It started snowing sometime between 3:30AM, when I woke up to check, and 5:30AM, when I actually got out of bed, and it didn’t stop until late evening. My pitchfork estimated we got about 8″ of fine, soft powder in just about 16 hours. I know we wouldn’t think much of that kind of snow in my native New Jersey – maybe a school holiday, but the roads would be cleared quickly and life would go on fairly uninterrupted. It’s an unusual amount of snow for this area, though, and we’re just not well equipped to deal with it. So the whole world stops. We stay home because the roads won’t be plowed for quite some time, and the schools will probably be closed for more than one day.
In weather like this, I wish we had a bigger barn. A barn with two closed ends. Anything to give our girls a little more shelter. As it was, all the cows were encrusted with ice by the afternoon, and none of them liked having it brushed out. I think it pulled their hairs. 😉 The steers were the hardest to help, as they don’t have quite as much contact with us and did not appreciate being handled. I did what I could, but it wasn’t much. When I left them, they had fresh bedding, but they both had icicles hanging off their cheeks. I prayed for them.
Although the temperature dropped to -6° just before dawn – 12° lower than forecast – all the animals made it safely through the night! They only had a little frost on the tips of their fur; even the icicles had melted!
We worked hard this morning, cleaning up the barn, milking the cows and getting water to thirsty animals. Lovely flakes of silvery snow drifted down from the trees. The whole world sparkled and shimmered in the warmth of the rising sun.
It’s going to be a beautiful day.