The Muddy Mire of March

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Look at that! Such a lovely colour … these melting snows of March … NOT! We’ve had a doozy of a melt these past few days. Monday hit 12’C. The rivers that were the back field and the hillside flowed right on through the paddock and curled into the little woods to the west of us.

The warm weather held off until after these guys had their vaccinations. It was SOOOOOO nice to have them out ranging in the paddock again. I worked away beside them – enjoying their cooing and trilling as they called each other to check out their finds. I tried not to think about what they were gobbling up out of that old straw and bedding!

While the chickens just strode through any streams they came across the goats decided to stay on the high ground. They are not fans of snow – or water.

They are definitely not fans of ice. Our farrier was here a day ago and he and I traipsed down to the front paddock to meet up with the jennies. When we headed back I thought I was going to lose him twice to serious slips on the ice that is the ‘Bully Road’.

Over the next few weeks this will all disappear. It really has been a tough winter. I’ve been feeling the strain of it – worrying about being able to look after the flerd in the cold or the deep snow. I was saying to Ede, yesterday, I have begun to shrug that heaviness off. I woke up yesterday EARLY for the first time since late December. And I woke up feeling refreshed – ready to enjoy the day. It was only after it was gone that I realized it had been there. It sneaks up on me like that … I think I’m just hibernating … but I’m also deeply affected by the dark and cold of a winter. A sunny day – a hint of warmth in the air – the smell of the mud – all seem to be part of the antidote for my winter depression. Bring it on!

See this guy? This is Norman. He is the rooster in the Orpington coop (aka The Palace). Norman is just about one year old. We’re pretty sure his ‘father’ is Paddy.

Norman was inside with me because he need a little doctoring. You might be able to see the blood around his beak?

This guy – on the other hand – is Paddy. Paddy needed a lot of doctoring. One sunny afternoon I had let Paddy and his hens free range while I came in for lunch. When I went back out – I saw TWO Paddys …?!?

Somehow the door to the Palace had come open and Norman ran into Paddy… By the looks of the feathers in the Clubhouse (Paddy’s coop) I’d say they met up in there. By the time I came out they were both out in the paddock dancing around the hens. I’m not even sure they were fighting any more at that point. I only had time to notice that there were two visions of Paddy dancing around Sulu… and Sulu should have been in the Palace! I would say Paddy took the worst of it. He has had such a terrible time this last while. So here he is in all his gooey glory. I washed them both up and used antibiotic ointment on their wounds. Guess they’ll be free ranging on opposite schedules – poor guys! Roosters really have a challenging life!

Yesterday the muddy paddock became the white paddock again. Spring is slowly sneaking up on us – in fits and starts. I’ll just sit these pictures here so next March when I look back I can remind myself … green is May.

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