This morning while gathering extra bales of hay from the big barn, I couldn’t help but take advantage of the slick snow covering on the field behind the barn. Out came the Flexible Flyer, down came the earflaps on my wool hat, and off I went. We’re getting more snow at the moment and chances are it will cover the good icy sledding snow with a more powdery consistency. Well, I wasn’t going to let good sledding snow go to waste! Halfway down the hill, I passed over a spot that had been pawed bare by the deer. My eye caught what looked like a sharp branch. I hiked back up to investigate….and I found this single spike horn (antler). How lucky! Then!…then!….I came home to find this guy sitting in the tree just outside the sheep barn, no doubt hoping for some rodent activity to satisfy his appetite before the storm really takes hold. All before 10:00 a.m. What a lucky day!
Well, we did get a whopper of a storm. The power went off just after morning chores and has just now been restored. It was a blustery day, very high winds that whipped the snow into 4 foot drifts. It piled up against the barn doors and the woodshed. Each time we went out to tend the animals it meant shoveling our way through. I love doing chores when the weather has turned extreme. I feel like I’m on an Arctic expedition. The sheep and the chickens all seem to appreciate the added effort we put into assuring their well being and comfort during a storm. Everyone gets extra bedding and extra grain and hay. We fill five gallon buckets before the storm arrives, storing them inside to keep them from freezing. We need to know that all of our critters will have fresh water if the power stays out for days. The chickens don’t love these kind of snowstorms. They don’t (won’t) venture outside of their coop until it’s over, until someone (us) goes out and packs down their outdoor run. They are not fans of having cold swirling snow in their faces. The sheep pretty much take this kind of weather in stride. Their heavy fleeces are well suited to keeping them warm, and they create a lot of body heat when all together in the barn. I am often surprised at how often they will choose to leave the comfort of the barn to be outside. Snow piling up on their backs and covering their face , and still they will venture out into a storm and seem refreshed by the conditions.Chores do take longer during storms, the routine changes a bit, trudging through the deep snow slows things down. Inside, we enjoy the quiet of the day……drink tea, knit, and read, until the storm has passed and the last of the cleanup takes place. Then back out for more shoveling and clearing. Tonight, more snow is being predicted , another 4-5 inches to add to this storms current dumping of 2 feet. Snowshoeing tomorrow! We can still here it howling outdoors, the animals and fires have all been tended to, and we can enjoying knowing that everyone has been cared for.