Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Little Bits of Spring

 When we lived in the Big City, spring just sort of appeared one day each year. I woke up sneezing and sniffling and feeling like my head would explode, and looked outside. It seemed as though suddenly every tree had leaf buds, bulbs were poking up through the ground after their winter sleep, and Two Little Girls were playing out in the sunshine, barefoot on the grass.

Life is much different up here in the mountains - spring comes on at a much slower rate. While I'm certainly ready for green plants and bare feet, it's nice to feel that I'm easing into it all a little bit.

We haven't seen grass since the first big snow in early December. But as the temperatures begin to warm a little more each day, bits of snow are starting to melt off, revealing the long-forgotten yard that surrounds our home, the bits of grass that the horses are so content to nibble... and lots and lots of mud.

And with the (ever so slow) coming of spring comes the Spring Time Change. I love this day. I love feeling like I've got more time in the evenings to enjoy myself outdoors, where my frazzled homeschool- mom spirit gets to breathe deeply and relax.

The poor goats have been locked in the barn nearly all winter. Every so often I would feel terrible about this, and would open the doors wide, encouraging them to go out and get some fresh air. They would walk to the edge of the barn door, realize the ground was covered in snow to their knees, and would retreat right back to the dry comfort of their stall.

Now that the ground is covered instead with knee-deep mud, they are at least willing to venture out for a moment or two, gingerly picking their way through the corral to nibble at stray bits of grass, the babies bounding around between fence railings, slipping and sliding in the mud and having a grand time.

Since I had time after dinner the other night, and the sun was still out, I decided a walk was in order. Justice is wonderful on a lead rope. And wherever she goes, Liberty and the babies will follow. So off we went toward the yard by the house, which is still mostly snow covered, but less muddy.

Justice went right to work - she knows how to earn her keep. She began the slow and careful process of mowing the new grass and edging the yard. As far as yard tools go, she's excellent - she's quiet, she doesn't require gas, and she even fertilizes as she works. And then she converts the grass clippings into milk. Good goatie-girl.

The babies had a tremendous time racing up the hill and then bounding back down, tripping and tumbling when their feet sank in the deep snow and getting up and racing on. One can't help but giggle when watching baby goats. They provide all the entertainment anyone could ever need.

When they were all tuckered out from their jaunts up and down the snowy hill, Liberty taught them to prune dogwood bushes.

Before much longer, the goats will be confined to the back side of the property, where they won't be able to prune (read: destroy) plants and bushes. But right now I don't mind... and they don't, either.

Both babies are growing at a steady, healthy rate, and are just as friendly as can be. Little Aurora still begs for attention and cuddles every time we go to the barn... which of course right now is adorable, but will likely become a problem with she is a 150 pound goat jumping up on her humans to try to cuddle.

And Phillip is growing big and strong, playful as ever. I can't help but look at him and realize how meaty he is becoming. The Oldest doesn't like it when I mention this fact.

It's wonderful to have this evening time outside, when I'm not racing the sunset to get barn chores done. Spring is a time to enjoy these sweet animals I've been blessed with, and to take a few moments to breathe in the evening. I'm glad for those moments, especially with our busiest season on the horizon.

Happy Spring, everyone. Be sure to take time to enjoy it!

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