Notes From a First Time Front Yard Farmer: The Long Light

Our clocks sprang forward a few weeks ago, and winter is loosening its grip, not that it was particularly tight for us this year.  Before daylight savings time, we were getting our extra light in the morning, but now we are getting it in the evening.  Our days are stretching out longer and longer, and by June, the sun won’t go down until after midnight.

Before chickens and ducks, the only problem with this is that we lost track of the time, and found ourselves staying up way later than we had intended, and eating dinner at 8 or 9, instead of the usual 5 or 6.  It takes a while for the kids to adjust, and they get grumpy about having to go to bed while the sun is still up.  I point out every year where we live, and I’m not letting them stay up until it gets dark.  Alaska is called the land of the midnight sun for a reason, and they are just going to have to get used to it.

The ducks would stay out all night if we let them.  Fortunately, they are herdable, and allow themselves to be put to bed.  Chickens, not so much.  By the middle of summer I will be staying up way past my bedtime, cursing them for pecking around into the wee hours of the morning, and debating with myself on whether or not I can just leave the coop open for one night.  With my luck, I would say to hell with it, go to bed, and something would get in there and have a feast.

I’m not sure where I am going with all of this, beyond the fact the long light is here, and spring has come way earlier than it ever has before.  The chickens aren’t going in until after 9 now, and pretty soon it will be midnight before they call it quits.  On the bright side, the water hose will probably be defrosted by the middle April (last year it didn’t happen until May), and I can put the five gallon bucket up for a few months.

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