Friday, September 25, 2015

Acclimation, and Fall.

At the beginning of summer we had to remind ourselves Summer wasn't over. Now it is, officially and for practical purposes both. The Autumn Equinox was on the 23rd, and the weather has cooled drastically, leading to very chilly mornings. It is even getting chilly inside at night because it isn't really heating up during the day. The nice part about this season isn't so much around the house itself, but on the way to and from the house. The really beautiful moments on the drive break up the unpleasantness of an hour long commute. I've learned over the years an important thing as winter comes.

I grew up in Texas, so winter as it exists here has been an adjustment to me. I've been in the North East for a fairly long time at this point so I've gotten used to it. One of the things that I adopted and really got fully into once we moved out and started homesteading in our very cold location is acclimation. What do I mean by that? I mean not only getting used to the environment, but as the temperature changes, getting used to that as it does so. People where I work have commented many times that I wear the same clothes hot or cold, and it's mostly true. As the temperature changes I make a point of not changing my clothing standard until I really have to. At a certain point you're talking about a safety concern, at which point you add or change clothes. As our days go from 90 to 60, and our nights from 70 to 40 or below, I still go out and do the chores in an undershirt, and a broadcloth button down shirt. I'm going to be honest, it isn't warm, and while I'm adjusting back to winter I don't really like it. By the time it's 20, or 10 outside though, I won't feel any worse about it than I do now. I'll just be wearing gloves with it because I like my extremities. As preparations for winter go, this one is important, and needs to be done with the transitions of the weather. Obviously if you're going to be hiking, or going out and doing anything where you are away from a safe home, do make sure you're wearing and carrying appropriate clothing. The nice thing about going out and acclimating on the homestead is if something goes wrong, the door is right there. The benefits (aside from comments about being strange for wearing the same clothes in 100 degrees, or 10 degrees) are comfort, higher metabolism, and faster response if I need to go outside in the winter.
On the ground right now, we're seriously considering keeping both of the turkeys. We really appreciate the behavior, tameness, and intelligence of these two. As you can see, the boys have started displaying, and making their funny thrumming noises. We know from experience that most domestic turkeys aren't nearly this smart, hearty, or friendly. Given that we want those traits we're starting to think that it may be worth while to hold onto both males, and try to get good quality females to breed next year. We're going to be looking into it because we realized we have something special here, and we don't want to ignore that just because we want to avoid being a dude ranch. Always a situation of balance. We'll see how things work out, and will be keeping an eye out for chickens to take in, and turkeys to acquire.

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