Winter brings its own demands and one of them is keeping our livestock fed and in good health. At present we have and care for four horses, twenty sheep, one donkey, forty-five chickens and a host of bees. Among four monks the animals are kept fed, watered and inspected on a daily basis.
Horses and donkeys grow heavy winter coats that keep them warm. The extra hair disappears with the arrival of warmer weather.
Chickens are endowed with approximately ten thousand feathers each, year round, so they actually fend better in winter than summer. In the summer they cool off with dust and dirt baths.
Sheep have an extremely thick coat of wool and relish in the sunlight even on the coldest days.
And bees know how to hibernate throughout the winter.
Last but not least, we also have two cats and a dog.
We treasure all of our two and four-footed creatures, as well as the winged wonders called bees.
All God’s creatures, great and small, are part and parcel of our monastic life in the desert, throughout the year.
In today’s photo, Father Seraphim is pictured with our pinto steed named Poncho.
With assurance of our prayers and grateful for yours,
Abbot Christian and the monks