CHAP. 63.—WORK TO BE DONE AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE.
Be careful never to touch the vine at the winter solstice.
Hyginus recommends us to strain and even rack-off wine at
the seventh day after the winter solstice, provided the moon is
seven days old. About this period, also, the cherry-tree, he
says, should be planted. Acorns, too, should now be put in
soak for the oxen, a modius for each pair. If given in larger
quantities, this food will prove injurious to their health; and
whenever it is given, if they are fed with it for less than thirty
days in succession, an attack of scab in the spring, it is said,
will be sure to make you repent.
This, too, is the period that we have already assigned1
cutting timber—other kinds of work, again, may be found for
the hours of the night, which are then so greatly prolonged.
There are baskets, hurdles, and panniers to be woven, and wood
to be cut for torches: squared stays2
for the vine may be prepared,
too, thirty in the day time, and if rounded,3
as many as
sixty. In the long hours of the evening, too, some five squared
stays, or ten rounded ones may be got ready, and the same
number while the day is breaking.