Wow, we have a lot of snow– at least for us. I think it’s about a foot deep. Which, I’m sure, seems trivial to people in the Midwest or the East. But in the Northwest, that is a ton– I don’t have many memories of there being this much snow here in my lifetime. We’ve had snow falling for the last week, and more in the forecast for the whole next week- incredible! Usually it doesn’t stick around more than a day or two before melting into a muddy slop. Here is a panoramic photo from the pasture, in which Maggie appears twice– she got in the frame more than once!
The temperatures aren’t bad– a few days it’s gotten into the teens, but it’s mostly hovering right around freezing. We got our first official complaint to animal control about our animals- from a well-meaning citizen who felt concerned for them. An animal control officer came out to investigate, and chuckled to himself, “well, the DO have wool, after all!” A friend of mine teased me that we should get wool coats for them!
It’s true, the sheep only have a tiny shelter out there, it may not seem like enough to we non-furry humans. But, sheep are amazingly hardy. We are giving them hay, but they are choosing to go paw through the snow to graze, and only picking the hay. (And I swear it’s not moldy or poor– this is a $19 fresh bale from the feed store!) They really look like they’ve grown more wool in the last week or two, they are quite bundled up and puffy. The llama has so much wool insulating her that snow accumulates on her back and stays there– it doesn’t melt! Once a day I break the ice out of their trough with a pickaxe, though I suspect they are getting their water from eating snow and not going to the trough.
Our ducks seem equally unfased by the chilly weather. I put a heat lamp in their house, but they all slept as far away from it as they could get. Their ranging during the day is curtailed because it’s hard for them to walk, but they still get out in the morning, and still bathe when I give them fresh water! Ugh!
The dogs, of course, think the snow is fabulous. Here is a picture of Gene standing on ice in the ditches, barking like crazy. She seemed to know this was incongruous and was demanding our attention and skating all over like a silly, as if to say ” look at me! I’m walking on the water!” They so make us laugh with their cleverness and spunk. Poor Mr. Spanky is getting old, and walking through the snow and ice is harder for him, but he’s always game for it, he just takes it slow.