Day 88 – frosty cows

088It’s a chilly morning and there is a layer of frost on the ground – and on the cows who stayed outside last night.

Now before anyone starts with the “poor cold cows – you should put them in a barn every night”, we do have a barn for them to go into, and they do go in the barn when they feel the need.  If I’ve learned nothing else, I have learned that cows (and most animals) are smart enough to know when they need to get out of any weather.  When it rains, sometimes they come in, sometimes they don’t. Same with snow, ice, wind – any type of weather we have here.  And if you want to come and try to get them into the barn when they don’t want to?  Good luck!

Cows, horses, and goats also grow winter coats, so even though it looks like there’s not much hair, they are quite protected – the frost on the top of the cow means no heat is escaping from the cow.

The next time you drive by our farm and see critters with frost or some snow on their back, rest assured that there is shelter for them, they’ve chosen not to use that shelter, and they are doing just fine.


Day 87 – a good thing

IMG_9971IMG_9970This is a happy thing to see, one that we’ve only seen a few days this year (so far) – cows out in the pasture and not clustered around the hay wagon.

They make their rounds of the pasture to find any new grass, lay around for a bit, then go off again to see if anything grew while they were resting.  After that, a trip to the hay wagon, then into the barn to see if it’s time for some oats.

No, the cow in the top picture isn’t dead – they like to sprawl out on their sides to catch some sun.  Flips me out every time, especially since we have some old girls in the herd!


Day 86 – patterns

086Patterns are everywhere in our lives.  Our routines change over the course of a year as the seasons change, even if we don’t really notice those changes at the time.

Some patterns are quite visible, and some are more subtle – this picture looks head on to the center of a round bale.  The pattern might not pop out at first, but the clock-wise curve of the bale-making process can be seen.

We set round bales up on end in the barn, and “unroll” them for the horses.  There’s a definite right way to do that, to work with the pattern and unwind the hay from the bale.  I didn’t realize that when we first went to making round bales, and couldn’t figure out why they were so hard to break apart.  Once I saw the pattern (which way the bale had been rolled), I could more easily get the hay off the bale and where it needed to be.  We’ve gotten better at the bale-making part of things, so when we find the right direction to do it, we can unwind the bale by hand.

Maybe that’s why some things in life are so hard – we’re trying to “unwind the bale” in the wrong direction?


Day 85 – looking down

2013-03-26 18.51.15The snow is almost gone from the craziness that was Sunday and Monday.  Our maple trees are full of new buds and don’t seem to have been too bothered by the low temperatures and snow/ice.

This little stem was in the cow pasture – I take Minnie out there every few days to try and run the wiggles out of her (it doesn’t work!).  She run around sniffing at everything, and I see what there is to be seen.  It’s fresh air and some exercise – good for all of us.


Day 83 – bath time

083This is the foundation of our house, now turned in to the Roman dust baths for our chickens.  They’ve excavated down a good foot below the natural soil level so they can have some nice warm dust to clean themselves.  Plus it’s under the eaves of the roof, so it stays nice and dry.

Chicken heaven around here.


Day 81 – once more before spring

Here we go again!

The critters have plenty of feed, the humans are ready to go.  We’re thankful for the precipitation, because it refills the underground reservoirs.  As soon as the weather warms up, the grass will shoot up – it’s been well watered, and has been waiting for the warmth.  And we’ll be thankful for that too, because that means our animals will have good grass to eat.


Winter Storm Watch

Statement as of 3:23 PM EDT on March 22, 2013
… Winter Storm Watch in effect from Sunday morning through Monday afternoon…

The National Weather Service in Wilmington has issued a Winter Storm Watch… which is in effect from Sunday morning through Monday afternoon.

* Hazard types… snow.

* Accumulations… snow accumulation of 5 to 10 inches will be possible Sunday into Monday.

* Timing… snow will overspread the region Sunday morning into Sunday afternoon. The snow may mix with rain Sunday afternoon into early Sunday evening… especially near the I-70 corridor.
Snow will become heavier Sunday night when the greatest snow accumulations are expected. The snow will decrease in intensity on Monday as it slowly tapers off.

* Impacts… hazardous travel conditions are expected due to reduced visibilities and snow accumulations.

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

Remember… a Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant snow… sleet… or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.