Tag Archives: blizzards

Snowstorm Stella

Fergus at the gate. Complaining, as usual!

They have been promising us another blizzard-type storm.  And it is here.  Blustery and blowing from the north, it’s a white world again.  Not what any of us want to see in March, but this is Maine so that’s how it rolls!  (I won’t curse here, I promise).

Betsy and the little ones

We are definitely keeping busy with Betsy and her little ones.  Betsy is coming along slowly, and I am hoping that she revs into high gear sooner rather than later and gets some eating done.  We need to put some weight on her (we are doing all the supportive appetite-inducing things, as well as making sure she has vitamins, probiotics and plenty of minerals, salt, etc).  Even though we are bottle feeding those little bugs, they continue to nosh on her as well.  At some point I need to decide whether or not it is putting too much stress on her, and if I think it is, I will have to take the babies away.  I really don’t want to do that, they all need each other and that could be just as stressful to Betsy, but as the vets say, she is in a ‘negative energy’ zone right now, and I hate to think of her body trying to produce the milk for those hungry, hungry twins.  Sigh.  It’s always something on a farm!

Betsy’s little doeling enjoying some head scratches

Dorcas is the next doe in the lineup, and she could freshen at any point.  Difficult to tell, and most of our attention is focused elsewhere, so I suspect she will have a big surprise for us any time now.  And that will be the halfway mark for us.  4 more girls are due end of March, beginning of April.

Twig in the feeder, looking like a good farm kid with a stalk of hay in her mouth.

The 4 older kids are having plenty of action-packed adventures in the meantime.  They can’t help but have fun, because 4 is much more exciting than 2!  They love to run the fenceline and torment Fergus the buck on the other side.  He very sweetly sniffs them through the fence, and then they hippity hop away to torment someone else.  For a few days there Olive, one of Delta’s girls, was trying to sneak treats from Eleganza.  El is wise to her now, but for a few minutes there I thought Olive was going to get away with it.  They are all too funny.  And Twig has figured out how to get into the Sydell blue tub feeder…  that is one of the highlights of every goat kid’s life!  It’s not a perfect design, because of that, but none of the work-arounds I have tried keep them out.  And so it goes.  A goat kid’s world is a wonderful place, most of the time.

Just about time for afternoon chores.  Time to go out in the storm.  Ugh.  They say this one is a fast-mover, and I hope they are correct!

Blizzard 2017

Looking out the living room window to the west, where the almost 5' tall Rugosas are looking like dwarves in the drifting snow
Looking out the living room window to the west, where the almost 5′ tall Rugosas are looking like dwarves in the drifting snow

Has definitely been here.  It’s almost gone, but the work entailed in dealing with it is going to take at least another day.  What a mess.

Greenhouse snow caves
Greenhouse snow caves.  Our fences appear to be getting shorter as well!

It certainly is a beautiful, white world out there, and the snow is light, but when 2 feet of it falls in such a short time, it’s not so light to remove :*)  We will deal better tomorrow with the paddocks, but for now the goats are fine in their houses, which really are looking more like snow caves tonight.  Even the metal donkey shelter (portahut) is covered in snow, as it’s so high up the sides, the stuff on top had nowhere to go.  I don’t know how much snow the wind will shift tonight, as it is roaring again out there, with 30-40 mph gusts.

Stuff this deep is really a struggle for me to get through as I am so short.  But I have to say that the goats are doing well, and when we showed up at 3 this afternoon for the supper run, Pippi broke a trail through to the new greenhouse, where she knew the grain would be offered.  She actually almost knocked me down going past.  Fergus, however, stopped to jump up and say hello, and see if he could get my hat from me before I noticed.  Not a chance, Fergus!

Ut oh, you can't change direction on a path that narrow!
Ut oh, you can’t change direction on a path that narrow!

Most of the photos I took look like nothing but white, with a few higher white things sticking up here and there.  But it was a doozy, and we are supposed to be seeing a storm Wednesday night into Thursday that could bring another 6+ inches.  I truly hope not!

Wicked lucky

Snow cave central.  Can barely see the fences anymore.
Snow cave central. Can barely see the fences anymore.

The latter part of this past week we were prepping for the next Big Blizzard, due to hit us yesterday and into today. But the midcoast area of Maine got incredibly lucky this time. I think if we got 3″ that’s about it. Phew! Dodged a 20-30″ forecast. Unfortunately, the Boston area, southern Maine, and way Downeast Maine did get the full blow. It’s the only big storm that has missed us this winter and I am as grateful as I can be.

Cozy inside
Cozy inside

We are, however, still getting the blizzard-force winds, and the wind chill is as cold as I have felt it this winter season. Instant headache at chore time, even with my face covered. Just simply brutal.

The goats are in a greenhouse that is not fully closed up, but the snow banks are so high, and the snow is covering the structure so completely, that they are in their own little snow cave. I sat down in there with my girls this morning and it was very pleasant, in spite of the howling winds. As much as I am groaning over trying to keep the shoveling up to date, all the snow has been a blessing in disguise (or so I am going to consider it, anyhow!). The ventilation up at the top of the greenhouse is also helping to keep the shelter free of toxic ammonia build-up as well, which is much healthier for the goaties.

