November Morning

Fanny and Lulu stood in the pole barn watching the sheep eat their hay.  There was a layer of icy snow on the ground this morning, cold rain made the barn yard into the kind mud that pulls at my boots.

I fed the donkey’s some leftover  bread from yesterday’s breakfast, but they were not leaving the barn, not even for the hay Jon put in the feeders.

I went to get the rake and shovel to muck out the barn and when I got back, the donkeys were where I left them, munching on a pile of hay.   They knew as well as I did,  that Jon would not make them go out in the cold rain to eat.

Jon and the donkeys have been doing this for a long time. He could never resist their soft nickering, their reluctance to get wet.

Then it was my turn.

I’ve been meaning to get seed for the bird feeder for the past two weekend.  But yesterday the sun was out and last weekend it was warm enough to garden.  It wasn’t until this morning, that the reality of November seeped in.

Yes, I thought, pulling my scarf tighter around my neck to keep the warm in, winter really is on its way.

I filled the bird feeders as much for myself as the birds.  I wanted to do something to make me appreciate the gray skies and coming cold  instead of dreading it.  I thought of the good things. The birds that will soon be outside my studio window.  How, this time of year, my path into the backwoods isn’t blocked by overgrown grasses and ticks.  Coming in from the cold to a house warm with the heat of wood stoves.

I reminded myself to embrace the melancholy that fills the air around me this time of year. The lonely, disconnected feeling that comes with the cold and the holidays. But I believe, like my nightmares, it holds a gift. Now I just have to figure out what it is.

Bud Sits On Fanny’s Back

At the end of my Monday Morning Video, if you listen carefully, you can hear Jon suggest we see if Bud will sit on Fanny’s back.

It seemed to me like the right time, like everyone was up for it.  The donkeys were calmly hanging around us and  weren’t fazed by Bud, when earlier, he approached them. (you can see that in my Monday Morning Video too)

So I picked Bud up and put him on Fanny’s back.  You can see how well it went for yourself….

Jon took a picture of Bud on Fanny’s back called “The King Of Bedlam Farm“.  I’m selling it in my Etsy Shop for $125 and until December 10th, the shipping on all Jon’s photos in my Etsy Shop is free.   You can get to my Etsy Shop by clicking here or on my Shop Etsy Button below.

The King of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

Full Moon Fiber Art Etsy Store

Where Fate Sleeps

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but a while ago Fate  started sleeping downstairs instead of coming  upstairs to sleep in our bedroom, as she had since she was a puppy.

I don’t know why she wants to be downstairs.

Maybe she wants to be near the door incase we go out to the sheep.  Maybe she likes the time alone, with her choice of couch, chair or two different dog beds to sleep on.  And she sleeps on them all.  I can’t imagine  what makes her choose one over the other each night.

Last night it was the couch.  She opened her eyes and looked at me when I first came downstairs to go to the bathroom, but on my way back up, when I took her picture, she didn’t move at all.

I kissed the top of her head before going back to bed.

Chewing Cud

That’s Pumpkin up front chewing cud.  Griselle is next to him and as the video goes on you see his mother Socks burp up her cud and start chewing too.  Then it’s Biddy, Suzy  and Liam last of all.

Sheep have four parts to their stomachs and they regurgitate the grass they eat and chew it again in order to break it down to better digest.

A Flower in the Leaves

I pushed the wheel barrow halfway to the barn yard gate before looking down and seeing the single white phlox looking back at me.

I didn’t notice it when I cut the tall stems from the flower bed in front of the house.  I didn’t see it when I scooped up all the cuttings and leaves, piled them into the wheel barrow and placed the rake on top of it all.

I smiled back at the flower, clipped the stem and brought it into the house.  I took a small blue glass bottle from the windowsill in the laundry room,  filled it with water, put the phlox in it, then put it on Jon’s desk.

Sometimes, when such a small thing can bring me such unexpected joy, I wonder if I’m not a little simple.

Part of the fun of cleaning up the flower beds is giving the dead flowers and leaves to the donkeys and sheep to snack on.  In a way, it’s like composting.  I get it all back in donkey manure, which I spread on the same flower gardens I just cleaned out.

Socks, Biddy and Suzy in the back.


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