Hours before predicted temperature drops, 25 m.p.h. wind gusts, rain, snow and sleet (sneet), Inigo and Fezzik are finishing off the last of a frost-softened pumpkin. Marsh (upper right) worked his way through the dregs of another inside the paddock. Beatrice is just out of the frame, strings of orange squash trailing from either side of her jaws.
NOAA tells us that this latest roller coaster ride in the weather is due sometime this evening. For now, the air is mild enough for the hens, geese and goats to forage, and for Jo to caw at them from her window.
They do know something is coming, though, without Internet access. The animals are connected to everything in a way that humans lost long ago. So we watch them dance across the browned grass as they snatch seeds and midges that hatched in the warmth of last night. This is one clue that cold and wet is on its way. Another is the very fact that Marsh is in the paddock and not lazing with the other goats under the pines. He is keeping close to the shelter of a warm donkey and an east-facing outer wall.
One pumpkin is in storage, so to speak, under the roof of the pavilion beside Red Fox Cabin. That will be a treat to put out when the weather breaks on Sunday. That’s what the National Weather Service predicts, anyway. We’ll watch the animals on Saturday and let them make the final call.