Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oh the weather outside is frightening.......

Winter has arrived! So far not as fiercely as some of the weather people had predicted. But its still pretty nasty---just brings home to me how hard it would be to take care of the livestock if the weather got truly awful.

Early predictions were for inches of ice followed by 6-8 inches of snow. Instead we got inches of rain, a little ice and now its snowing like crazy.

This picture was taken this morning looking out the front yard. As you can see we thankfully only got a light coating of ice.

All the gate latches and some of the gates were frozen, so that adds to the challange. For some lovely reason they decided at work that we wouldn't have to come in to work today and tommorrow if there is no school in that town. This hasn't happened before, so I'm really enjoying the sensation! It was nice to do chores in the daylight, since everything was so frozen. I spent about an hour working on finishing up winterizing a couple more of the livestock pens.

Here are Boone and Ariel testing out the new dusting of snow. Boone seemed terribly impressed by it all, but to Ariel its old hat....she did show some livliness when I turned Boone into the yard (after making sure all the cats were tucked up somewhere). I couldn't resist taking this picture of Boone's huge pawprint!

Yesterday the weather continued unseasonably warm---close to 70, but dire predictions were upon us that it would all drastically change by nightfall. By the time I got home from work, it was starting to rain and was thundering and lightning. We had our monthly fellowship meal at church, so I hurried over there. While we were decorating for Christmas we listened to intermittant rain, thunder and hail. After I got home, I went out in the dark and rain and enlarged a gate opening in the fence with the bolt cutters, to let the rams into the pen that has their shed. (I was afraid with all the ram attitude right now that having the smaller opening would cause someone to get hung up). The boys seemed very grateful to be out of the worst of the weather this morning. Being sheep they can tolerate alot of cold and snow, but I worrried about the ice building up on them, so wanted to make sure they could get into shelter. I didn't have to worry about the girls--they hate rain, and all 23 sheep were stashed into the least it had to be warm with that many woolly bodies occupying that space.

At daylight this morning I was woken up by something pecking at the window--I groggily looked over towards the window and saw a bright male cardinal, stomping up and down the ledge, peering inside and pecking the glass. Now its been at least two years since I fed the birds in this location, but evidently this guy's little bird brain remembered where the eats were! I had to quit feeding the birds because one of my cats (Echo) was causing such a bloodbath each day, that I couldn't handle the trauma of it. The birds seemed oblivious to their fallen comrades and lined up to be next, it seemed. So when the weather is really nasty, I usually take some seed and scatter them outside the yard, where there are no places for bloodthirsty cats to lurk!

I carried a bunch of wood inside and now am sitting near the fire, soaking up the heat and playing on the computer. Later on I hope to use this unexpected time off and finish painting the closet and maybe put up the shelves! I'll end this post with a picture of the best place to be on a day like this--Meshach curled up in front of the fire. Wishing everyone safety during this patch of weather.

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