Some people think of Spring in terms of warmth, flowers, grass, and it is those things, the end of winter, a time of some promise. But on a farm, Spring is also about little things being big things, about life changing. All winter, we have been hauling buckets of water out to the donkeys and the sheep, using a frost-free faucet on the side of the house. Our heated houses short-circuited in the first tough cold wave and the simplest solution was just to fill two or three buckets with water and haul it out to the barn, where we had a heated water bucket to receive it.
In the winter, especially on cold and snowy days, the animals are holed up in the barn much of the day, dumping and drinking water. And on a sub-zero morning, fresh out of bed, with snow and ice on the ground, those trips can seem like pretty good hikes, especially when you haul water two or three times a day. This weekend, we took out the houses from the barn and attached them to the water faucet. The hose reaches out to the buckets, which we moved outside near the gate. Now, all we have to do is turn the faucet on and place the end in the bucket. Then turn the faucet off. Soon, the grass will be high enough to stop hauling hay out, and that means chores will take a minute, and we can sleep later, get to work sooner. Small things, but big things on a farm. Spring means flowers, but more than that.