Valentine’s Day 2019
Rambling chortle-melodic songs of red-winged black birds heard all around the farmhouse. Deep snow, but some warmth in the air, and it is snowing heavily again. We have a mile of plowed driveway to and from the farmhouse and down to the barn. The donkeys, the dogs, and I walk this plowed road.
Yesterday we found deep dug out areas under the scrub oaks. Many areas – perhaps 40 – where hungry elk had used their large hooves to scrap the snow from around the base of the trees, so they could reach the rich acorns below. The elk- perhaps a herd of 30 have come down from the high lands to search for food on the farm. We have the acorns. We have buried native grasses, rose hips, and various shrubs to eat. The rose hips are a favorite with the donkeys and the elk.
Busy soft lips —seeking and selecting— winter softened berries. Squishing rose hips—a burst of sour vitamin C —satisfies donkey and elk. Of course the donkeys can return to their hay on Valentine’s Day, but the elk must search on —through the deep winter snow.