It feels like we are just on the edge of Spring. We've been teased a few times in the past few weeks with what seems like sunshine and warmth, only to find ourselves back in the icy thick of winter again.
Our animals are ready for a break from the winter, and so are we. Going out to the barn this time of year feels something like preparing for a space walk. There are layers to put on. And equipment to carry. And muddy boots that grow heavy on our chilly feet.
We are expecting lambs in the next couple of weeks. Sheep always do better giving birth earlier in the year. Cows are a different story, and calves are much easier to lose to exposure on an icy night. Depending on the weather, a calf can die in a matter of minutes. Sheep are sturdier when it comes to weather. I guess that makes sense, since sheep are born in a thick wool coat, right?
We are planning on anywhere from 6-13 lambs, depending on twins and triplets.
The cows have been enjoying ranging in the pastures, even if they are still on a dry hay diet. When the grass does poke through the layers of snow, they are more than happy to eat it.
It is easy to tell that our girls are pregnant, with their swollen bellies. The calves are just starting to noticeably move and roll in their mother's tummies.
We "turn off" the hens from laying in the Winter to give them a break and help them get through the cold months as healthy as possible for breeding season. We will be separating out breeding pairs of Russian Orloffs and Black Jersey Giants in the next few weeks as we turn egg production back on.
I have a full load of these celadon "calligraphy" tea bowls, mugs, and coffee tumblers that will be going in the kiln this weekend. I'm hoping these will be good sellers at the summer fairs and farm stands.
And more glass-clay experiments this week - I really like how these stoneware and recycled glass "petals" worked out. This one is a pendant, but I am thinking of making windchimes and garden art in a similar style.
What are you looking forward to most about Spring?