Sunset in the snowy bluster
Sunset in the snowy bluster

One more thing to be grateful for: first kids aren’t due until April 22nd!!! It’s got to be warmer by then, although I am having a great deal of trouble imagining it!

Juno, blizzard of 2015

 

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The storm has come and gone now. Juno. Two snow days this week and more snow on the way this Friday! We just got in a little while ago from continuing the cleanup, and there is more we should do, but just can’t get to right this minute.

The blowing and drifting were epic. Even though the snow was as light as can be, 2+ feet of it was still quite heavy to move with a shovel. The snow is beautiful and we can’t really complain about anything. We are warm, dry, and never lost power.

I worry about the animals not drinking enough water, and we did give everyone some warm molasses water today, but the winter cold with great windiness is a tough one. All the goats are doing well, however, and they are hunkering down together and weathering the storms pretty well.

And so it goes. One day at a time!

Blizzard 2015, ready or not

Winter dawn at the top of the paddocks
Winter dawn at the top of the paddocks

Winter has definitely decided to make up for lost time. We were extremely lucky all autumn and early winter with mild temperatures and not much snow. A few bad power-outages and trees down, but multiple feet of snow on the ground, not.

Up to 3″ of snow an hour tonight and all day tomorrow will add up quickly, that’s for sure. The coast, where we are, looks to be hit the hardest with 16-26″ of snow predicted and sustained winds of 35+ mph. Our school district has already called a snow day tomorrow, which makes me a very happy camper… I don’t have to get up at 4 a.m. and hustle through, only to stagger in from chores and find that things have been cancelled. Phew! That definitely takes a load off my plate!

Girls tanking up on grain this late afternoon
Girls tanking up on grain this late afternoon

All the goaties are tucked up tonight with extra deep beds of clean straw and as much water as their stock tanks will hold. I moved all their grain troughs and pans into the hay greenhouse, as I don’t think I will be able to find them in the morning (I turn them over and stand them up after each feeding, but I don’t know if I would be able to find them in the snow!) We have lots of firewood in the house, the generator is tanked up and there is extra gas in the garage, flashlights are charged, and a giant mess of chili is in the fridge to sustain us (along with some wonderful loaves of John’s semolina bread!).

We are as ready as we can be. Bring it on! Stay safe out there, peeps. The Thunder Snow is on its way.

The Day after

Last night the storm was still blowing around when I went to bed.  The snow had stopped but we couldn’t tell if the cleanup job we did was good enough.  This morning I got up at the usual time and was just ready to go out and do chores when I got the word that we had a 2 hour delay.  What a lovely gift!  I didn’t have to do chores in the absolute dark!  Maybe I would really be able to tweak some of the shoveling up around the animal feeders and get that opened up a bit more.  On my way up the driveway just before before daylight I had to go back and grab the camera.  The sky and the snow were just too beautiful!  Now that I know how to create a slide show, I will throw some dawn photos here :*)

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More blizzardy days

This one wasn’t a surprise, but even so, yesterday at work we were wondering aloud at lunch what the result would be.  I don’t know why snow days are so special, but they are!  It’s found time, when you really can’t go gadding about.  Staying home is enjoyable.  So today we are playing with Thomas the Tank Engine trains, watching Thomas on video, making soup, knitting and spinning.  (And before anyone says anything, we have only become experts on Thomas since our grandson decided it was the best thing since sliced bread!  And dad is out plowing…).  He has been really getting into character this morning, draping himself with a pretend cape and hat.  Super Sawyer!

Start of a baby sack for friends. Using Malabrigo Rios.
No, those aren't jeans! That's a Super-Sawyer hat and cape!

Blizzard days

Back stairs after the storm (pot of soup that wouldn't fit into the refrigerator)

Can you ever really be prepared for a blizzard?  We were quite busy around here on Sunday, trying to get things battened down.  We fully expected not to have electricity, so the generator was all ready with lots of extra fuel, the tractor was in place, and the candles were front and center with the flashlights.  It didn’t seem too bad until partway through the night when the wind really picked up, and even our tight little house rattled and shook.  Yesterday’s chores were a bit on the rough side, and I didn’t even bother with the camera.  The wind whipped the snow around so hard, I don’t think I could have gotten a very clear picture.  And aside from that, all I wanted to do was to feed the beasties and get back inside.

This morning didn’t feel too bad, and my husband had cleaned everything out with the tractor so it was much easier making my way up the driveway to the paddocks.  This afternoon I decided to take the camera and see if my fingers lasted long enough to get some photos.  The sheep were calmly chewing cud and were surprised to see me a little earlier than usual, but the wind is still so strong, I didn’t want to wait until the wind chills were in the minus numbers after dark again!

Here are a few random photos:

Just up from afternoon nap time

 

Ewe lamb Beezus (front right) and adult ewe Lupine (white, next to the feed bunker) amongst other ewe lambs, wait for their supper

 

 

 

Piggie house, snowbound (no pigs at this time of year)