Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

It’s Coming.

Posted on | April 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

Since we live in the woods, spring takes a little longer to arrive.  Our daffodils and tulips are a bit behind everyone else’s.  Our azaleas are just starting to bloom long after other people’s bushes are overcome with blossoms.  And although the grass flourishes in the full sun of the garden,

by the house we have to rely on the leyland cypresses to provide green until the deciduous trees finally fill in.  Everything else is still the brown leaf mulch of winter.

But we still know that spring is coming.  Because for every degree that the temperature rises, we end up adding another item to the To Do list.  And the rush is on to get the hardest work done before the temperatures start to soar.

My first spring goal was getting the leftover chicken wire out of the woods.  Because I wanted it for my next project.  Also, because once the temperatures are consistently in the 70’s, fencing and woods goes hand in hand with yellow jacket stings and copperhead snakes.  And I don’t like to hold hands with yellow jackets or copperheads.

Believe it or not, we used to use chicken wire as perimeter fencing for our goats.  It worked fine.  As long as we had Nigerian dwarf goats.  Then we got some Nubians.  Nubians can walk through chicken wire as if it is a spiderweb.  So we had to redo the entire property with field fencing.  Which was not the first time or the last time I had to redo something because I didn’t do it right in the beginning.  As a matter of fact, if I had to redo my work any more often than I do, we’d have to call this farm the Do-Over.

In any case, when we put up the field fencing we simply cut the chicken wire off the trees and left it to sit.  Until we got around to picking it up.  Which took almost 6 years.  So we could also call this place the Getting Around To It.  Which sounds bad.  Unless you put it in Latin.  Then it looks like a fancy slogan that people will assume means something honorable and important.  See:

Questus Circa Ad Eam


I take it back.  Even in Latin it kind of hints at the fact that you’re going around in circles.  Dang.

Really, what is Latin good for?

But at least I had a lot of company while I worked in the woods.  The entire herd came down to surreptitiously keep an eye on me.

Except for Julia and Tulip.  Who were convinced that the leaves trapped in the fencing I was pulling up were better than the rest of the leaves on the ground.

Which kind of made me wish they were as good at entertaining themselves as Bruno was.

But I appreciated the goats and the dog more than the pony.  The pony who watched me heaving and hauling the fence out of the woods.  While she calmly stood over the piles of wire, cool as a cucumber, and supervised.

Work, play, or get out of the way, big girl!

Eventually the fence made it to the top of the driveway.

Plus, as an added bonus I recovered a bunch of landscape staples that we had used to pin the fence to the forest floor (Nigerians are better at going under than going over).

And while I worked with the wire and the staples, The Other Half and the younger boys worked on clearing a dead tree from the back yard.

Is there anything more adorable than my munchkins in their hearing protection, safety goggles, and work gloves carrying logs to the fire pit?

Unless it’s my 13 year old that can manage a hammer and a fencing project as well as a full grown man.

Although it could be a bottle fed baby goat that follows everyone around looking for attention.  Or a bottle.

With the fencing in place, Big and I started hauling mulch from the top of the driveway.  Right before winter the power company sent crews to clear limbs and brush from around the power lines.  We convinced them to leave us a truck of mulch at the top of the drive before they left the neighborhood. Combined with the leftover fencing and staples, that mulch meant our first spring project was entirely free.  Take that, Home Depot!

Although, since the boys had the wheelbarrow, Big and I had to use trash cans to move it from there to the fencing.

Now I guess I’ll have to choose between asking for an extra wheelbarrow for Mother’s Day or a gift certificate for my favorite hot towel aromatherapy massage.  Why are there so many difficult decisions in life?

All the work was worth it, though.  By the time the boys had finished off the tree….

….we had the bushes my uncle gave me last year safely mulched and barricaded behind chicken wire.  To save them from chicken or baby goat attack until they’re big enough to withstand the nibbling.

With the first spring project out of the way, everyone could get back to important business.

Like having a little snack.

Or finding the perfect sunny spot.

Because spring is coming fast.  So you should know where the best place is for lounging.

Unless you’re Simon or Isaac.  Then you need to find a shady spot.

And I need to add Shear the Sheep to the To Do list.  See how that spring/temperature/To Do thing works.  It’s a killer, I tell ‘ya.  It’s a killer.


One Response to “It’s Coming.”

  1. Tammy/Our Neck of the Woods
    April 9th, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    We live in the woods as well, so I know what you mean about spring taking longer to arrive. Our daffodils are just now blooming, and I’ve seen them on my way to work blooming for about a month now! I love all your photos, especially the kids working and the baby goat!

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