We've got a lot of snow this year! Everyone in the Maritimes and New England States knows what I'm talking about...
I know not everyone agrees, but I'm loving it!!!!
We're pretty lucky to have a neighbour who plows us out after every storm. For me, that makes all the difference in my attitude toward snow. We have a pretty expansive driveway and I couldn't imagine having to shovel it out by hand. It just wouldn't happen and I would probably end up a snow hater this year.
However, we still have had to do a lot of shovelling around the farmyard to make sure we can get to everyone easily for feeding times and so the animals can get to where they need to go in the run of a day. Most of our snow came in waves of several big storms over a matter of a few days back in late January and February. So far, I've dug the 3-5 foot deep trails for the the sheep and the birds out twice as it all blew in again after the first time when the next and biggest storm hit a few weeks ago. My back is taking a beating, but it's important to me that everyone is able to at least get a bit of room to roam outside on these nice days. I would hate to have to be cramped up inside, so I do what I can to make sure that doesn't happen to my animals.
|Our tom turkey has been spending more time in the coop with the chickens than with his more adventurous turkey hens. He's about 30 pounds and finds it pretty challenging to get through the deep snow.|
All this snow has got me thinking about what is going to happen when it melts. The sun is getting stronger and I know that it is just a matter of time before the snow will start to crust over making it possible to walk on top if you're light enough.
With the way the snow has drifted around the barns and the paddock, the snow is only inches from the top of the fence and even over the top in some places. Not only am I concerned that my sheep might find a way OUT of their paddock, but that the coyotes and stray dogs might find their way IN. There is just too much fence line with too deep snow to dig out around the fences so I've decided to shut the sheep in the barn at night and hope for the best that the coyotes aren't too hungry to start coming around.
|The sheep enjoying a bit more room to move around outside after I finished the second major excavation of digging out their trail to the sheep shed in the paddock. The trail is between 2-6 feet deep.|
|This is the sheep shed built from pallets and set on pressure-treated skids. This is what the sheep use for shelter on pasture in the summer and I can pull it from one field to another using the truck when I rotate their grazing areas.|
|This is all the room the sheep had to move around in outside before I dug the trail to the sheep shed.|
This is where Flint, our miniature donkey, earns his keep. I like to think of Flint as our insurance policy. For such a small fellow, he is incredibly fast with an impressively long and loud voice. According to some of our neighbours, the coyotes haven't been seen or heard around our place since he arrived with the sheep. He's a young thing and a bit too rough on the sheep so I have to keep him separated from them by a fence, but he sticks close by them as they graze in the summer and gets quite upset if they get too far away for his comfort. So far, so good....
|Flint only has a mini donkey-sized hole dug just outside his stall to sun himself. Poor Flint!|
|My kids are loving the snow too! Lots of great sliding, tunnelling, house-building, etc happening in the back yard this year.|
|Bob packing down sliding trails with his snowshoes. The fence posts in the back ground are between 4-5 feet tall to give you an idea of the depth of the snow.|
For now, there is sunshine and very little snow in the forecast over the next few days and everyone is dug out as best I can. I'll put away the shovel until next time and spend as much time as I can out enjoying the snow on snowshoes, our toboggan and playing with my family in our beautiful, winter wonderland.