Tag Archives: snow challenges

This Wouldn’t Happen in New England

Somehow, even though we aren’t the parents of the children living here, our home number has gotten on the county call list for school delays and closings.  Last night, first daughter’s cell rang, then the house phone  rang with a 2 hour delay notice, but we could already see that the inch of predicted snow was more like 3 inches.  At 5:55 a.m., a second call rang into the house that school was cancelled.  There must be a way to get off that list.  At any rate, the extra hour of bed lounging since there is no Monday preschool and a 2 hour delay plan was shot.  Three inches of snow wouldn’t even slow most communities down, but this is Virginia.  Now it does snow in the mountains of Virginia with some regularity from mid January through late March, but it doesn’t take much to close the schools. Daughter and SIL car pooled and had no trouble.  We have the kids home with us.

snowday

 

It is still flurrying, the wind is howling, but the snowpack is light and we need to venture out in both cars to take the Xterra in for an oil change, state inspection, and for them to try to figure out why it won’t start sometimes.

The dogs love the snow, even though it is only 22ºf outside.  The chickens not so much.  Even using the hay fork  to stir up the spoiled hay in their run so they didn’t have to exit into the snow didn’t encourage them to exit.  A bit of gentle prodding was necessary to get them outside so  the inside of the coop could be stirred up and the hay shifted away from the door for the day.

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They quickly abandoned the food and water.

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And popped back indoors. They win, their food was put in the hanging feeder and lowered,  some scratch tossed on the floor of the coop,  a bucket of water placed just inside the door and they were closed  back inside to reduce the drafts.  Today isn’t supposed to break 30º, but tomorrow will be 50ºf, so maybe they will go outdoors.

Because of the late summer predator loss of almost all of the pullets and 1 hen, consideration on  how to increase the flock before summer has been on the table.  Buying day old chicks now, and raising them in the garage? Not a desirable plan.  Waiting for chick hatch and keeping a few, but that cuts down on meat in the freezer if we have chicks. Looking on Craigslist, there are some pullets hatched in mid August, that should be laying in a few weeks and will allow a cull out some of the older hens after brooding season this year and still have a good flock in the coop if there are any chicks this year.  That seller has been contacted and notified that 7 pullets are desired and though the seller indicated that 7 are available, no arrangements have been made to meet and pick them up.  That will put 7 large pullets, 7 hens (only 4 laying right now), and Mr. Croak in the coop.  It will give him more company and more hens to chase around, so maybe they won’t get beat up quite so bad.  A dozen to 15 hens is a good number with 1 rooster.

Snow on snow

It snowed again.  Not really snow, just a dusting of granular pellets, enough to coat the deck, the driveway and dust the bare spots from last week’s snow.

It didn’t affect school this time.  Our county, still on a 2 hour delay.  Some local counties back on schedule and others using what they call “snow routes” where they don’t even try to traverse some of the more rural roads and the students (or their parents) are required to get to a more major, aka paved road to catch the bus.  We already have to do that, going almost a half mile up to the paved road where the school bus picks up our grandson and sometimes, the high school aged girl from farther down our unpaved road.  Sometimes she gets dropped off by her teacher mom at her grandparent’s house along with her baby sister, sometimes down the paved road to catch the bus with a friend.  The bus picks up all ages on this route at one time and they either get off at the elementary/middle school, or stay on the bus as it continues a different route to the high school.

The morning temperature, right around freezing with gusty wind is going to hold until afternoon, then drop back to the upper teens tonight before we are served with three beautiful spring like days near 60ºf.  These delightful respites happen during the winter, but we know not to count on it staying around.  We are really just reaching the time of winter when we will see our snowfalls.  A few will be like today, with light blowing clippers and flurries.  Others will coat us with a few inches to a foot.  Each year, we have one that locks us in our hollow, like last weekend and we again remember, that we should leave the cars at the top of the driveway when snow is predicted to give us a fighting chance to get out once the state plows our unpaved but state maintained road.  Each year, we discuss how we need to get our driveway regraded and more gravel added to it.  Each year, we consider how to put space at the top for multiple cars.  It used to just be our two, but with daughter and her family living here, it is 4 and one of them a low two wheel drive sedan.  With them both working and us doing grandparent duty of getting the grands to the bus, to and from preschool, to occasional doctor’s appointments that couldn’t be scheduled after school, to pick up from dance class after preschool, we need to be able to get at least 3 of the vehicles parked up there and accessible in bad weather.

For now, our driveway is again snow coated, frozen solid after the days of melt off.  The ruts in the mud are solid tracks today.  For the next few days, they will thaw and be muddy as more snow melts off, then hopefully, dry and flatten again as we drive up and down until the next predicted storm when we will park at the top and walk down.  We have had our annual reminder.