Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bluster & Cold

Good morning from the blustery and frigid lands of Veryork! Holy Crow, is it windy out there! I was out this morning doing the regular chores and all the animals were reluctant to come out to eat, that is how windy and bitter it is. Well, all save for Merlin, who could care less about wind and rain. That is fitting for an animal that grew up from colt to stallion in Northern England's wild hills of Cumbria, but not so much for the local dairy goats who had me deliver their breakfast indoors. My two does and their Rent-a-Buck, Saturn, usually are some of the first morning hecklers out come daybreak. They hear the door open or Merlin whinny and they are at their metal gate, nickering for their own breakfast of second-cut hay, minerals, and grain. Not today, not pif the Dagda himself came at them with his club, they were curled up in the barn and I threw their hay into the window and watched them poke their heads out at me before digging in. Breakfast in bed, that.

The pigs as well were happy to sleep in and only woke up from their nesting pile when they heard the breakfast bucket. They came out, swilled up their feed, and then went back to their slumber. As tough as they are they see no sense in standing in the wind like Merlin or the sheep do. Back to bed for them, and smartly so. Days like this make me want to curl up and nap as well.

One good thing about the wind is it is blowing a lot of snow off roofs and driveways. You look outside one moment and there is a clear day and I can see right across to the neighbor's driveway. Turn your head to a book or wood stove and look back out, WHITE OUT of bluster. I can't even imagine what that must look like at the open fields of Livingston Brook Farm or even just down the hillside at Katz's place on the road? Here on the mountain most wind is blocked by the fact I live on the eastern side of a hill that gets most of its fussing weather from the west. Usually, even in the worst of weather it is mild out there compared to more open country. So when I see nothing but swirls and can hear the wind in the wood stove's chimney howl into my living room... I know it is rough out there.

Are you also dealing with this wild weather? If so I hope you are safe, warm, and strong. Or, have the sense of a goat or a pig to nest in until this nasty business is all behind us.


Blogger Christine Marble said...

Good morning, Jenna! Hadn't seen a blog post in days, and was starting to worry. Glad you're back. Weather here in Central New York is the same as you, I believe. Doesn't seem to bother my two Boer goats, who have their own barn (converted from a tool shed). They still come out and stand in their paddock, playing their head-butting game. As long as they're doing that, or as long as they come out to stand and stare at me while I load up the outdoor wood furnace (they have food and hay and water and dry bedding so I know they're not asking for food), I know they're fine!

February 15, 2015 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Halo Christine! Yes, took a few days off to focus on design clients and some other farm needs. Also, had a friends surprise birthday party to prepare and bake for on Friday. Sometimes I do miss a few days, but all is well here. Busy, and the animals are out there in the bluster, but all is well.

I think many folks (including me) sometimes confuse what makes us comfortable with what makes animals comfortable. While it is bitter out there (lows up to 20 below zero coming tonight) their comfort levels are different and more animals in the northeast die of respiratory diseases and bacterial infections being pent up inside barns and stalls than out in the cold. I think animals should always have the option to be out or indoors, at their choice. My goats want in and the sheep want out :)

February 15, 2015 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger The Weekend Homesteader said...

I live in GA, and while we are no where near your weather and you would consider it balmy, we are only hitting highs in the 40s and lows in the teens/twenties. That's cold for this neck of the woods. So I'm going to curl up by the wood stove and knit today.

February 15, 2015 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger 3 Dogs Barking Farms said...

I havent ventured out yet but I need to go feed the chickens and give them fresh unfrozen water. I was going to spend the morning digging paths to the garage, the chickens, and the propane tank but I dont think I will bother today. I think what ever progress I make the wind will soon erase. Oh well a chore that can wait. I will just have to climb a few piles of snow the snow plow left to get to hte chickens food. I think its not so bad over on this side of the hudson but I will let you know once I get out there! The dogs went out and played for a bit so it cant be that bad! Stay safe and warm!

February 15, 2015 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

I tucked the chickens in yesterday with topped up feeders, heated water, and scratch. Closed their doors and told them I'd see them on Monday.

The horses are staying mostly in their stalls, as they do when it's this windy. It's about the only thing that keeps them in, is when the precipitation is wind-driven. They're getting fresh hay every four hours, and not cleaning it up so I know they're fine. They have a heated water trough as well. It's one of my few luxuries, keeping their water heated, as I work full-time I wouldnt be home enough to keep liquid water in front of them otherwise.

The dogs are sensible to, doing what they have to do as fast as possible.

Can't wait for Spring and the thaw!

February 15, 2015 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

The wind knocked off today, but its bitter cold. I was fortunate yesterday in that the fluffy snow we received on Friday was drifting in some other direction...northwest wind doesn't bother my property.

I sat inside, kept the pellet stove running and worked on my ice fishing windbreak. With the window quilts tacked up, it was quite cozy.

(Quilts is a loose term. These are nothing more than moving blankets from Harbor Freight cut to fit and literally nailed to the window trim)

February 15, 2015 at 4:24 PM  

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