I took a couple videos of some of the interesting behaviors of our farm animals, and uploaded them to YouTube for those of you who might enjoy them.
One is of the amazing Sandhill Cranes that winter in our area. I feel really fortunate that this is their gathering place because they are beautiful and noisy, circling our skies. I’ve always felt like they are remnants of the dinosaurs grackling their way overhead. Some days the weather conditions rouse them all to flock in squadrons over our heads. Watch till the end and you’ll see the convergence of a whole army. https://youtu.be/JU6PXGkmnHI
Another one I was delighted to see was the Shetland Sheep who were pleased to find a day that was perfect for playing. Dot and Cookie have little horn stubs where I believe the buds were stunted when they were babies, but they still have that urge to play at battle, butting one another for fun. When they are in this mood, they run in little vertical hops, which I believe is called “gamboling”. It just cracks me up, and is a rare treat when my visit coincides with them being in the mood to entertain me.
I also have an update on Mickey the cat, who surprised me last week by appearing up in the loft that I thought had no access. I risked life and limb to climb up and carry him down to safety. So, the next day there he was again. I decided to ignore him and go about my business, feeding everyone their breakfast. Sure enough, when I came in from feeding the flocks, there he was eating his breakfast downstairs. I have not been able to catch him going up or down so I am not sure how he does it, but I suspect he hops up on various footholds and cabinets, probably not by the ladder I’d thought he had used. My husband says there are plenty of mice up there, pulling shreds of pink insulation out of the rafters for their nests in the winter. This is probably what Mickey is using for his entertainment and I guess I’d rather not watch anyway.
It was a cold and dark January and we did not do much outside, other than trips out the the barn and back to visit and feed the animals. Last week we were in serious need of a project so my husband and I trudged out to the vineyard to prune down the concord grapes. Last year I wasn’t able to harvest any, and I read that you need to prune them back in the dead of winter so that they produce in the next year. I really missed my delicious grape juice! I did my side of the vines as fast as I could, until my fingers got so cold that the shears started dropping out of my hands as if I had no muscles to grip them. That was my clue that it was time to come in.
My indoor projects still take most of my time, knitting and weaving. I made a set of cotton dishtowels on the loom that turned out pretty well. I gave away three of the best ones and kept for ourselves two that had a lot of flaws. I am getting better at learning to catch mistakes earlier and going back to fix them, so the end product is getting to be more and more respectable.
I am also working on another colorful sweater for which my husband picked out yarn for my birthday. It is fun but now I am into the more tedious part so I took a detour to make some socks. I am getting pretty good at the sock pattern I’ve been using and I no longer have to look at the instructions. I made the last pair for myself and now and am working on a pair as a gift since I have a good idea of how to adjust the size.
The yarn was on clearance at the local yarn shop and is thicker than “real” sock yarn, so it makes a hefty, warm sock, good for the next trip out to the vineyard. It is so fun to create useful things!