Monday, March 22, 2010

Swiftly changing seasons

Thursday and Friday were perfect blue spring days, barely a breeze, 60's, frogs calling from the wetlands. We did two huge jobs at once: cleaned out last year's bedding from the barn, and staked out and mulched more than 20 new growing beds in the Northeast Quadrant.

WWOOFer CC arrived Wednesday and really hit the ground running...I think she was part of the team on every single heavy load of wet, half-composted/halt ensiled, manurey hay. KU student gardener LP pitched in on several loads, I helped on some, longtime farm volunteer MW did a bunch, too. New volunteer PM worked two long days with us, helping stake out the new beds (4 corners per bed, 10 beds per block, 3 blocks completely marked...hmmm...120 stakes measured and pounded?!? We also received a delivery of brome--square bales to stack in the barn and big round bales in the barn pen.

The goal was to have the barn floor cleaned in time to get the sheep under shelter for Saturday's shearing, in case it rained or...snowed? As we put finishing touches on rearranging the gate panels, and spread the floor with lime and sawdust and brome hay for bedding, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees. We hastened to run the sheep in, did a few more chores, folks headed home.

CC and I went to a Taize service in town with a friend, pulling out our warm sweaters since it had gotten dark and a bit cooler. A bit cloudy, too. Silly us! An hour later when we left the church, it was raining a light, icy rain. None of us had jackets on.

We went home, ate dinner, went back to town for groceries wearing rain jackets this time. By the time we got out of the grocery store, icy pellets of sleet were freezing on the windshield.

We awoke to a thick blanket of snow on shearing morning! The sheep were snug and dry, though, and the roads were passable so the shearer could get here, even if a bit late. A very odd first day of spring!

It snowed all through shearing, all day, all evening, amounting to about 8 inches of moderately heavy snow. But the streets were mostly clear, because they were so warm to start with.

Today most of it melted away, the frogs were singing again, the grass is greener than ever where the snow has gone, the crocuses emerged largely unscathed.

And we had our first lamb born this morning!

I have photos, but never enough time.

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