Winter has arrived at little haven and the wheel has turned once more, having crossing the threshold of the Winter Solstice. The temperature has dropped below -2 more than once (-4 scheduled for tonight brrr), and the frost in the morning has given the property a beautiful and stark appearance. The birds greet us in the morning, reminding us to throw out some seed and their little bird bath has a thick layer of ice that we need to break for them.
The alpacas appear to be loving the cooler weather thanks to their thick, warm fleece. They are together in the paddock now and luckily Voodoo has ceased trying to show the younglings who’s boss, and instead has become protective and is on constant guard duty. He even likes to keep an eye on me in the mornings when I go to let the chickens out of their coop, which I find adorable as he is terrible at hiding.
Winter has never been my favourite season but I admit there is something magical about it when it becomes a frosty ,white wonderland, when your breath steams in the morning air and at night you can snuggle up by the fire with a good book or podcast and cups of hot coco. The spider webs outside become dazzling displays of sparkling water droplets and frost and the hit of icy cold air in the mornings is more invigorating than any cup of strong coffee.
Another positive is the celebration of the Winter Solstice, resulting in the days becoming noticeably longer from the next moon cycle. Inside, candles have been regularly lit as a nod to our ancestors, music played, fires burned and rooms decorated to give it that festive feel. A bottle of vodka that we had mixed with sour cherries that had been infusing for many weeks was ready to be opened and the warmth that it spread through our bodies kept away any winter blues.
Of course with the dark season that is Mid-Winter, it wouldn’t be complete without mention of the stag who is the symbol for this time of year from old European traditions. Ancients believed the stag carries the sun in his antlers and is a symbol of rebirth and rejuvenation. So with that in mind we visited a nearby deer farm on a beautiful, sunny winters day and saw the majestic stags and were also fortunate to make a new friend – an adorable little miniature goat that would follow us everywhere. As a result we now are considering goats at little haven…
So the cold and sickness aside, Winter definitely has its perks and I hope if you are in our hemisphere that you are keeping warm and if in the north you are not taking that sunshine for granted!