The calendar says December, but if this is winter, we'll take it. It's currently 44 degrees and cloudy and it's looking like a rain event for today and tomorrow. The leaves and the birds are gone but many crops are still green so it's more like fall than the early throes of winter. Outside my office window finds late season spinach still green and edible along with all the colors of fall lettuce and fall greens. The field of pumpkins looks much like it did in September, but I know they're pretty much frozen solid.
The last column I wrote was in mid November, just before I went on vacation. I had listed a lot of things I had hoped to accomplish, but I didn't seem to accomplish all of the tasks I had hoped. I also wrote about multi-colored rats; I did manage to dispose of three of them; all half grown and brown and white. I'm reluctant to poison them, but must resort to some type of control before they settle in for the winter. By the smell of my workshop, I'd say there's a few that didn't make it outside before they died.
Thanksgiving week is an odd week to take off. Johnny's pays us for Thursday and Friday so we only have to take three days of vacation time to get nine days in a row off. Late November isn't prime vacation time; the weather was cold and much of the time the wind was blowing. November is the month between the woodstove and the boiler -- too cold or too hot -- that's the choice for the month. Jeff and I went to Greenville and surrounding areas on the 24th looking for partridge and rabbits, but found nothing except cold and snow and ice! What a difference a couple of hours north makes.
The end of November signals the end of hunting season, at least for deer. Hunting season is winding down and ice fishing hasn't started yet. I spent much time putting things away for winter and making mental notes of things to do for next spring. I may have this finally figured out. I'll make a list this winter, order the supplies I need and plan on getting my projects done before May comes around. This year May found me at work most of the time and little time to do anything else, at least until planting was done in June.
For next spring I'll try to have everything done before the weather warms up. We do the same thing here on the farm; we attempt to have all the equipment ready to go, all the supplies will be ordered and stocked for the upcoming season, and any projects we want to do, we'll complete before May rolls around. There is no such thing as a fool-proof farming season, so we'll take all the precautions we can to ensure a smooth start to the growing season.
Now we're busy making our winter lists, prioritizing them as we realize that when you start working on a fleet of equipment the winter isn't really as long as it used to be. The best way to get time to pass is to be busy and I don't see things slowing down much for quite some time. It never really slows down much anyways, it just changes a bit.
Until next week, Brian.