Tag Archives: playtime

The Calm Beauty After The Storm

The snow finally stopped about 8 p.m. last night after two relentless days of constant snow and 24 hours of strong gusting wind.  The new snow guards on the roof have prevented the large resounding snow drops from the roofs, but with the wind, there really isn’t much piled up on the roof.  It appears that we missed the “Big One” only getting about 16 inches.  That is plenty, we are stranded down in our hollow with deep drifts on our driveway, an unpaved 2/10 of a mile uphill.  Our neighbor who plows us out is off doing contract work for VDOT, so we have to wait for him to be done with that before he can come to us.  Maybe later, we will dig through the worst of the drifts and see if we can get one of the 4 wheel drive vehicles out to the paved road.

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The sun is rising on our white world.

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Beginning to peek through the tree trunks on the top of the east ridge.

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Ripples in the snow from the strong winds of yesterday.  Today is calm and bright.  A good day to play in the snow, a good day for a big pot of soup and a loaf of crusty bread.

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Chicken chores were a challenge.  Between the house and the coop are three drifts, one that goes over the top of my knee high snow boots.  My muck boots being only 11 inches high are worthless for a few days.

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After two days of being contained inside the coop, I spread hay and coaxed them out by putting their food outside and by dumping the compost bin full of bread that was only partially eaten by the kids, about half a loaf that was dumped on the floor by the 4 year old and the remnants of popcorn.  They don’t like the white stuff at all and I suspect that they will spend most of today indoors again.

Hopefully, we can clear enough for SIL R to be able to take one of the vehicles into work tomorrow.  I’m sure we won’t see school attendance for at least a couple more days. Today he gets to play with his kids in the snow.  Tuesday, we get 45 f weather and rain, so the snow will melt, the driveway will thaw and we will have a muddy mess until next time.

Easter Sunday on the Farm

Today is beautiful, no Easter snow, thank goodness.  Bright sun, azure blue sky, calm wind, and grass, oh my it has grown in a week.  It must be at least a foot high in the back.  It will have to be mowed this week or we will start bringing ticks indoors and I don’t want that.  I started the tractor and used it to move some compost and some old wood a few weeks ago, so I know it is running.  The lawnmower for right around the house hasn’t been started yet, but it was only used a few times after it was purchased late last summer, so hopefully, it also will run.  Fuel is needed for both and since it is Easter Sunday, that purchase will have to wait until tomorrow or the next day, though the little general store/gas station in the town is open today.

The chicks are now more than 6 weeks old and did fine in the coop while I was away, in spite of several below freezing nights.  Last night they were all on the perches in the coop, lined up like big girls instead of huddled in a corner.  Today they are getting outdoor time.

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Though they still sound like chicks, they look like small chickens.  They poked their head from the temporary pen into the permanent pen and promptly got pecked.  Now the hens and Cogburn have lost interest and the chicks are foraging the long grass for new treasures.

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Shadow and the chicks being desensitized to each other.  She would lie down quietly by the pen until I moved and then she bolted away.  Since the electric fence is now only around two sides of the vegetable garden, the dogs can get right up to the chicken pens and they weren’t used to being able to do that.  At first the chickens are alarmed, but I am trying to get the dogs so they don’t activate prey instinct when the chicken flap and run, I would like for the chickens to have some free range time without being chased by the dogs.  She did really well and the chicks quickly ignored her.  The dogs need to learn that they are farm dogs and can’t chase everything that moves or flies.

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And of course there is time for tug-o-war with the big ball on a rope.  Ranger was working on drop it and leave it, then I would throw it out into the yard for a chase and tug session.

Life is an adventure on our mountain farm.

. . . The Storm

Two days ago, I blogged about the preparation that we go through each time a storm is expected.  The preparations were completed, tub and jugs filled, dry beans cooked for chili or goulash, bread made, supplies for the dogs and chickens replenished, wood brought in to the garage.  Yesterday we waited, wondering if this storm too would fizzle though the news from southeast of us was showing freezing rain and sleet, we are far enough west in Virginia that we could have only gotten a couple of inches, not the double digit snow that was predicted.

Around 2 pm yesterday, as I was kneading the bread and looking out the kitchen window that faces south, I watched as the snow came over the ridge behind us, moving toward us and it has been snowing ever since.  We had gone out about noon and parked the SUV part of the way up the driveway in a parking pad away from the house.  After I thought the mail had come, I drove my CRV up to the barn and parked it on a gravel pad in front of the barn and walked the rest of the way up to the mailbox.  The contractor mailman drives a 2 wheel drive sedan, so he either had not come or decided our steep snow covered gravel road was not happening yesterday afternoon.

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That was only an hour or so into the storm.

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By the time I went out to secure the chicken coop for the night, we had about 5 inches.  By bedtime after watching the Olympics it was up to 7 inches.

This morning before letting the pups out to romp, I went out with a 12 inch ruler that sank into the snow.

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Same shot as Tuesday with the addition of the car and the snow.

After the snow pups had their chance, with the snow up to Shadow’s chest

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they came in snow coated and worn out and I ventured over to deal with the chickens.  I knew they would not come out of their coop when I opened the pop door, so today until the snow stops, they have food and water in the coop.  As their keeper/feeder/protector/egg collector, they seem to think this is all my fault.   The snow is mid calf on me, over my boots and I returned to the house with a cuff of packed snow inside.

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We awoke to it 10ºf warmer than last night, but it is still snowing and we are expecting several more inches.

Today we will play.  Tomorrow our 36th Anniversary was to be celebrated in town at a nice restaurant, but we may have to cancel our reservation and postpone it unless the plows get up our mountain.  So far we still have power, so the conveniences of life are still in place.

We wanted a good snow this year and we have gotten it.  Once this is gone, I’m ready for spring.