Wednesday, 31 October 2012


It's no Hurricane Sandy, but we've got howling winds and driving sleet now. One turkey is sick with a mystery virus, my oldest ewe lamb has come down with pneumonia, and my pumpkin harvest this year is a total of four measly fruits -

So my Halloween display looks a bit frugal. I've lit a few lanterns but my decorating efforts were hampered by the weather and my time was redirected to livestock: putting little plastic parkas on lambs, moving the sick one with her mother to a dry stable on Milkweed, rebuilding the shelter pens for the rest of the ewes and lambs, haying and watering everyone. Samhain seems a better description than Halloween today, what with all this pagan weather and primitive shelter-building.

All the wood stoves are lit, and clothes are drying. There are enough natural cobwebs and spiders around this place to pass for festive, if we get any trick-or-treaters tonight.

My treat is a big cognac, which I'm having now to dull my constant worrying about the young stock. It's a shoot day tomorrow, and this is perfect weather from the keeper's point of view: birds hunker down out of the wind and stay in the drives, so we know where to find them. It seems mean to push them out and make them fly in this wretched weather, but the wind makes them a very sporting target - 30 miles per hour plus whatever excitement the winds add to their speed and change of direction. Getting shot at is a lot better than getting shot, from the pheasants' perspective anyway.

Wishing you all a happy Halloween and safe passage from hurricanes, poor harvests, and ailing animals.


Poppy Cottage said...

Happy Halloween to you to. Hope the lamb is ok.

Going to Tim's to avoid all the 'lovely' children that are all set to annoy, whoops, sorry, come to the door.

Baa Humbug!! (almost the right season x

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

I love this night. NOT for the trickortreaters, or jack-o-lanterns, or revelry. But only because it is one of the nights of the year when the doorways between worlds become thin, I circle my house three times after dark to bless all within, and it is the beginning of the dark half of the year, which I LOVE. I also love to make soul cakes tomorrow. Those pagans got SOME things right, after all! Happy Samhain!

Janice Bendixen said...

I'd not heard that term until reading your post. But it seems fitting. We're entering very dark days and cold nights here in the sub-arctic. My neighbor rooster Stewpot has been silent. Dog has been lethargic. I am reluctant to be outside. Perhaps a long hibernation is due.

Karen Douglass said...

I love the idea of blessing the house, but in suburbia even circling the house is a challenge. And please tell me what soul cakes are. This sounds like a recipe I might need. My email is

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

Livestock is such a roller coaster. One day everything's fine, the next day the turkey's sick, the lamb is sick, the ewe is sick, and the people are worried sick.

Eventually, though, roller coasters always go back up. Even if they're carrying a bunch of sheep. I hope things improve.