The weather gods waited until late on the night of April 1 to play an April Fools prank. We awoke to discover a two to three-inch snowfall across the North Country.
Was this because I removed the snowblower head from the DR power unit and replaced it with the bushhog head? Probably. The weather gods love to punish my hubris by administering a good whack to my head with the nemesis cudgel.
But the last laugh will be mine. Yesterday, using the bushhog for the first time this spring, I got a good start on fencing work. I mowed a “warning track” around the inside of the fence that surrounds the four-acre tract that we call the South Hillside Pasture, recently renamed the Ewe Pasture in honor of its most recent denizens.
The ewes became skilled escape artists last summer, so I mowed the strip along the fence in preparation for erecting a hotwire that will be mounted on insulators on the steel posts that hold the five strands of barbed bordering the perimeter of the pasture. Hopefully, this will be a better solution than the portable electric fencing we previously used with little success. Every few days, the deer knocked down a stretch of the portable fence, inviting the ewes to wander off in search of greener grasses in the hayfield.
Not that I am overly optimistic, but my expectation is that a hotwire running about 20 inches above the ground will touch the nose of any curious sheep, jolt it with a shock, and convince it to stay within the field of play. More likely, I will jolt myself a half dozen times this summer while trying to herd seep back into the Ewe Pasture.
The deer will not squirm through between the strands of barbed wire and break the hotwire, right? They will leap over the fence. Right? Well, hope springs eternal in the human breast.
I will update readers on this sheep-fencing solution sometime in June.
But on this April 2 Saturday, I am taking a snow day off from manual labor. I should be cleaning out the Hilltop Garden in preparation for tilling, but snowfall is forecast until noon, and that is reason enough to be lazy and profligate. Reading a book and perchance smoking a cigar. That is ambition enough on this April Fools prank of a day.