Happy Solstice :)
Winter is/was late this year. In fact, only a couple of weeks ago we received about 100mm of rain in just over two days!
They are also calling for 10-15mm of rain again tomorrow?
All good, because we had the driest summer ever, so the aquifers could use a replenish :)
We haven't had any significant snowfall as of this writing on December 20th. A few glorious mild & calm light-snow days, reminiscent of picture-postcard wintery scenes of milder regions where the trees, ground & the green vegetation are covered with only a light dusting of snow, with the forest floor still clear, with a dark & rich chocolate brown in patches under the evergreen stands.
With the completion of the Clubhouse, the attention was to be given to planting our garlic in four of the 30+ raised beds and soil-prepping of the rest of them , for growing season next year :)
Horse manure was nowhere to be found this year. A dry summer may have started it all. Less fresh hay meant even less hay to be harvested for winter. So I'm guessing that many o' horses and livestocks were sold-off in an effort to save on hay/feed costs. I heard that folks from Ontario are buying hay from Quebec!
Someone said $10/bale? I don't know what a hay bale costs here this year but the highest we ever heard & paid for was $2.75/bale. Still, I don't think that we are anywhere near $10/bale.
The only animals that we have are 8 heritage chickens that we lovingly care for. We feed them organic fermented feed three times a day + fresh veg with lunch, gathered from the garden or kitchen scraps.
They free-range in their run on a nice soft carpet of four year old mulch that we rake at the end of each day. This is to keep it free of oder and poop for them to walk on. Soon we will be adding a layer of leaves, both to keep them the ground warmer and keep them busy scratching.
We clean the actual coop every second day and so neither the coop or the run has ever stunk. It's all a labour of love and a fair trade :)
A couple of weeks ago we wrapped the entire coop and run with opaque plastic sheets. In our region of New Brunswick, snow is oh 90%+ air so with the blowing wind, it can easily force it's way through any opening. By wrapping the entire structure, we minimize the snow that gets in and keep it a lot more comfortable for them.
This week, we have to get their concoction of dust bath done + dusting them with diatomaceous earth to protect them from any mites.
Whatever firewood that could be brought in or stored in the woodsheds are all in for the winter. This year we bought more, not knowing what the uncertain future would bring.
2020 is not over yet but I would say that just based on what I've heard & seen from our families, neighbour's and some business owners, near & far, that 2020 was perhaps their best year, ever!
Now, I don't mean only financially from sale of their homes, cars, durable goods etc. but also everyone taking time off work for reconnecting with family and nature.
I wrote about this back in February, both here and a in local newspaper that I contribute to monthly.
The longest night of the year is my least favourite day of the year. It will be here tomorrow and will be replaced by longer days. I don't entirely know why I dislike nights so much.
I'm all about seeing the big picture and with much reduction in visibility at night, I feel restricted in my field of vision or peripheral. Or perhaps it's because I'm a morning person. As a productive individual, I can get so much done in the light of day. Or perhaps because for so many years, all of my menial jobs were night shifts.
Or maybe I see the dark as the time when man does it's most evil work in the shadows of the darkness. Could I have used a more cheerful description for how I feel about the night? lol
In the past few days however, I've experienced a strong desire to embrace the evenings. I mean, in many cultures, evenings are when streets come to life! The "Nightlife" scene, is what they look forward to all day. So it can't be all bad just because I can't relate to it or because I haven't had any positive exposure to it.
One other new spark that I experienced around the same time, was the desire to be more "stoic". I very much love to now be able to not let others or events upset or effect me negatively as much. It has been a long, long road, some consciously & some involuntary. But I feel that I'm much more ready now. I'm finding myself smiling much more. You know, sincere smiles. I'm also judging less, more accepting and going with the flow, which feels like a flood that is out of my control anyhow.
I'm not one of those controlling, type A personalities, though I do plan. Only now I'm coming to terms with the fact that, it's ok to plan but also recognize that with so many external forces at play, plans could change. Of course there are also those who believe that our plans are changed for our own good. I'm not discounting that either.
So planning, good, but leave room for possible/inevitable change/s...embrace them and move forward.
By the way, I realize that great number of people are having the same experience as me and at the same times as me, but where their experiences are based or effected by covid, mine is entirely unaffected or uninfluenced by it because covid did not bring anything new to my life.
I hope that I can keep it up and even expand on my new-found experience because I'm really enjoying those moments of peace :)
Here's hoping that you experience such moments of peace as we near solstice.
Good Night & Happy Solstice :)