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.