On cold days like this after doing his business and before he comes back into the house, Bud goes into the dog house. Since we’ve had the dog house, the only dogs who use it are the ones who have lived outside for some part of their life. They seem to have an instinct or maybe it’s experience, to find shelter.
First Izzy, then Frieda and now Bud.
Today Bud sat in the doorway, the sun keeping him warm and Zinnia keeping him company.
This is it, the weekend of our Snail Party. We’ve moved the day from Saturday to Sunday night because we’re expecting snow on Saturday.
All week the snails were sluggish. They were staying inside their shells, not moving around a lot. But yesterday they started to come to life.
Below is a video of my Mystery Snail Pearl from this morning making her way over one of my nerite snails. I’m calling her Pearl because of the pearly stripe around her spiral. She’s the biggest snail I’ve ever had, you can really see her elegant body and antenna as she moves.
I also have a new ivory Mystery Snail, who I’m calling Ivory and Socrates, my blue Mystery Snail. Not to mention all the nerite snails and the new addition of shrimp to the tank, who are also interesting to watch.
Maybe it’s the little bit of snow on the ground that got the donkey’s annoyed this morning. But they were back to pushing all the sheep away from their feeder. After I took the video, I moved some of the hay into the donkey feeder so they sheep could have enough to eat.
Although it’s only the second time that Fate and Zinnia and I have walked in the woods together, it feels like it’s become a regular thing already. Fate, who often snarls at Zinnia in the house (although less than she had been) seems to completely accept her on our walks. And Zinnia seems to get that the walks aren’t about playing.
Zinnia did some sniffing around and even when she found something good to eat, she still came back to me when I called her. I guess the treats I had were tastier than what she found under the leaves.
I’m not sure how long that will last, but I’ll be sure to keep carrying treats with me and reinforce what she’s already doing.
Maybe it’s this warm weather that got the donkey’s going today. Usually, they save their donkey madness for the spring and summer.
I saw them running around outside my studio window and ran out to get a video. That’s Lulu braying like crazy. The sheep always seem stunned when the donkeys get wild like this. And I always love to watch them prance around and kick up their heels.
As we reach the rise in the woods that dips down to the stream and the farm, Fate usually runs ahead of me. When I get to the gate leading into the back pasture, she is always waiting on the other side, her Border Collie intensity back as she waits for me to tell her to “get the sheep”.
These past few January days are warm enough for the ticks to come out and for the donkeys and sheep to do some winter grazing.
I didn’t feel like following anyone else’s path. So I walked through the woods with Fate following me, not thinking about anything but where to put my feet next.
And that’s how we found the twin trees, growing side by side, their roots covered in soft, bright green moss.
I’d been walking for at least an hour, was it them I was looking for all along. I sat between the tow leaning my back against one, my boots curled against the other, the moss surprisingly dry and warm.
I closed my eyes and let the thoughts and feelings run through me. I let them come and go without indulging them but letting them have their full say. And when I was done, I got up, stepped back and Fate stepped between the trees where I had just been.
I fumbled getting my iPhone out of my coat, silently asking her to stay, which she did, as she always does, as if she knows, which she probably does.
What did I feel when I sat between the trees? I felt safe, like I could have stayed there forever, like they were waiting for me.
The sheep are messy eaters. They plunge their heads into the hay feeder and when they lift them up their heads are covered in hay. Issachar, one of the new twins, insists on having his front feet in the feeder as he eats. And I often see the one sheep eating the hay off another’s back.