A Farmer’s Prayers Answered: Autumn is Coming… and Shorter Days!

A few days ago, a friend was lamenting how the days now were getting shorter, and the long summer evenings are quickly being wittled away.  It’s getting darker sooner now, and she was none to happy about it.  I, however, am delighted.

I know, I’m a traiter. With the blissful summers here, that are gorgeous and perfect in the lower mainland, why would anyone want them to disappear? Tall cold beers on patios, beautiful weather and bbqs every weekend,  who would want it to end?  Well, the nice thing about shorter days… The chickens put themselves to bed earlier, and so do the sheep.  That’s right, I’m selfish. I want my life back.  In fact, in the heart of winter, when the days are shortest, we might actually be able to put everyone to bed BEFORE we go out for a Saturday evening, as opposed to having to leave the party at 930, announcing to the host “Sorry, we gotta run…gotta put the sheep in. Coyotes and all.”.  And although yes, having to do some of those farm chores in the dark is a pain in the winter months, but at least we end up eating our own dinners at a decent hour, and actually getting to bed before 11. I’m pradically  giddy, knowing that more sleep is coming my way.  And we might actually get some more renovations to our house completed!  Who knows!

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Oh earlier nights are upon us… with the chickens going to bed earlier, so can we!

And rain!  That’s right!  Rain!  There I said it!  It’s like saying “Beetlejuice!” three times to city folks. Instant panic sets in as they look suspiciously to the sky, and then to you like it’s your fault that it’s now coming.  It’s just that our poor ducks during the last month of dry have been upset with the serious lack of puddles about. They’ve had to get their splashing action on in front of a garden hose, frollicking around like stereotypical serority girls at a car wash in 5 min intervals. Since we are on a well, and concerned about our water levels, their water playtime is always cut short. So, I’m so excited for the seasonal creek to start running again, so the ducks can have some more fun.  That and the slugs and snails suddenly appear so the ducks will eat like kings again – although I can’t imagine it tasting better then their dry pelleted duck food.  But I’m not a fan of escargot at the best of times!

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Eva – our Babydoll Sheep – happier now in her brown wool sweater in the cooler temperatures!

It’s funny, even our babydoll sheep are tired of the long days and wait patiently at the barn door hours before they have to go in.  Although shorn in the spring, I can’t imagine some of those hot days in August and having to wear a wool sweater all day.  At the hottest hours, the sheep nap under a few large trees, or apparently on our back deck (conviently using the bbq as a scratching post) but even now with the slight drop in temperature, they seem so much happier.

I know with the rains coming, the dry dirt that gets flicked around by the chickens will disappear, and I’m hoping that our white sheep – whom now is sporting a light brown coat – might turn back to his white  colouring. Sigh.  Hobby farmers can dream can’t they?

I’m sure come December I’ll be cursing the cold rain, wondering where the sunshine went and if my flip-flops and tank-tops were all in my head.  But for now, bring on the cooler sweater -weather and rain, and the logical chickens and sheep!

Farm on and here’s to finally getting a good night’s sleep!

Sincerely,

The Shepherd

 

 

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