Wit is the only wall
Between us and the dark.
“It looks like it is going to be a green Christmas” the weatherman proclaimed. There were probably cheers, from those who knew that they would not have to battle the weather, only to get to where they were heading. Then, those winter sports enthusiasts no doubt gave a loud sigh, at least in this part of Ontario. Merry Muddy Christmas, I thought to myself.
Well, if you are a farmer, this year you may very well have been doing a little cursing instead of wishing, as of late. This December has made it a real “Chore” to do the chores. It must be worse than I even thought it was. Yesterday my conversation with Bossy2 and Red revolved around the possibility of rubber boots to go with their hats. That would be a lot of rubber boots.
Back, to those daily chores. Every morning I don my ‘Pink Cadillac’ rubber boots and a rain jacket over top of my coveralls on those days that it rains. This has turned out to have been most days this December. This morning it was so warm though I did not need rain gear and silly me, did not even bother to roll up those legs of my coveralls.
We are very lucky that we can feed our cattle basically anywhere, so I have always moved them around so that they are never unless they want to, of course, standing in water or mud. That was another reason that I wondered why Bossy2’s pushing for rubber boots.
I fed the cows as usual. This year “swimming” to open the gate to drive in to pick up the round bales of hay. OK maybe not “swimming” but definitely wading. My coverall bottoms were covered in mud in a matter of seconds. Not a good plan. It had rained all last night again, so I should have thought of that. I left a trail of tractor tread ruts, a deep trail to the bales and then back out of the field. Feeding four bales a day means two trips on this muddy trail, every day. Deeper and deeper it gets with every one of these strange winter days. I have to say I am getting a little nervous thinking of the day I am sinking not driving, then sitting and phoning a certain Hero I know. “Help” oh yes I can see it coming.
This morning I had to unload some special salt blocks from the Jeep. We feed our cows these blocks when it is extremely wet. It gives them extra vitamins, including a copper supplement that gives them extra protection. Protection, from getting problems with their hooves which is not something you want them, nor you, to have to deal with. This would be mainly for the ones who choose to stand in the puddles not avoid them.
I finished feeding the girls, and then went to say “Hello” to our very own hat wearing Red and her little gift. There behind her stood a little red bull that she was very anxious to show off. He had just been born so he was still wet. Still “cute as a button” I would say, wouldn’t you?
Anyway, after welcoming him into the world I went to put the salt blocks in the big container for the cows. Driving over to it I could immediately tell that this was not going to be an easy or a dry task. It was sitting in the middle of a lake. I had to move it. I pulled out My Hero’s gloves, and then I climbed down from the tractor.
Well as you can see, that did not turn out as well as I had hoped. I stood in the deep cold muddy water struggling and then finally had that stainless steel container and the old tractor tire loaded on the bucket. I pulled those stuck in the mud Pink Cadillac Boots out and then fished out those floating leather gloves from the water, all the time cursing the weatherman. I do know that was not fair but who else was there to blame? Higher ground was found.
So when you are dancing in the rain, and celebrating the holidays during this green Christmas think of all those farmers who are stuck in the mud. Possibly singing (that may have been me) “We wish you a muddy Christmas”. I was also wondering about, what size of boots Bossy2 and Red would need.
Merry Christmas from all of us here on the farm, to all of you. Enjoy the season. I will see you back here in the New Year.