Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter beauty

Our winters are so long and cold that sometimes I feel guilty raising children here. I dream about land with a creak that runs all winter. The kids and I walk through the pasture, and along a path through the woods where we sit and listen and observe the wild life at the creek. My dream homestead get's snow, but it doesn't stay for six months, and it gets cold, but not so cold that we can't play outside every day.

This has been an unusually warm winter. The best part has been that the kids have come outside with me almost every day which is so healthy and positive for us all. It isn't just the warmer temperatures because even on the few days that have been twenty below zero, they still followed me out and insisted on playing outside. Part of it is their ages. At five and seven they can move easier through the snow. They can move briskly which keeps the toes and fingers from getting cold. Some days they come with me and help milk goats and help gather eggs and carry feed to the chickens. Other days they go off and play make believe on the hillside. They sled. Noah plummets down the hill on his skis. We get the doelings out most days so that they get use to being around us. I don't have to worry about them being rough with the kids, as I do with a couple of the older goats. On days where we finish all our chores and are still warm and comfortable outside, we get the goats out for a walk down the driveway.

This is Denali, the kid's favorite and therefor the friendliest doeling. She is very personable and follows us around wherever we go. She looks like she has pretty great conformation from what I can tell. We've been waiting for a strong doe out of Xanadu for years now, and I think we may finally have one.

When we get the goats out they nibble mostly on Willow and any Spruce boughs that are low enough to reach. They eat Birch leaves that have fallen, dried Fireweed that sticks up above the snow level, and Usnea moss that grows on the sides of the Birch trees. Sometimes the kids and I wade into the snow to bring them back dried rose hips. We may not have green grass, but at least we have Boreal forest browse for our browsers; makes for healthier goats and healthier milk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello, enjoying reading your blog, your children are beautiful. thank you and blessings and prayers for you all. Tess