Just a few hours ago the summer solstice began. And although the days actually start their trend to less daylight hours it feels quite the opposite. Long, lazy days and cool, beautiful evenings. The woodthrush are back and in the evening their throaty, fluid song is icing on the day. The flock of chicks is set up on our screened summer porch where they can feel the days to come when they are old enough to venture forth on their own, months from now. We added a maple branch and leaves to entertain them. They are busy learning to dust themselves and perch on the branch and beat their little wings around their protected world.
The bushes and trees boast loads of fledgling birds and still some bird nests full of wannabe fliers. Under three barns alone we have 4 current nests with babies in various stages of development. Any project we do around those areas is always first considered for the brood's feeding and safety. In a few short weeks the nests will be empty and we can start to watch flying lessons, bug catching and worm pulling contests!
The sheep are on pastures now fulltime. Each of our pastures has electric fencing, a shed for shelter from the heat of the day as well as any violent weather. We have water supplies at each field and they still get hay daily which they dearly love, even with all the green grass. We rotate the flock through the fields gaging the time based on the height of the grass. Optimally the height should be 6-8" when they go on a field and no less that 3" when they come off. It has been harder this year with the lack of rain so early in the season so the grass isn't growing as quickly as it should. But there is certainly enough grass to keep them happy through September. Cheers to summer!