Tuesday, February 15, 2011

sheds in the wind

The wind last night was epic. The kind of gusts that make you think the slush under your feet was really planks on an old ship. The warm weather (oddly 50 degrees) and melting snow made the blustery night something out of a sea shanty. All of Veryork was swaying. On this mountain you could hear the wind come howling down in stages. First up high and far away and louder and closer....A few moments later your body is covered in goosebumps and you see the trees break fresh with the air mass, and seconds later feel it on your own face. Your hair everywhere. Cracked lips crack even more. Over and over the wind rolled down onto the farm like this. I was in full batten-hatch mode and made sure everyone was inside their allotted home (be it coop or barn) and the dogs did not get walked. Instead we all ate our dinners inside and watched the clouds race over navy blue stars. What a show.

Feeding the sheep was complicated and labor intensive. I knew the second I dropped those flakes onto the snow they'd be blown into the night. So instead I grabbed an entire bale and hefted it over my shoulder. I carried it up the sheep hill as the wind and drops of freezing rain pelted me. I felt like some character in a Lord of the Rings movie. All I needed was a lantern and a cape. The sheep watched me with their dinner and only the three Longwools followed me. Good ol' Sal and Joseph were right behind me and Maude wasn't far behind. But the five Blackfaces stayed at the bottom of the hill where they always got fed. They had no idea why this crazy woman was pulling a full bale up to their apartments.

When I finally reached the sheep sheds I opened the full bale and spread it everywhere. I wanted the top layer to be dinner, and the bottom to become fresh bedding. I knew only half of the load would be eaten that night and the rest would just be a blanket, but I was okay with that. I wanted that shed as comfortable as possible. As the wind whipped at us all inside the little 8x12 building, I prayed it wouldn't tumble over. I watched my flock all around me in this domesticated space, totally calm and content while I made sure for the hundredth time the roof was clear of ice and snow.

This morning it was still there. The shed made it through. As I walked outside early to let Gibson enjoy a morning peeā€”all the sheep emerged from their nest content and still chewing cud from their midnight snacks. Storm? What storm? The just watched us from their hill like Gods at the Pantheon. It was a fine sight to see.


Blogger Paula said...

We had wind like that too, although not as pretty sounding as yours was. Wouldn't it be something to think that it started on my end of the country and the same gale ended up on yours? It sure sounded like it was going to blow that far. I don't know about you, but I love it when the weather gets its back up; you can feel the energy in the air and it just invigorates you.

I have to point out here that a skinny little super model version of you would not have been able to hoist that bale up the hill....

February 16, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

It has been windy down here in NC as well but a lot warmer. We will be getting into the 70's and that will spoil us. Have a great rest of the week.

February 16, 2011 at 6:26 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I sent those winds your way as we had them for the past two days. I wish we had them this morning. Need them to stir up with dense fog that has settled over us. Wouldn't care normally but I actually have to show up at my job this AM..

February 16, 2011 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

I love wind. No storms please, just the wind. Question: Have the geese hatched yet?

February 16, 2011 at 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if you were one of those Little Miss In Shape things from the magazines, you wouldn't have been able to haul that straw around. :-) No wind here, but a week ago we were getting Snowpocalypse and now they're expecting highs in the 60s today & tomorrow. Now I just get to worry about the Mississippi River flooding (we live on an island in the river).

February 16, 2011 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

@Paula and Sharon, that's exactly what I was going to say, "no size 4 girlie girl could have hefted that up the hill". Take pride Jenna. :)

February 16, 2011 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love that we're close enough geographically to have the same weather. I live in CT, and we had that wind last night too -- along with all the same snowstorms and rain and ice (those yours are a little more severe, I think). It makes me feel more in tune with what you're doing. I often think about how you're affected when I take the dog out for her final run at night and stand there in the wind, looking up at the stars.

February 16, 2011 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Janet said...

I think I could deal with 50F right now our tewmp is hovering just above zero and the cold water tap at the kitchen sink is frozen up. But tonight it will be milding up - maybe we will get that weather you just had - hope not the wind but the rest is all good! Hang in there - spring is on its way. And yes, a svelter you would not have the endurance to lug bales of hay around. Glad you all came through it.

February 16, 2011 at 10:21 AM  
Blogger Susanna said...

Maybe you could cobble together one or two of these simple feeders. saves from spending feed-money (hay) on bedding (straw). http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/build-hay-feeder.aspx

February 16, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger =mew= said...

this brought tears to my eyes. I understand the anxiety that accompanies the arrival of strong winds. As much as I find it beautiful and magical in its way, I worry nonstop about trees falling on my house, flying projectiles taking down live wires, anything and everything. I'm glad you all made it through safe and sound. I would've been glad to help if I were there.

February 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Bee said...

The wind must have made one heeeck of a long trip last night 'cause it's been a blowing a gale here since yesterday! Blew in rain overnight that only blew the tarp off one of the woodpiles....thank goodness the barn stayed up!
I'm trying not to rhinknot looks a little off-center though...
Enjoyed the NPR broadcast while knitting on my sock...good job and how funny to actually hear your voice in my head now while I read your blog!

February 16, 2011 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna...I know that others that read your blog tell you in all sorts of ways, but I think that the way you set your words down in describing your life is wonderful. Anyone reading this, can develop a full color picture or even a "movie" of the scenes and event that you describe. Please keep up the good work! All of us look forward to each new post.

February 16, 2011 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

you definitely need to invest in a lantern and a cape... and probably a sword for good measure

February 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM  

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