Farmer in Winter
It's colder than hell outside this morning, as it has been for the past several mornings, yet even with the unrelenting and unforgiving cold there exists a sense that spring is on its way. True, we haven't had a winter snow yet, but one will certainly happen before much longer. A couple of days of playing in the white stuff, being trapped at home by the white stuff, and ultimately growing bored of the white stuff is as much a part of winter as this insufferable cold.
But the signs that spring is coming are unmistakable. The days are already getting noticeably longer, and now instead of rushing outside to close the chickens into their coop a little before five in the evening, I am now finding that it is almost five-thirty before they are ready to be locked down for the night. And instead of going outside for morning revelry with the fowl at a quarter-to-seven, I now have to be there pulling open the coop door at six-fifteen - or else all cackle hell has broken loose! The night is shrinking - on both ends!
The seed catalogues, another sure sign of impending spring, began arriving in my mail box before Christmas - and yesterday I saw the surest sign of all - the "Chick Days" order form was on display and available for pick-up at my local feed store. That's right, it's time to begin ordering baby chicks for the spring. Delivery dates are March 29th and April 28th. Right now I am in the early stages of contemplation regarding the chicks - and would like to order some of everything, but as winter drags on and I keep knocking the ice out of the watering dishes and replacing it with water laboriously carried from the house, my wishes will undoubtedly be tempered.
But still it's fun to think of chicks and seeds and the eventual greening of spring as I sit and watch the redbirds flocking around their feeder. They, too, know that snow will be coming, and through that blanket of white will burst forth the spring!