Temps were in the mid-50s today – too warm for this time of year. On the one hand, it means the rabbits’ water bottles aren’t frozen and they’re not eating “grassicles”. On the other, it means lots and lots of mud. The ground is solid when it’s frozen; once it thaws, it turns into a sloppy, slippery mess.
Even though it wasn’t raining, we wore rainpants while doing farm chores to prevent our normal pants being splashed with mud. It’s really kind of amazing: the mud splashes up just from walking – on your pants, covers your rubber boots. Messy stuff. The chickens and duck eggs get muddy because their feet are muddy. Muddy dog paws also mean pawprints on the carpet inside.
The ducks love the wet and the mud. They dig their bills into it and eat whatever they encounter – worms, grubs, tender greens. We found a big worm under a cinderblock we moved, and called to the chickens and ducks. The first of the group to get to us was Coraline, and she snapped that worm up. She’s been laying a big egg daily, so she deserves a healthy snack.
There’s more rain in the forecast for tonight and a chance of snow in the morning tomorrow. The high is supposed to be 30 degrees, with lows in the low teens. That’s going to feel really cold after today’s temps, and it’s difficult for any of us to get acclimated with such large temperature swings. Winter needs to do winter so the plants and animals aren’t confused. If we have shorts weather again…that would just be wrong. And enough mud already!