Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Day before 6:30

Today, like many others, started early. We needed to wake before the chickens to check a bittie that we were attempting to sneak under a hen. The hen rejected it yesterday. Today was no different. My husband and I moved the water hoses so I can water the garden and orchard, again. We are so dry. So dry that we will move the calf crop across the road to the bottom in the hay field which means that we have given up producing more hay this year. We only cut once, which is highly unusual. Now, the pastures are brown except in the bottoms. Since we sold our calves last week for delivery next month, we have to maintain their weight which means moving them to the only good grass we have and starting to feed hay. My husband will open the gate as soon as he gets back from berry picking with Princess.

Blackberries are ripe!! The only berries worth eating are on the spring streams. All other berries are so bitter and hard that they will turn your mouth inside out. Mr. W left with Princess at 6 a.m. while I finished maneuvering the water hoses and skimmed the pickles. I had already picked more cucumbers and weeded and de-squash bugged the squash.

What's the point of this narrative of life before 6:30, you ask? Not sure. I suppose I just realized this morning how our schedule has changed because of the heat. Everything that involves moving quickly or standing where the sun shines is now done in the cool of the very early morning. All of the vegetable harvesting, watering (it takes all day), insect squashing, cattle moving, canning, berry picking, pruning, and everything else that produces heat is finished before 10 a.m. when it becomes necessary to begin moving slowly. We have installed a very small window unit in my office and a larger unit in the kitchen, but the goal is to not have to use them much. By taking advantage of the natural rhythms of the day we can stay cooler longer without the air conditioner. By using the air conditioner less we give our bodies a chance to adjust naturally to the heat and can be cooler when it is hot without the aid of air conditioners. There is still a part of me who wants to use the computer (a very hot enterprise) when I want, cook and can when I feel like it, and run around in the heat of the day knowing that whatever I do I can cool myself instantly. Yet, is it really necessary?


JoVE said...

Very good points and good to see how it is done. We don't have air conditioning and I think maybe I need to get up earlier. And then maybe nap after lunch.

My cats seem to have this routine down pat. They stay out all night when it is cool and sleep during the hottest part of the day.

ZBTzahBTzoo said...

What will be the fate of the bitty if no hen accepts her?

I'm sure our hottest days don't compare to yours, but it is getting to the point where we do plan around the heat, and we are so grateful for the relief of the beach. Hot days mean cold meals, which is fine by me, and the A/C is used sparingly -- mostly when it's necessary to catch up on sleep!

I wish my grocery store would adjust their system to about ten degrees warmer. Entering and exiting the store is a shock to the system!

wisteria said...

We'll hand raise the bitty. The little ones are safer and can roam more freely quicker if they have a ferocious mama than if they have to go it alone.

Mother Crone's Homeschool said...

My grandmother used to preach along those lines. She would say summers are for early risin', and winters are for sleepin' in. Thinking that she was raised a farm girl in Mass, it makes more sense. She used to take afternoon iced tea to visit and quilt or crochet (never idle hands on that Yankee!), as all her work was done until making dinner.
I feel for you with your heat, as we are having a cool spell. Scout had to wear a sweatshirt at the farm yesterday, and I wore jeans and a sweater! Seriously! It is to be in the 80s again on Sunday though.