Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer arrives

First off, thanks to everyone for their thoughts and energy and hugs and prayers. My folks, friends and brothers still don't know anything about their homes in the Black Forest fire. The fire  is still not contained and is spreading fast. I'll be headed out there, as soon as there is something I can do to help. Right now, part of the problem is that there are too many people in the way of moving equipment and fighting the fire.

The sheep flock getting ready to bed down in the shade
of the cedars during the heat of the day.

Here in the Ozarks, summer arrived this week. We've had an absolutely perfect spring and the hay fields are high, the flowers are beautiful and the trees are soaking up the frequent rains. This week, the switch flipped from moderate spring temperatures in the 70's during the day and 50's at night to 90's in the day and 70's at might. It's summer. Perfect hay drying and fruit ripening weather.

All the animals spend the middle of the day in the woods,
including the chickens. I wonder if it's even cooler up there?
The critters are adjusting to the summer temps. Havencroft Farm is on the side of a ridge. Our front pasture/yard is flat. It stairsteps a bit up to the house, then up to the animal paddocks. At the top of all their little pastures is what we call the "berm". It's a treed area about 20 feet higher than the front of the paddocks.   It is consistently 20 degrees cooler on the berm than it is in the front pasture.

So, after everybody eats their breakfast in the early morning, they retire to the berm to nap during the heat of the day. This is the time of year that the sheep switch to doing most of their grazing from evening through morning. Then they rest in the trees during the heat of the day. All of the animals gather up there on the berm. The horse stands and the sheep, goats and llama lay down. The chickens gather in the trees.

Sometime after about 3:00 in the afternoon, they all head out to pasture again, to get a drink and go back to the important business of grazing.


Marvin said...

It was great to actually get spring in the Ozarks this year.

Unknown said...

Thought of you and your folks all day, hoping the fire misses their home, but the news sounds bad for everyone. At least they are safe.