Here at Land’s End in Short Beach we are busily winding up the years work trying to stay ahead of winter! The past week there has been a definite change and drop in temperature. It has been in the 40s F or about 6Â° or 7Â°C at night . Days range in the 50s F or 10Â°-12Â°C. The wind blows hard and we have had some cold rain this week. The clouds look more like snow than rain clouds
Bill was waiting for a hard frost before harvesting turnips. Frost seems to take the bitterness out of them. We have had mild frost so far some nights. The cabbage is also still in the field. One step forward and two steps backward is the order of the day. Lay plans and the unexpected always comes along to change them. So we are a bit behind schedule getting things done.
Bill ran into problems repairing the broken mowing machine. In the end he had to take another broken mower and dismantle it and use two to make one. This was no easy task as both mowers are a hundred years old and most likely have never been apart before. Five aggravating days later he succeeded and the new mower is oiled , put away for winter ready to use next year. Bill is a few years closer to a hundred himself after this frustrating week. He hates working on any machinery horse drawn or other wise.
The winter wood is split and much is now under cover in the sheds. We still have more to bring in before it snows. Some years winter is late here and other times it has snowed in October. Pick a choice when it comes to weather forecasts as none of them are accurate all the time for our region of the country. I prefer to watch the clouds and observe the wind and wildlife to know when winter is coming.
Our goats were right on schedule coming into heat this year and we now have four expectant mother’s to be. The buck was only born in the Spring but managed to breed all our females and jump two pasture fences to breed the neighbor’s goat not that she minded. When not performing his duties he was still nursing on his mother. How gross is that!! Too bad his life will be short, as as soon as it gets colder later in November it will be butchering time. This is a sad reality of farm life.
Bill finished shingling the front of the barn but still wants to change the goats stall around as well as the opening to the out side before winter. When done the barn will open on the south side letting in more sun and making a nicer place for the goats to be out doors to lay. Presently the enter and exit on the east side . The new entry will have a big south window to let in sun and light. That is sun when we have it! Until September it was very elusive this year! September and October were our best months weather wise.
I have finished canning and putting up preserves finally.Then I stocked up on essentials such as toilet paper, flour, brown sugar and cooking oil. My goal is not to have to shop until next summer. It is my least favorite thing to do. I am about finished fall cleaning in the house and am getting ready to close up the upstairs for winter except for one guest bedroom.
Hunting time has already arrived and the deer have disappeared again. Like magic a herd of sixteen can suddenly vanish. Bird hunting starts earlier. The deer must hear the gun shots and use this as a warning to start finding hiding places. Up until now the deer have been grazing in our pasture and hay field every night.
Rex somehow acquired a swollen tendon. Our theory is he must have slipped and twisted his ankle on one of the hills after a hard rain. After treating it with compresses and giving him Brute, which is like horse aspirin, for pain he seems no better off a month later. Bill thoroughly examined his foot to be certain he hadn’t picked up a stone or split a hoof. Rex has good horse sense but accidents still can happen. Since he can’t talk we must observe and by deduction assume what is wrong.
Here is what I have noticed lately. Rex no longer takes off for the back pasture when Bill handles the harness which was is cue to hide if he didn’t want to work! He spends his days lazily grazing in the west pasture in view of the neighbor’s house from which the humans bring him apples everyday. They felt sorry for him. If Molly runs circles around him trying to get him to play he is still able to run from her or rear on his hind feet. If Bill and I are outside in his sight he limps when he walks. He hangs his head and looks pitiful or lies down. But when he is unaware of our presence he stands with head alert watching everything of interest to his horse brain. True is leg is still swollen some. However Rex is either aware of his hurt only at specific times or he is aware he has found a good excuse not to work! What ever the case Bill has decided not to work him in the woods this winter. He will wait and see how his leg is in the Spring. If it is going to heal Rex should be fine six months from now.
Personally I think Rex is much wiser than we give him credit for. I am sure when he lies down with eyes half shut with the friendly buck goat lying next to him he is thinking ; ” This is the good life! No more work, just great pastures, free apples , people catering to me ; even making that pesky dog to leave me alone, plenty of hay and water. How much better can life get for a horse! Those poor humans are such saps!” Who knows; maybe we are. But we love Rex and aren’t taking any chances with his leg even if he may being using horse sense to pull the wool over our eyes, out fox us or maybe I should say using horse reason to out wit human reason!