A Cold Cruel Winter
This winter has been a bit on the bizarre side. We’ve gotten so much snow that the county ran out of salt for the roads in December. We had a weekend recently when nearly all the snow melted, and nearly caused a mudslide. Now, we’re experiencing sub zero temperatures.
The animals don’t seem disturbed much by this. The sheep have a barn, but they still like to sleep outside. Today when I looked out at them, they looked like they may have been frozen right to the ground. They like it cold.
The hens don’t seem to mind much either, though they don’t leave their shelter much when its below about 20 degrees. For some reason, our hens have decided to lay record numbers of eggs. Usually, in the winter, they slow down to about half of normal production. Not our crazy girls, they’ve doubled up. They look warm, they act warm.
The outside cats have been inside since about December 1st. Once in a while they will run out the door and then run back within five minutes. They’re bored. They follow Rich around the house and meow. They stay warm lounging in the living room, which is very sunny during the day.
Rufus, the farm dog, wants desperately to be outside. He can handle about 15 degrees and above. Lower than that and he stops to check out his tender paws. Holds one up in the air to tell you its cold, but refuses to come in until you force him. Rufus doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of common sense about winter.
Winter on the farm is no less work than summer. It’s a little less frantic because you simply cannot move at the same pace with a spacesuit on. You sort of mope up and down the hills, hoping not to freeze on the way. But really, the work is the same, the animals need to be fed and watered. The machines stop working when it gets real cold, so you have to fix them. Everything seems to take about five times as long when it is this cold.
The other night the moon was full and very bright white. It had a haze about it that made it look like it was frozen solid in the sky. It just stood still in the sky, looking very, very cold. The snow, frozen in jumbo batches on tree branches, falls en masse and makes big crashing sounds. Once in a while, the snow plow passes by making a big noisy sound. Its throwing sand this January instead of salt. Nearing the end of January and we’re really looking forward to March.