polar bears trawling the back yard

it has been a cold, miserable winter in the northeast. our snowfalls have been negligible but, like most of the US, the windchills have been brutal. we’ve been burning through hay for horses and goats wicked fast, even with soni away. my yaktrax have been on my boots so long, i’m not sure they’ll come off again when the ice all melts. speaking of ice, we’ve had two ice storms and lost a number of trees, including the venerable apple tree that grows just next to the shed. i was sort of glad that it came down because i’ve been having to trim it heavily every year just to keep it in check. the goats were glad it came down, too, since they’ve been nibbling on the brush from it ever since. we’ve only had the driveway plowed twice, which has to be a record. a couple weekends ago, i was able to rake up some pine needles from under one of the big old pine trees in the yard to use for nest box filler. in january. i don’t even. it’s just basically a screwy bugger of a winter.

soni is coming home tomorrow. he was meant to be away companionizing until at least june, but J’s situation changed rather suddenly. she’s having to move, boarding her own horse for the forseeable future, so back comes the best-natured (and most naughty) of my herd. the rub is that i can’t build him a winter pasture with the ground iced up so solidly and keeping him in a pasture with the other nags just didn’t work the first time around. i spent a long time this weekend trying to pound in fenceposts, trusting in the aggregate heat of a lot of cussing and the power of faith, but i only managed to sink two posts, neither of which are in the “ground” more than a couple of inches and neither of which will pull back out now. i’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with the big doofus. he may end up living in roundpen for a few days while the goats run wild and loose. heavens, what a thought.

oakland was adopted a couple of weeks ago. i think he found a great home with a young, very active owner who works from home as a personal trainer and is a part-time student. i hope it’s working out. i miss the little guy so ferociously. the cats? do not. we have cats in the living room now that i forgot even lived here….

meanwhile, i’m looking for a home for the ducklings. about a month ago, they killed their little mama. yes, it’s horrible and true. they pestered her to death. once she was gone, they engaged in a systematic war against the rest of the silkies. one of the little roosters was living on top of the nest boxes and only coming down at night to eat and drink and they were keyed in on my last splash hen, so i took all of the remaining silkies back out of the main coop and set up their little pen again. by all rights, i ought to have removed the horrid ducks, but that pen is too small for them and (so far), they’ve left my laying flock alone, even poor bob the blind red rooster. stay tuned for more on backyard dinos.