A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Donks Want You to Know...

... that they are getting a little tired of this weather. They have shelters, both groups, but the younger ones spend most of their time out under the trees, keeping busy keeping an eye on things. I was explaining to a fellow guild member yesterday what good sheep guards they make; at least that it what people having both have told me, also works with goats. Mules and donkeys have both been known to stomp an intruding dog rather than run, and a photo floated around my animal lists last year showing a mule stomping a cougar to death that had been stalking a hunting party. Tough critters, but they don't like the amount of snow we have been having.

After a warmer afternoon melted much of what snow we had in exposed places, I awoke to the same amount, freshly dumped in the wee hours.... and it has kept falling all day today.

My two older girls get a special treat when the temps drop or they are exposed to prolonged rain and get wet and chilled:

When the weather gets cold, out comes the bowls of grain, moistened by boiling water from the house, so that there's half a chance of its being lukewarm by the time the donks get started eating. This not only makes it more palatable, but assures they are getting some water when it's too cold to want a glass of ice. They also each get a handful of vitamin pellets thrown in.

Rita (in back) and Louise chow down... Louise in particular has had trouble keeping weight on this winter and is now 28 while Rita is 24. This is middle age or better for them, as donkeys routinely live past 40, but they need pampering.

The others were a little jealous, but they get extra sugar in the from of extra carrots and apples when the weather expends more body heat, so don't let their sad, long faces fool you. From left, Assteroid, 2, April, 6, and Rose, 9.

In other homestead developments, we got our first box of winter vegetables from the CSA we signed up to mid-season, Mountain Bounty Farms, located about 10 miles from us. Our friend Bill encouraged us to join, and even offered to make our weekly pick-up for us and drop the boxes off the next morning on his way to work near us. Beautiful organic rutabagas are the star this season, in produce that farm owner John Tecklin is bringing up from another CSA in the Capay Valley, on the western side of the great Central Valley, near Woodland. I roasted a large pan of rutabagas, parsnips (a personal favorite), carrots and turnips, which had been doused with olive oil pureed with some of the provided green garlic the first night, while prepping and starting a crockpot of minestrone, using some of the leftover roast (we get grass-fed, non-certified organic beef annually from my cousin, who now tends the ranch that has been in my mother's branch of the family for 85 years). I also dried the cilantro, and plan to make cole slaw from the big head of cabbage... I am finding that to save time, I prefer to prep veggies for at least one other meal while cooking, and haven't gotten back to more cooking this weekend, as I did my coursework this morning, sorted yarns for my anticipated version of the Ruana in Folk Shawls, and then took up my Ruffled Shawl this afternoon.

I haven't touched it in a long time, probably six weeks, as I stuck with small projects and dealt with the stress of change. Of course, I had stopped midway through the short-row foundation points for the ruffles (yes, I was THAT close to finishing), and messed up the first ones I attempted and had to rip back when I noticed they weren't matching the way I had done the first half, but now I am back on track and only have a few more left. Then, it's on to the red ruffles. I plan to cast on my Mountain Stream shawl tonight.


Blogger margene said...

We have our old Murphy and need to give him TLC to help him gain weight, too.
I found my Ruffled Shawl pattern the other day and wondered how yours was coming. I finished Seaweed and already wish for more lace on my needles. By Tuesday I'll be casting on for Mountain Stream.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Lynette said...

Brrr for the burros. Your post reminded me of an accidental funny that happened at work a few years ago. I was in a meeting with a co-worker who had a decent command of English considering it was his second language, but had trouble with American English idioms. He was agreeing with another person in the meeting to do something and meant to say, "hunkey dorey". Instead he gaily said, "honkey donkey!" I could barely contain my giggles.

5:29 PM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Such sweet burros! Stay warm you guys! Hang on, spring's coming...

And Oh, I'm such an enabler....you bought the book? Now you have to join the yahoo group for Folk Shawls (at least that's free!)! Jane & I are making the Highland Triangle Shawl now, and I'll have to join you in Ruana soon! (That will be my "mindless" knitting, as Jane says!)

I love the Mountain Shawls you're doing...but I MUST STOP joining KALs or I'll never get the ones I'm already a part of completed!
But I do love those patterns...hmmm.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

your donkeys are so handsome! That bowl of grain looks tasty, I'd eat it! Here in the Midwest it is cold again, in the 20s, come on Spring!

7:49 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I love seeing the burros. My sister, the vet, always tells me that horses are really prey animals. It makes sense the cousins would be too.

LOVE the post

1:17 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Our two like their daily bran ration with a little warm water in the winter. Definitely a treat!

I can't wait to see your Mountain duo - I am not joining the KAL, but I did buy Mim's pattern for "someday".......

3:12 PM  

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