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Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's beginning to feel a lot like springtime...

In what other country are there four distinct seasons to celebrate and complain about? I love living in Canada. Summer is gorgeous, of course, with its hedonistic heat and its moody storms. Autumn is my favourite season – many people find the waning of the summer sun depressing but I find the cooler weather invigorating and the refracted sunlight beautiful. I’ve seen over forty winters come and go, yet I still have my breath taken away by the beauty of the first fresh blanket of snow, every year. And now, enter Spring.
Did you know that green has a smell? The green of springtime certainly does. It’s the scent of new life pushing its way up through the melt, coaxed along by the warm rays of the sun. The tulips and daffodils in the farmhouse flowerbed are just starting to push spears up through the earth. The lilies will perk up next, then the allium, and finally the big hosta leaves will unfurl.
I get the urge to stir things up in springtime – to start a new exercise regime (I mucked out the horse stall and took the dog for a walk all in one afternoon!), cut my hair and try out a new recipe for salsa. This year I’m also looking for work, so there are lots of new beginnings.
The Spring Equinox arrived on Sunday, March 20th, at 11:23pm. So did the sign of Aries. Maybe that is why I feel so energized and renewed. My birthday calendar is about to flip over too. Our daylight hours and night time hours are about equal, and everyone seems to be in a better mood than they were a month ago. Spring fever is contagious.
I think the Farmer and I have conceded that Misty is not pregnant. Her summer fling with the Belgian stud, Prince, was just that. A fling. The Farmer measured her belly one day, and it had reduced in size the next week. Her belly isn’t growing – she just has an extra-fluffy coat of winter fur and she bloats when she eats a lot of grain. But she isn’t expecting.
We might send our horse to be trained, finally, so we can ride her. That’s what I would like to do, anyway. Otherwise she is just a big pet. Maybe we can get her to help pull some logs out of the bush too. She likes to have a purpose. 
The ewes have about a month to go before they begin giving birth. The sheep salon will be open for business shortly, so that we can get them all sheared before their due dates. We’re waiting as long as possible, because we will have to keep the ewes in the barn once they are shorn – otherwise they might catch a chill. When we (gently) tackle them for a shearing we will also give them each a shot of selenium to guard against white-muscle disease in their young. We are getting smart and learning from the previous year’s lessons.
I hope the Farmer agrees to let me try my hand at shearing. I will have to wear gloves because I am allergic to the lanolin in the wool, but I think I am strong enough to hold the sheep down. Anyway, you just have to cover the ewe’s head with your leg and she gives up the fight and plays dead.
It’s got to be easier than plucking a goose. And less smelly.

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