Today we are enjoying the last of a warm front, that's blowing through as I write, to be followed closely behind by cold weather, with the possibly of that four-letter s-word: snow! Though it is the second week of November, and a completely normal possibility for this time of year.
Out the window things are the same, but different:
The trees are all still there, and the grass is greener than it was in June. The weigela bush got cut back; the drought did a number on it, and a great deal of it had died. We cut it back to the stems that still had green leaves, in hopes that it will spring back next spring. Sorry to the birds that like to use it as a wind shelter during the winter.
The meat chickens went to the butcher in early October. They turned out pretty well, but weren't as big as some we've had. A little later start and lots of heat seems to have stunted their weight gain a little bit. I'm sure they'll still taste good.
The meat turkeys are a week out from their date with the butcher. Which is not a bit too soon. We managed to get a lucky draw with poults this year, and ended up with all toms for our meat turkeys. They have been growing quite well, and I wouldn't be surprised if they're some of the biggest we've raised. But with their size and maturity, the hormones have kicked in pretty well, and we've got lots of displaying and aggressive moves going on in the turkey pen. Luckily not towards me, but I'm sure if we gave them a few more weeks, things would head that way.
The garden has been put to bed for the winter; mowed down, dug up, and sporadically covered with compost, poultry poo, and leaves.
We kept back 9 hens out of the chickens we raised from incubated eggs this year. So far they are one of my favorite chicken flocks ever. Apparently not afraid of people they actually will come up to me if I stand still in the pasture, and curiously peck at my green garden clogs and any loose piece of clothing that may be on my person. They've learned that I bring the treats (kitchen scraps), and now come running to the fence when they see me. Their fearless leader is a recently acquired Ameraucana cross rooster, who is delightfully non-combative, and while keeping his ladies in order, does not think that I'm a predator that needs to be attacked. Here are some picture of the lovely ladies and their fearless leader:
Because of them not being afraid, I can get fun up close photos like this:
Moving into the colder months of the year, our focus moves inside. Especially this year. We have a lot to prepare our house for.
February will find us welcoming a Baby O'Hara to the farm. So now that most of our outdoor tasks are finished, and I'm through the tiredness of early pregnancy, most of our time is being spent making the attic a finished room, continuing our efforts to reduce clutter and organize, turning one of our bedrooms into a nursery, and just generally preparing for one of the biggest changes in our life.
I imagine future posts may be a little sparse for awhile, but I will try to keep you updated on all the household projects, and general outdoor loveliness that we will see this winter.