Tag Archives: ice

Goat rodeo on ice

Battie and Betsy all cozied up
Battie and Betsy all cozied up at twilight

Well, Monday is a wrap.  Finally.   We had quite the morning.  Zelda and the buck Oreo were scheduled to leave us and join the farm that Sassafras and Pickles went to live on two weeks ago.  And it was not as easy a transfer as I would have liked!

Scheduled is the word.  I was worried all last night that Zelda was going to be the one that was difficult, and Oreo would be the piece of cake to walk into Curt’s trailer.  Not.  What a surprise, but it’s something that should not shock me at all.  You just never know.

Zelda the Beauty!
Zelda the Beauty!

And so we had the goat rodeo on ice.  Oreo knew something was up the minute we went out for chores this morning, and we were even being nonchalant.  I did my usual thing, and Sam went to do his.  Oreo was having none of it!  Zelda came with me into the catch pen and launched into her morning hay like nothing was amiss.  But Oreo got the wind up and it took four of us adults to get him cornered and caught, slipping and sliding on the ice and the snow.  I really hate doing that.  In the process, Sam got an arm injury, John came in with a bleeding arm, and the new owner’s hands were bloody by the time we got the buck into his trailer.  I waited to take a fall until I tripped on the handle of a bag in the house.  Not a winner of a day, I can say that now.  But tonight, it feels like it is ancient history.  I can truly say that this morning was kind of the end of an era.

Since last spring I have been working toward getting all the animals together that I can definitely handle alone.  Sam will not be here forever, and when he moves on, my 62+ year old body needs to be able to handle what we have.  I don’t move as fast as I used to!  And so I have planned accordingly, and we made a plan for who to keep and who to part with.  I had a really hard time parting with SnowPea’s daughters Pickles and Sassafras, and Zelda was an even more difficult cull.  But we lucked out and found an amazingly wonderful farm in Auburn, Maine, and the owner there really loves our girls and our genetics, and not only has the 3 girls now, but he also has Oreo the buck.  I couldn’t have asked for a better home for them, and they are not really that far away.  (He has Nigerian Dwarf goats as well, and I am dying to go up and visit his place!).

Anyhow, we are turning a corner here at the farm.  I think we are as tight as we can be.  I have two purebred Lamancha does left, and 7 almost purebred Guernsey girls.  One Guernsey buck and one half Guernsey buckling.  It’s finally a picture that I think can work for me.

The winter seems to be settling in, so I am glad that the Goat Rodeo is finished for the year.  I hope.  After the Solstice I think I can feel a little more positive going forward.  But we definitely won’t think about January 20th just yet :*/

Icy, Grey Wednesday

Waiting for supper
Waiting for supper

Another weather turn for the worse. Woke up this morning to sleet, ice and then some rain on top. Luckily our school district called a two-hour delay, so I was even able to put off chores for an hour.

We thought the day was going to get up into the mid-40s, but the weather did not deliver on that promise. By this afternoon we had fog and drizzle, with 30 F temps. Roads were not good, so we even cancelled our monthly spinner’s meeting, which was a total bummer. But I was not sad to stay home, either!

Jingle donkey waiting for her evening meal
Jingle donkey waiting for her evening meal

The goats were pretty well tucked up in the greenhouse and only had to come outside to eat their grain. Brr! Wet-cold is always the worst. Such a day. Grey.

Saturday at last

Finally, the sun and the warmer temps
Finally, the sun and the warmer temps

And it’s almost over! Aagh! No, seriously, it was such a beautiful day I couldn’t believe it. In the 40s, at least for one day. Every little bit helps. I knew that there was a little rain forecast for early in the day, and the weather folk were correct for once. But it was a gentle rain, and it helped remove a little bit of the icy buildup in the driveway, as well as snow up in the paddocks. Of course, when the snow is removed from the surface of the paddocks, all we can see is poop and random hay bits on top of the layers of ice that are underneath. But that’s ok, eventually it will have to all go away. We can only hope!

Ready to unload the hay
Ready to unload the hay

So we waited out most of the rain and then went for a small load of hay. The roads around here are so frost-heaved that one of the bales bounced off and we had to make a U turn and go back and pick it up.  Eesh! But the sun had come out and it was warm and the sun felt good. Not nearly for long enough, because just as I was getting ready to go out for chores this afternoon another cloudburst came through. But with a little help from my favorite iPhone app, Dark Sky, I could see that it would probably only be 20 minutes to a half hour and then it would be through. So I used that time to get Pippi on the milkstand and trim her hooves. I am very behind on the goat feet and I need to catch up. I would like to get them trimmed up nicely before the kids drop.

The boys thought the whole truckload was for them!
The boys thought the whole truckload was for them!

And it’s time to get things ready for next week’s shearing. I have to figure out how to keep the ewes dry with a wonky greenhouse cover. And unfortunately, right now, it sounds like it might be rainy next Saturday. One more thing to worry about. Ah well, this too shall work out in the end :*)

As chores ended, the sun was at its best
At chore time, the sun was looking good!

Same photos, different day

The girls assume the usual morning positions!
The girls assume the usual morning positions! Waiting for breakfast

It’s doing it again. Half this country seems to be cursed with the snow, ice and wind. Ugh! Enough already! It’s certainly not news, but it definitely is a downer, particularly after we had the wonderfully warm weather so recently. I feel like I keep posting photos that look the same as every other photo from this winter, but I guess that is the reality, so that’s what we have today. Photos that cannot be differentiated much from any others during the never-ending winter of 2014. Dark and grey, with a lot of white!

Elf and Zelda position themselves close to the grain feeders
Elf and Zelda position themselves close to the grain feeders

Today is our 6th school snow day, so we officially will be going a day later in June, although I am sincerely grateful that we didn’t have to drive on the sleety, icy roads this morning. To top it off, I woke up with the cold that my husband has been fighting for the last few days. It doesn’t appear to be as bad as the bug he has, thankfully.

I am off to do a little more knitting, and my husband is making his amazingly wonderful deviled eggs… just right for a snowy, windy, icy, yucky morning :*)

Skating

Deceptive sky does not show how bone-chilling the temperatures are
Deceptive sky does not show how bone-chilling the temperatures are

And so the deep freeze continues, with the promise of a small warmup this weekend. With wind and rain, of course! The aftermath of the 40F temperatures on Monday combined with torrential rain into the evening had predictable results: our whole driveway and areas around the animal paddocks turned into a skating rink. All the crunchy snow that was safe to walk on was gone. Even in the paddocks the sheep and goats slid from here to there. Enthusiastically running down the hill to meet me at the gate when I showed up with the grain was something of a downhill ski event. I am surprised more of the ewes didn’t just smash right into the fence. No one was hurt, and my fears about wet sheep and goats developing pneumonia from the gale force winds and plummeting temperatures into the night so far have not come to pass. I obsessively threw down straw in the greenhouses in the hopes that they would be good little animals and seek shelter for the worst of it, which they did. (The ewes will sit out in almost anything).

Girls' greenhouse, almost totally free of snow
Girls’ greenhouse, almost totally free of snow

Because of the weather, my school district was closed on Monday so I had a chance to get outside many times during the day to finally get rid of most of the icy snow residue that has been hanging around on the greenhouses, worrying me quite a bit. After the first snow I got a good bit of it off, but some of it froze and was getting heavier and heavier. The rain actually did us a bit of a favor with that one.

Skating rink driveway during early morning choretime. Scary!
Skating rink driveway during early morning choretime. Scary!

We finally got someone to get some sand and grit on our driveway, so yesterday was considerably easier going on that end. And we will hope that the weather doesn’t decide to throw too much more at us in the next few weeks!