Snow!

It’s been a cold, snowy winter so far. A couple of days ago we got about 10 inches (or 3 feet according to Rick) of fresh powder on top of the 8 inches already on the ground. It is absolutely beautiful if I must say so myself.

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Very pretty but also very hard to maneuver around. Since the critters have to be cared for every day no matter what the weather is, we do have to be outside. As long as you have the right clothes, boots, gloves, scarf and hat it is not bad; especially if you are working – that does keep you warm.

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alx-and-calvesRick and Alex do most of the heavy work around here – someone has to stand by and take pictures of them – so they stay pretty warm they tell me. The cattle do fine as long as they have plenty of feed, water and shelter. After the fresh, powdery snow we’ve had really cold (for us) temperatures – I think 10 degrees is our low so far – so most everything is frozen. I don’t think we will miss the snow when it is gone, but I will enjoy looking at the pictures.

Warm and Sunny

Warm and sunny are not usually the words you would use to describe the winter weather around here. I must confess that in November when we had the first ice and snow I was thinking it would be a long, cold, snowy winter.

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Everything, including the water hoses, was frozen and that is just not fun.

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Instead, it has been warm and mild, too mild in fact. Here is what the mountains around us should look like this time of year.

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And here is what it looks today. Almost no snow pack at all – not good. I’m sure those poor folks back east who have been hammered with snow this winter would be glad to trade.

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 There is a saying around here about the caterpillar “wooly bears” (I don’t know what the official name is, do you?) and their stripe and the weather. I think it is the wider the stripe the longer and colder winter will be. There were lots of them crawling around in the fall and the stripe seems wide enough to me, but it has been a mild winter nevertheless.

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The rain gauge this year has barely moved.

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Compared to last year which was the wettest March on record – read more about that here – and the gauge was overflowing. Our dry spell is nothing like our friends in California and the severe drought they are dealing with. But it would be nice to get a little more rain. I probably should be careful what I ask for, one of our cattle friends just a little north of us says March will be very mild until the end of the month when we will have a blizzard. I really hope he is wrong, but we will see.

Happenings

Well, you wouldn’t know it by the blog lately, but there really has been a lot happening around here. I’ll try to get you all caught up!

As you might guess living this far north in the mountains, weather is a big factor for us every winter. Right after Thanksgiving we had snow, not a lot just a light dusting really.

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It was really beautiful, the mountain tops were white, the sky was a beautiful clear blue and the air was crisp and clean.

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The cattle have to be fed every day, snow or not. Rick and Alex put on their warmer layers and carry on.

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After the snow, we had rain and lots of it. One of our summer grazing pastures just down the road from us flooded. You can see our red round hay bale feeder is still out in the field. The summer pastures were flooded and then it got COLD. That is ice you see in the field below. One of our neighbors who grew up on the east coast tried ice skating. I heard he did pretty well.

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This is gate we drove in and out of to load the cattle and bring them home just about two weeks before the flood and ice. Aren’t we glad all the cattle were home high and dry?

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Next, when it was really cold, the power went out. The high that day was 19 degrees and with the windchill it felt a lot colder. No power = no heat (other than our wood stove in the house) which means water lines freeze. Frozen water lines are not fun. Happily the lines in the house were fine, it was only the outside hosebibs and cattle water that were frozen.

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We added some heat tape and insulation on our most exposed hose bib and started up the generator. After a few hours the water lines thawed and water started flowing again.

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The next day the power came back on and everything was back to normal around here.

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After a few days of below freezing temperatures the storm passed and the weather warmed up. I think everyone appreciated the warmer weather.