Winter Wonderland

Studio with heavy snow
Southern Vancouver Island is known to be the mildest part of Canada, especially when it comes to winters. Even so, it isn't unusual to get snow out here. This year, 2010/2011, was my first winter here, and it has sure been a mild one, with very little snow. I only remember two good snowfalls in fact. The second snowfall happened after I had moved onto the farm, giving me the opportunity to experience what this land looks like with a white blanket, and the challenge of living at the bottom of a 1/4 km long hilly, windy, dirt driveway. When it snows at Mossy Banks, you really want to leave your car at the top of the drive, and walk back and forth. Otherwise, you aren't going anywhere, as I found out.

I took this time to get some good walks in around the property and into the hills. Juniper and I went exploring and had a blast bounding about in the snow. When we get so little of it, it sure is fun to take advantage of it and have fun with it. From skating down the packed tire-tracks in the drive and making my way back up without falling and breaking the eggs, to making snowballs and snow-angels, the snow really is a blessed visitor while it lasts.

As we walked about the property, admiring the freshness of the air, the beauty of the white, sparkling snow that blanketed everything, and the quite that encompasses a sleepy winter day, I took my camera out and tried to capture a few scenes. I hope you enjoy the beauty that I saw in them and the joy of a few days of winter.
View from the top of the mossy banks
A tree with a presence
Quaint sitting area in the lower field
Beautiful snow formation on a stick
Snow crystals bursting from a stick

First Day

Kia and her twins

I moved onto the farm on January 5th and wasn't alone in making this my first day here. At about 4:00 pm, during our routine close-up of the animals, Lynn noticed that Kia was making some gentle bahs that had her thinking she was either afraid of my dog Juniper, or about to give birth. We took note and continued on with putting the pastured sheep in their pen and rounding up the chickens. As we were trying to herd the last of the hens into the barn Lynn peaked over the barn pen's gate and saw that, in fact, Kia was in the process of giving birth.

This was Kia's first birth. Kia is a purebred Suffolks, and was 'accidentally' bred with our ram, Romeo, also a purebred Suffolks. We knew that she was due at any moment. Lynn had told me about the advantaged and disadvantages of having one, two, or three lambs, and if they were boys or girls. We were already currently raising one little lamb in the house that Lynn had acquired from another farmer whose Ewe had triplets. Neither of us were hoping for triplets. Lynn was, however, hoping for one girl and one boy.

It was around 4:30 when the birthing started. We quickly got the last few chickens in and I went up to the house to put Juniper away and grab my camera. I wasn't gone more than 5 minutes. When I got back it was all over. Kia had given birth to two little girls. She was busy with licking her little ones clean and getting that all too important bonding in during the first moments of life. Lynn and I watched for some time, marvelling at how Kia just instinctively knew what to do, and how quickly the girls were up and walking.

What an experience to be a part of. I look forward to all the farm has to offer in the months to follow. I especially look forward to watching the seasons change. Winter is an interesting time to move onto a new piece of land. Falling in love with a place during the winter months, knowing that the most beautiful and plentiful times are yet to come, has given me an appreciation for this land that I may not have felt so clearly if I were to have moved here in the summer. I am truly grateful to call Mossy Banks my home, and proud to be a part of new creations.