Mild weather over the last few weeks and some lovely, lovely rain after this summer's record-breaking heat and drought have the fauna in a tizzy. Tender grass is cropping up, trying to get re-established as morning temperatures flirt with freezing. Even the forsythia seems confused. I'm concerned the drought may have taken out one of the shrubs, but the other has popped out a few tentative blooms nearly three months early. If the plants are using up their resources in a pseudo-spring burst of energy, what will the real spring bring?
The trees that didn't drop their leaves during the summer drought have clung to them long past normal. Not only isn't there much fall color this year, there aren't many leaves to rake yet. Suburbanites would no doubt rejoice over that reprieve, but I try to put a few dozen bags up to keep the goats happily munching away throughout the winter, and I need to put them up dry, not cold and damp.
It's always something.
The photo at the top of this post is of my front yard. The large live oak that dominates the view is one of the few trees showing fall color right now. Live oaks actually retain their leaves over winter and drop them in the spring, which usually means more tasty leaves for the horses and goats just before the grasses get into full growing gear. I love how nature thinks ahead like that.
And since most of us are thinking leftovers right after Thanksgiving, here are a couple of leftover pictures I found as I'm clearing out the albums getting ready for 2012.
|The summer harvest of crabapples from the tree in my backyard. I made crabapple-sauce with some of these, but the majority were fed out as treats to the goats and horses.|
|A roadrunner on the ramp to my porch. During the worst of the drought, a pair of them would come to drink out of the water bowl I left out for Magic, the cat, and any other passers-by who needed it.|
Are there other pictures of the farm you'd like to see?