Sunday, January 22, 2017
It's not a good thing...
For more than a week now, I've listened to television newscasters' gleeful reports about the weather.
It's been above freezing for so long that dandelions are blooming and the grass is greening. The paddocks and gate areas are muddy.
I'm not a fan of mud. It's something I am willing to endure in March when the promise of spring is weeks, not months away.
For the horses, the wet, muddy weather means they spend most days in the paddock rather than going out to the pastures.
Horses are designed to graze, but their feet will turn the soft pastures into mud.
The sheep, who weigh considerably less and have cloven hooves, go out to the pastures to nibble grass. The warm weather will mean more parasites for them.
The prolonged warm doesn't just alter farm life. It also puts nature in a state of confusion. Yesterday, I spotted two bluebirds flying into their box. Were they planning their spring nest? A few crocuses peeked from the grass. Were they thinking it was time to bloom? Will the freezing weather predicted for later this week come in time to remind us all that it is still January in Ohio?
But I worry about the impacts of warm winters. I count on prolonged freezes to kill parasites in the pasture.