Thursday, March 15, 2018

Deja Vu All Over Again

We've gotten stuck in a repeating pattern of nor'easter type storms about once a week.  A wet snow of around ten inches plus wind yields miserable conditions for being outside and drifts that have to be slogged through or cut through with shovel or tractor. 

The little birds appreciate the seed we put out, especially in these late winter months when natural food is scarce or buried.  We've started to get a nice sized flock of goldfinches along with the juncos and sparrows.

Sheep chores remain the same - feed twice and water four times a day.  Trudge, trudge.

And Beggar's Row is always full of hopeful faces as we walk back and forth.

L to R:  Nora, Kahlua (aka Crazy Jumper) and Luellen

More often now the days get above freezing and cause the overhanging snow to form icicles.

And when the storm passes and we do get a sunny day it really boosts morale (even if we have to break a new trail to the barn).

Fresh snow is especially tasty, even when the water buckets are full.  Notice the nose marks in the snow of the foreground.

The shadow on the wall shows how much the snow wilts and droops from the east facing barn roof as it starts a slow slide off.  It's good the sheep don't have access to that side of the barn as a sudden avalanche could bury someone.

And the sheep linger in the yard a little longer before pressing on to see whether the hay in the barn or feed bunk is better.

"Hmmm, follow the hooman or stand in the sun?"

"I'm going to go eat.  You can't grow this much wool on just sunshine."

Eeesh, she is really hanging out of that coat.  It's a good thing shearing is going to happen soon.

Friday, March 2, 2018

A Blizzard On Number Seven

Today is Knee Deep in Sheep's blogiversary - number seven to be precise. Wow, how did seven years slide by already?  It sounds like a big chunk of time but it doesn't feel that way.  That happens with a lot of numbers we talk about lately... years out of college, years we've had a vehicle, years since someone passed away.....eeesh.

Anyway, we'll remember this date as the Lucky Number Seven Blizzard.

Our power went out around 4:00 AM and Andy crawled out of bed to go fire up the generator.  Because it's wired to a load center pole instead of a house it doesn't have an auto on/off function.  The generator would run for 17 hours today while NYSEG dealt with the outages across the region. We couldn't be without it.

It was hard to tell how much snow we received since the wind blew it into crazy drifts with other areas scoured bare.  We're guessing over a foot - maybe fifteen inches?  We had waist-high drifts around the house which meant wading to get to the bird feeders.

By the ram barn there were big drifts and other areas where the wind had shifted and was chewing into the snow and taking it away again.

We had pulled the doors to the ram barn closed as much as possible but it IS a barn and the doors aren't tight.  One gap about six inches wide let the wind push the snow in all night long.  It looks like a huge mess but it's probably only half a bucket's worth of water when you think about it.

The bigger snow challenge was at the lower barn.  It hasn't happened in several years but Andy had to shovel to get the sheep OUT.  It was cozy as could be inside and the sheep hadn't stuck a hoof out all night.

He had to work his way all along that side of the barn to the other big sliding door and make two lanes out to the feed  bunk.

After that workout we could actually do chores - refill mangers in the barn and then take some hay to the 'picnic area' in the feed bunk.

The sheep were totally unconcerned by the storm and the snow although they didn't like trudging through anything over their knees.

Clem says.........

"I hates snow.  I is pretending to be an indoor kitty - indoors of the barn, that is."