I love winter, sitting inside watching the rain, cool evenings when I can light the fire and curl up with my knitting and a bit of Netflix or ABC iView catching up on my favourite programs. And I love the crisp clear days when the sun shines and I can get outside and do some gardening, check on my plants or walk the paddocks.
It was on winter solstice 5 years ago when we first found our farm. We walked from the top of a windy, rainy spot on the highest hill on the property, across the creek, getting our feet wet as we went, to the gently facing northern aspect of the scrub block. We saw the view across the creek to the neighbour’s dam, through majestic river red gums with the northern winter sun peeking over the top and decided that was where we would build our home. Standing on that north facing slope, we were protected from the blustery southerly wind that sailed over the top of the trees and as we arrived the rain stopped and the sun started to shine.
As winter solstice approaches again this year I remember how we felt the first time we were here – so excited with anticipation of what might be.
I have noticed this year that the chooks seem to have gone into winter mode too – this is our first winter at the farm so previous chooks in previous locations haven’t had it so cold or frosty in the mornings. The chooks are laying every couple of days at best or once every three days and some not at all – must just be too cold for them or the days are too short.
And I feel a bit the same – the days are just a bit too short for me. On days when I have to leave the farm to work, I arrive home in the dark which means I’m gathering firewood and walking the dog by torch light when all I really want to do is get indoors and light the fire. I really only get a chance to check the veggie garden on days when I’m not working off-farm and I was pleasantly surprised today to find that my brassicas, kale and lettuces are all loving this weather, despite the short days and frosty mornings.
I managed to get a walk in the paddock two days in a row and on both days I was greeted by the site of newly born lambs – guarded of course by our ever watchful alpacas – Bill and Ben.
There really is a lot to love about this time of the year, with the ewes leading the charge. Hopefully our chickens will start to pay their way again soon too. I am reminded of this funny cartoon which has been around for a while but still makes me chuckle.
I will continue to wait for winter solstice and enjoy all the winter delights while I do, but when it is here I will celebrate her in anticipation of longer days and look forward to the changing of the season, the flowering of the acacias and the promise of spring.