the far end, I abruptly took off in a hurry towards the barn and they spooked and ran full tilt the rest of the way. The surprise movement got their blood pumping and they got really playful, chasing each other around and running up and down the ramp to their spools. It was a joy to see.
In the picture, you can see the orange ball I threw out for them to play with. That was a failed experiment. In the distance are the bee hives, with no bees coming out to play yet — I checked. I sure hope both colonies are surviving the winter. Anyway, it is fun to get a day or two of spring in the middle of the long gray days of winter just to lift our spirits and bring us hope.