The winter was colder and more prolonged than expected and I grossly underestimated how much wood we would need. I often think I should go cut more wood, then I think I'll put it off til the weather clears up a bit. Which, this year, was never.
There's a small pile of applewood in the garden that just needs cutting and I'm trying to ration what's left. Because of the constant rain, the ground is so saturated that it's impossible to get to our log stashes in the woods, even with special all-terrain vehicles (though 2 out of 3 of those are in the repair shop - they get a tough life here). This is what's left for now:
Dakota is making the most of the heat while it lasts.
On the water side, we just had a note from the estate which told us that our water (which comes from a well) was tested and failed. Contamination from "bacteria". Coliforms probably, from the feces of cattle and sheep. Not very specific, but maybe I don't need to know exactly what I've been drinking. This is likely a result of all the rain too. Contaminated run-off is probably getting into our water supply. The note says in bold capital letters - BOIL ALL WATER BEFORE DRINKING.
I timed it right then, sticking myself with the sheep injections when I did. The course of antibiotics I'm taking should work on coliforms too. But I'm boiling water anyway, in the red tin coffee pot on top of the wood stove. I'm getting as much out of our dwindling wood supply as possible.
But the worst side effect from the cold and rain is the lack of grazing. The grass will be slow to grow until the soil warms up sufficiently, which is at least 3 weeks later than usual this year. And the wet grass is easily churned up by animals' feet. We're in a cycle of moving the horses and the sheep around to make sure they have adequate food, and to protect the grass itself. I did get the sheep moved this morning, but the horses will have to wait until the rain stops and the ground dries up. Grazing is very limited, and I am almost out of hay which has doubled in price if you can get it. Everyone's in the same predicament as me.