When Daughter was at Ulva Primary she would come home talking about signs of spring. It is almost a reflex that suddenly we do start looking for signs of spring, especially now January has moved way for February, and we are driving to Calgary to put Daughter on the school bus in daylight again.
The hens seem to have ignored the winter. They slowed down on egg laying, but some of them have kept going throughout, to the extent that we have had to resort to egg-dumping – this involves accosting anyone we see and offering them a box of eggs, just to stop a potential egg mountain. Perhaps it is one of the signs of spring though that the cockerel has started crowing again though, having been quiet for a few months. They spend their daylight hours scratching in the garden, under the bird feeders and in the little plantation next to the house.
Farmer came in excitedly the other morning for breakfast and announced the safe arrival of 2015’s first calf – a handsome bull calf, up on his feet and drinking! For the next 6 weeks or so, Farmer will be checking the cows day and night in case he needs to help with a birth or to get a calf drinking. This is when we are again especially grateful for the cattle shed, as the cows are easily checked. Traditionally cattle on the island are out-wintered which makes it more difficult to keep an eye on them at calving time. The unspoken superstition in the farmhouse is very much ‘dont count your chickens’ so I will say no more on the matter just now!
We had a beautiful few days of cold, crisp weather with snow on the higher ground – this magical cold time did put thoughts of spring to the back of our minds, but when it thawed, suddenly the trees round the house were alive with bird song again, in a spring like way. The snowdrops are out all over the garden too, the little hillock within our garden wall is covered in daffodil shoots, I will have to stop walking on it as I can hear them snap under my feet…but where will I go to take photographs of the sunset through these wonderful trees.