My usual February blog posts show pictures of snow, and describe how miserable I am in the cold, gray, endless misery that is the second month of the year. But this year, as most people know, has not been like that.
A lot of Vermonters are suffering. Anyone who makes money off of snow and cold -- the guys who drive plows, the people who sell ski and snowmobile equipment, fuel suppliers -- are hurting financially. But if you are like me and find Vermont winters way too long, way too cold and way too snowy, you're feeling pretty good. It's creepy, climate-wise. But anyone who is used to dealing with snow knows just how much time and energy is caught up in cleaning off and warming up the car, bundling up, shoveling the paths, shoveling the roof edges and (in our case) dealing with livestock and poultry in deep snow. It kind of bites. So yeah, I'm kind of enjoying this (so far) snowless winter.
Having been away from the blog for so long, I offer the following consolation: animal pictures. What they lack in quality they make up for in quantity.
Here's one of last summer's turkey poults, on his way to being a really big, quite handsome tom.
And the rest of the gang, turkey and chicken alike.
Dinnertime, following me to the food. Note the presence of something unusual: SHADOWS. (You need sun to have shadows. Shadows are rare in February.)
The goats (and sheep) are now in captivity, much to the relief of passing drivers. People, some of whom I have never even met were calling me at work (it's a small town, that's how it works) to warn me that "the goats are out!"
Except for one:
Lucy doesn't believe in letting fences interfere with one's freedom.
This is a bad picture but I like Sophie's smile:
When goat and cat meet:
That's enough socializing for Lily.
Milo looked disgusted. He doesn't care for goats.
Calvin is still our head rooster, though we have two young ones (which we bought day-old as laying hens, ha) who are so far behaving themselves, at least to us humans. Calvin's still the most vocal.
He's a good boy (and quite the gentleman compared to his younger, randy rivals).
In a month or so, the toms will start fanning out constantly and gobbling nonstop. Right now they're pretty mellow. Here's Bo, who had a blue slate mother (gray) and a Bourbon red dad (brown) and somehow came out white. Go figure.
Now that Lucy is the only goat who can get out, she doesn't get into too much mischief. Mostly she follows me up to the house and then goes back (over the fence) to hang with her buddies.
I think she's ticked because I won't let her in the house.
Anyway, though I certainly could have been spending much more time outdoors, I've been staying inside way too much, mostly knitting and spinning. In my last post, I had brought home a huge bag of Romney roving. I got this idea to dye it dark red/fuchsia/brown/magenta with hints of other colors, and eventually make a sweater out of it. I default to greens and blues but I was trying to think outside my ocean-colored box.
I planned to dye half in all reddish shades, the other half in mostly reds but with all the other accent colors. That way, when I spun them and plied them together I'd be sure to have mostly reds. Picture an overall impression of jewel tones, mostly rubies.
In other words, not this:
It hurts my eyes even now.
The "red" half wasn't much better:
I knew spinning them would tone things down a bit, but it was not enough, certainly nothing I would want to wear:
Pretty for a baby, maybe. But a little too Barbie for my tastes.
So I overdyed it. I still didn't get my dark, rich reds, but I got rid of the clown-wig colors and ended up with something I think I can live with.
It looks darker in person.
So that's about it. I've spun up two skeins of that handspun so far, and I'm on a roll.
I knit a pair of fingerless mitts out of my last handspun. They were meant for me but I ended up giving them to a friend because (a) they fit her smaller hands better and (b) I finished them on her birthday, so it seemed meant to be.
In other knitting, I'm now done with the lower body, below, and onto the first sleeve of my White Pine cardigan, which I started in October but keep setting aside for no good reason -- it's a great pattern. (And in bluish-green; I'm so predictable.)
And Lily rules the world. That is all.