Hard to believe I did not write one Blog in 2016. Must have been busy.
2017 has been pretty wild so far, with more snow and cold weather than we have seen in years. So suddenly I have more inside time than usual. I am amazed at how beautiful and how tough a winter can be and have to be extra careful to make sure my animals have plenty to eat and warm water to drink. They have to stay out in weather that is sometimes 20 below zero. Their resilience amazes me. While they each have a well bedded barn there is no extra heat. The sheep seem to fair better than the goats with their fleeces growing long and fluffy. The goats make sure they get the choicest bedding spots, and I imagine they also appreciate bedding down with a bunch of woolly sheep.
We have about 3 feet of snow this winter and have had below freezing temperatures since mid December so none of it has melted which is not normal for our area. Due to the depth of snow my husband has been busy shoveling off the roofs of sheds and barns before they collapse from the weight. Quite a few old buildings have lost the fight this winter., but so far ours still stand
This is a picture of our 20 year old barn cat who has moved inside for the winter, on a rare moment outside of the house. Casey has never been inside before, but suddenly decided she was a house cat when the temperatures dropped to 15 below zero. The kittens are fine and still finding mice to eat. The kitties sleep in a big box full of old fleece, and seem to be quite fine, although a tad jealous they can't come in as well. We have had to start cutting steps into the snow to move from clear areas to areas that are just compressed down from use. This path leads to the ram pasture.
Once all the outdoor chores are done we all come in to warm up in front of the fire. This old farm house has some cold spots, but the room with the wood stove is pretty popular these days.
I am also concerned about the honey bees. Hopefully they made enough honey to make it through this long cold winter. If it warms to 50 degrees or so I may put some food in the hive for them. I do not want to crack the hive open now, and let out the warmth they have to work so hard to produce, and break the propolis seals they have built to keep out the winter winds. As you can see there is still a bit of snow on both our roofs!
After a fairly nice day today, with highs around 25 F I see a storm brooding to the south, promising more snow. But everyone looks well fed tonight and they will move into their shelters after dinner. Heres hoping you are safe and warm and fed this winter too!