The storm we were promised blew in on schedule last night. I tried to go to bed early in case I needed to get up in the night for anything. At about 4:30 I woke up to the sound of frozen rain pinging my window and I looked out. It was hard to see, but it looked like the sheep were trying to squeeze themselves into the hoop hut instead of taking shelter in their brand new shed. Big sigh. Creatures of habit, they are, and sometimes there's no talking them out of it. Here I thought I was going to get a great night's sleep, and I found myself tossing and turning again, worrying about those silly sheep.
Then around 6:30, I heard the unmistakable sound of Ruthie barking her "play bark." I looked out again, and saw the two white dogs romping and playing in the snow. Doesn't that just beat all? Don't they know how worried I was? Maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought... I bundled up to begin my feeding rounds. The precipitation had mostly stopped, but the wind was bitter.
Happily, I found the sheep wandering in and out of the shed, happy to see me, and anxious for their grain. Just standing behind the shed on the south, the wind is less bitter, but inside the shed, it's downright snug.
Maybe it's all that wool. Maybe it's knowing you have a snug shed to go to anytime you feel like it, or maybe, like the dogs, they've figured out that moving around helps keep you warm.
One casualty of the whipping wind was one of our trees. It broke off about seven feet in the air, and the top fell into the back yard. It's pulling the fence down about a foot, but nothing alarming. So glad it missed the house. We'll deal with that later.
The chooks are snuggled up together against the weather. I did go ahead and lay some hay around the edges of the coop to block even more of the wind. The chicken waterers don't lend themselves to bashing out the ice, so I have to take a different tack - I bring my teakettle out and melt a little of the ice on top, several times a day.
This gives them several hours of drinkable water time before I need to go repeat the procedure. Wonder if they'd like a little Earl Grey to go with their pellets?
The alpacas and Jacobs seem to have fared fine, though the Jacobs keep forgetting they need to go down to the pocket shed for shelter. I had to remind them with their grain, and their bucket of water. Again, creatures of habit, they kept trying to get into "their" stall of the barn only to find themselves locked out.
All's well now - I've shut them up in the pocket so that they can't get too confused about where "home" is for the next few days.
As I write this, the sun has come out and it's downright bright out there with the reflection off the light dusting of snow. But don't be fooled - that horizontal wind will blister uncovered skin. Ask my nose and cheeks.
But everyone's settled for the time being, and so now it's time for me to enjoy some quiet time inside... maybe some hot chocolate and a nap.