Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tucked in, nice and cozy

Jeremy and I bundled up and trundled into town to the Saturday farmer's market yesterday. Our mission was simple enough: to get a small Christmas tree. We found one quickly enough, after falling in love with it's odd Victorianesque shape. I had hoped to find a few other things while we were there, but aside from buying another calendula lip balm from a wonderful local bee farmer, we didn't pick up much. We came home and decorated the tree while listening to some of Arvo Pรคrt's Berliner Messe. After hanging our assorted ornaments I realized that for the most part our tree has either native bird ornaments, or star wars ornaments. Hahaha. I guess that seems about right.

Our tree has the most adorable homely shape to it.

I also began warping my table loom in a simple white wool. It's been a long time since I've woven, and I'll admit it would be easier if I could find my sley hook instead of trying to fumble the various plies of the yarn through the metal heddles. I didn't get as far as tensing the loom, but that's fine by me. Once I get it dressed and tensioned, I'm sure the actual weaving will fly by quickly - it always does. My goal was to finish dressing it today, but after the snow storm slowed everything down I didn't really get much of anything done...

The table loom has been a great loom for the house we're in now, but I miss my floor loom which is still in storage - and dressed - at a friend's house.

This morning brought a four inches of wintery surprise for all of us. The weather forecast had been correct, for once, and the old North wind had dumped a blanket of white over us during the night. When I awoke, the snow was still falling fast and I managed to stay in bed an extra hour or so before the lady-ducks' cries finally drove me to get out into the cold crisp air.

This is a shot from the window that is level with our bed. I roll over and peer out over the barnyard every morning.

My first chore was to hay the sheep. They seemed more polite today than usual. I think they're developing a distinct pecking order and there is a lot less shuffling and headbutting in the morning when I feed them. It's fun to watch their excited faces as they root around in the hay pile to find the bits of alfalfa that I mix into their grass hay. Spoiled much?

After the sheep, I trudged over to the duck coop amidst quite a racket. If the sheep have become more polite, the ducks have become less so. I swear each morning, Fleur and Tonks get louder and louder. Poor Fleur has the squeakiest voice, too. She had an upper respiratory infection earlier this year and, while she seems to be over it, she still has a squeak when she quacks. Poor dear sounds like cleaning an oboe reed!

The ducks are finally acclimating to the snow. They are Khaki Campbells, and, well, they're pretty wimpy when it comes to bad weather. I know some people who have ducks that revel in the snow. I have to put their food across their pen so that they get out into the snow a bit, or else
they'd never leave the coop!

The ducks despise the snow, and would rather stay inside than venture out.

The blanket of snow has coated everything now. It was peaceful and quiet in the gardens, and I was grateful for the thick frosting because for once I was able to focus on the accomplishments of the last year, rather than the unfinished jobs and projects now masked by the snow.

In 2010 I managed to:
  • put in, and adjusted the soil of, a bed of eight blueberry bushes
  • plan, prepare and plant a raspberry patch of 34 plants, and prepare the bed for 2011 expansion
  • build two large raised strawberry beds, one small wild strawberry bed
  • build four raised beds by the front fence: two for vegetables and two for strawberry propagation
  • build my fantastic garden bench and raised veggie bed
  • install three concrete cinder block gardens, using lasagna soil methods
  • prep plant and harvest a new veggie bed, and then double it in size for next year
  • Etc, etc, etc
It's amazing to look at what I've accomplished. I often feel like I'm behind in what I'd like to be doing around the garden, but this morning I was able to finally feel like I've caught up. The season of planning is truly upon us, though I am still trying reeeeeally hard to keep from planning veggie varieties until January 1st. It's healthier that way, I think...

Here, I close with a few additional photographs.

The blueberry bushes are tucked in for the winter...

The Raspberries are cozy and sleeping, though the deer fence has collapsed under the first snow- not a good sign...

The orchard is thickly frosted and only the occasional skittery steps of the voles and field mice show that life exists beneath the snow.

Basil loves the snow and drives us all crazy with her frantic yapping and bouncing and nipping and... you get the picture.

1 comment:

  1. Great post and great pics! It's so satisfying to see you doing all these things that you like to do!