Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sunrise on a Weekend Morning
I love weekend mornings when I have no specific place to be at any specific time. The temperature is colder today – not as cold as last month, but cold enough to leave crystals across the puddles and water containers. I take the dogs into the yard and listen to the cacophony of piggy sounds coming softly from the barn as they waken, sensing that breakfast will soon be available.
Belle is doing better today – she has not toppled over once, though she did need help to get out of her basket. I watch her walk around the yard – no pasture walk for her just yet – and marvel at her spirit and determination.
I feed the piggies – the colder weather has sent them deep into their blankets and straw, and some emerge more slowly than others, but all are healthy and eager to eat. Rickey favours me with a snoutie kiss, which makes my day as he is not one of the more affectionate or brave piggies. Derby has finally learned, through his illness, to trust me and he waits patiently for me to acknowledge his presence and give him a scratch behind his ears. I am deeply touched that he allows me this honour. It has been a long time coming.
I put their grains into their feed area, and fill the water bowls. The pig yard is almost free of ice and snow in the very top corner, and so I spread their greens and fruits out there to coax them to venture outside. They are not amused – they race back and forth between the greens and the grains, afraid that while they are eating one food, their siblings will finish off the other. Even if they don’t get time in the front yard today, they will have had their exercise!
Oliver stands watching through the fence, bemused by their actions.
I return to the yard, where Belle is now standing on the doorstep demanding to be let back into the house. Obediently, her servant opens the door and watches her hop inside and toddle over to her basket, ready for her morning nap.
The other three dogs and I greet Martin, the alpaca, and I give him some grains and alfalfa before we head into the pasture. The sun is just struggling to break through the morning mist – the winter grasses are grey and dull one moment, washed in gold the next.
Sadie and Charley are fascinated by the scents of wildlife that have walked this way during the early morning hours. They know not to follow the scent through the strands of wire that encompass the property, but they spend long minutes staring longingly through the gaps, dreaming of the chase.
As we return to the yard, I look around the sleeping flower beds and, at last, I see the sign I have been waiting for:
Spring is on the way!