Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Spring is (hopefully) on its way!

snowy driveway at psasI was sick of winter by mid-December. It’s now the beginning of February, and I’m starting to feel desperate. Thankfully I will be escaping to Florida for a long weekend in just over a week, where I will get to hang out with Baby Sky and hopefully see some sun.

Winters in this area aren’t usually too horrible, though I’d choose a Hawaiian winter any day of the week. Usually, though, we have cold days and then warmish days, so it’s not too oppressive. We had hope early on that it would be a mild winter when we had a day in the 70’s for the Thanksgiving For the Turkeys.

Unfortunately mild is not a word that can be applied to the winter this year. We had a December that was at least 5 degrees colder than normal (I think we saw 40 only twice), and a January that continued the trend. At least we haven’t gotten gigantic snows like we got last year, and like the rest of the country seems to be getting this year!

hickory at psas

We did get some snow last week, enough to coat the sanctuary in a white blanket. The sheep and goats had been spending a lot of time hanging around the barn, and we tried to bribe them to go up to the hay feeder on top of the hill, but they’d follow us up there, and then follow us back down! Jeremy did not help things by standing in the middle, intimidating the other goats and sheep. And to think he was such a sweetheart as a baby!

goats heading up the hill at psas

While we were up there we saw one of the Bald Eagles flying to their nest holding onto some nest-making material. They re-use the same nest year after year, and it seems like the nest should be a three story condo by now. In the early summer when the sheep are sheared, the eagles will take a lot of the wool from the compost pile and use it for their nest!

bald eagle carrying nest material at psas

We can see the nest from the top of the hill in the goat and sheep yard, but we don’t approach it, especially at this time of year. I believe February is when they lay their eggs in this area, and if they were disturbed they could abandon the nest, which would be a very sad thing.

There are a few huge round bales of hay hanging out near the pig barn, and Malcolm was having a great time climbing up and jumping from bale to bale.

malcolm levitating at psas

This picture makes me laugh, because it doesn’t even look real. It looks like he is levitating instead of jumping!

The tractor had some serious bling to deal with the snow.

tractor at psas

I’m really glad I don’t have to drive the tractor. When the ground isn’t slippery they have a donated SUV that they use to tow the spreader, which means they are not only warmer while spreading all the goodies we collect, they are protected from flying turds. But using the tractor to tow the spreader is better than not using the spreader at all, which we learned last year when the area had gotten several feet of snow several times, and the buckets had to be dumped in these giant piles instead of being spread out in the far pasture. Add some bling to the tractor, and it heads right up the snowy hill!

Still trying to get that certain expression on Darcy’s face. Not even close this week, but I like the consolation prize!

darcy's tongue at psas

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6 responses to “Spring is (hopefully) on its way!

  1. NotHoney February 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I am so ready for June I can’t tell you. Oh wait, I can and do tell you – all the time! Saving my birthday certificate to BOW for a hot, humid summer day so we can sit under an umbrella and bask in summer!

    Love the pics, esp. the one of the goats and sheep trudging up the hill. Can’t wait to see how things look there on Saturday.

  2. ☼Illuminary☼ February 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Enjoy the escape, and know some of us will be a bit green with envy!
    🙂

  3. Deb February 3, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    @sheryl – I feel so beaten down by winter this year! I bet everything is melted by the weekend though. Hopefully the weather won’t be too awful, though it does look like it will be wet. Just in time for your friends to visit the sanctuary!

    @Illuminary – even if it is rainy and 50 the whole time I’m there (like it was last year) it will still be a very nice escape! Granted this year there will be a new feature in the form of a 7 month old adorable little girl…I have a feeling she keeps things hopping! As long as I get a chance to get pics of all the adorableness (there is also a lovely greyhound, Violet, and a lovely grey kitty, Emme, living there), I’m happy. 🙂

  4. Shannon (Vegan Burnout) February 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Awww, Baby Sky! I love Mary’s pictures of her. I hope you have a wonderful (and very warm and sunny) time.

    Question I should probably know the answer to: Why are the sheep sheared? Is it because they end up with too much wool since they’re bred for it?

    • Deb February 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      The weather forecast is predicting 70’s while I’m there which sounds awesome to me! Of course I have to hope we get no travel-cancelling storms when I am leaving dc!

      As for the sheep, not all have to be sheared, it depends on the breed, so it is one more sign of how genetic manipulation impacts these guys. The “meat” breeds actually shed their wool when it gets warm out! This is what happens with wild sheep too. It’s the ones bred for wool that don’t shed their wool, and it gets unbearably hot for them in the summer in this climate, so they have to be sheared for their own health.

  5. Harry February 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Deb

    It seems to be strange weather all over the globe; you may have read about what’s been happening in Australia this summer. Devastating floods and cyclones. And 2 years ago at the same time of year horrific bushfires. Fortunately this time around few lives were lost (certainly relative to disasters in places such as Pakistan) but it’s still devastating for those caught up in it.

    While you head into summer we head into winter. But in Tasmania this year we’ve had only a few days of summer at most. February is normally our most reliable warm month but smoke’s already drifting out of farm cottage chimneys and the blankets returned to our bed (Thomas and Tobi are happy with that!)

    Enjoy Florida … And if you find any spare balmy days could you send them our way?

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