It is November this morning. The ground is frosted with a crunchy coating of snow. As the morning sun reaches the trees, the frost and snow drips to the ground giving the appearance that the woods are gently raining . The ground is barren and brown. Last falls leaves still cover the ground. Pathways are muddy. The temperature is hovering in the thirties. If it were a week from now, maybe the woods would be tinted green with new leaves on the trees and it would look like a late snow in spring, but as I can barely even see the new buds on the bushes and no we don't have daffodils either ...it looks and feels like November. The only obvious sign that is is truly spring is sound I hear once I open the door, a chorus of birds singing their courting tunes.
Last night was almost as confusing, the birds were silent, the woods were still. It was densely foggy and unusually damp which made forty degrees feel much colder. I would have sworn it was certainly fall... except it was light. It was overcast, there was no sign of the sun, yet it was dusk at one a.m. It seemed as though the sun was rising at four this morning, as our room grew lighter and the babe began to stir.
It is lovely outside, although cool and damp and muddy. But the sunlight coming through the trees is warming, soothing and inspiring. I wish I hadn't planted my shallots a couple days ago. They have the protection of the soil up to their shoulders and the beds are covered with plastic. I think they'll survive, but certainly would have been better off inside for a few more days. Temperatures for the week are down to the thirties at night, fifties and sixties during the day. We've sowed peas, carrots, radishes and beets, all under row covers. I think we'll stick to starting seeds in flats in the greenhouse for the next couple days and hold off on putting anything else directly into the ground.
I was able to skim heavy cream off the surface of a quart of raw goat milk this morning. Goat milk is naturally homogenized, meaning that the cream does not separate on it's own like cow milk does. When the goats first kid their milk is heavier in fat than it will be later in the summer, thus the cream on the surface now. We are just milking to even out lopsided udders now, but starting this weekend all the kids will spend the night together away from their mothers. We will milk three does each morning before letting the kids out for the day. Then we will start separating cream in the cream separator weekly and I should be able to make sour cream, ice cream, cream cheese and creme fraiche.
This morning I am enjoying my tea and cream immensely along with a homemade scone and some spring strawberries. The kids are playing happily together. I can hear a hen laying an egg all the way up the hill and in hear coop. Our farm help should be here any moment to begin feeding the animals breakfast, allowing me to focus on laundry, sweeping, dishes, lunch and saving me from having to drag the kids along behind through the mud. And then there is the sun melting, warming...dripping a shimmery dance to the forest floor.