The last 48 hours have been quite the rollercoaster on the farm with regard to the weather. On Tuesday afternoon, we had temperatures up near 60 degrees. It felt like Spring! All of the ice and snow were melting and we actually saw the grass that was just waiting to start turning green and lush again. The weather reports forecasted that it was not quite time yet. What we did experience in the coming hours between then and now has been really amazing!
After the high temperatures on Tuesday afternoon, a front moved in bringing torrential rains. There seemed to be water everywhere between the run off from everything melting combined with the rains that came. Roads were flooding as culverts could not move the water quick enough and the creeks were swelling beyond their normal banks. The animals were soaking wet. They all have shelter, but when they are used to grazing we find that they many times just prefer to stay in their pastures.
As we continued to watch the creek rise, reports of dropping temperatures and incoming snow were on every radio station and weather report. Our concerns began mounting. If the temperatures dropped too quickly, all the standing water would freeze across roadways and even in areas where the animals normally pass in coming in and out of the barn. The animals were soaked from the torrential rains and we struggled to get them all in the barn and as dry as possible before they could freeze.
The pictures above were taken at about 2:00 yesterday afternoon. Snow began to fall by 4:00. As it began covering the ground we could see pools of standing water and knew that ice would be forming under the snow. But we really had no idea what to expect. Forecasts of how much snow was predicted varied and then our internet service went down in the evening hours cutting us off from further updates.
When we awoke this morning, we felt like we had been transported to Narnia from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Approximately two feet of snow covered the ground and constant smaller flakes were continuing to fall. We called the children downstairs to start going over all that needed to be done to take care of the animals, insure we had heat, and everyone was taken care of. In the midst of our discussion the neighbor across the street called to say that her furnace had stopped working. The vent on her roof was completely blocked and needed to be cleared.
This was just the beginning of some of the special jobs we would face today. After all, when your chickens are pastured, their water sources are outside. This not only meant breaking ice, but shoveling a path for them. Our poor little chickens just can’t seem to navigate two feet of snow. Maybe there is something to those genetically modified giant birds after all. Nope, we will just stick with our heritage breeds and shovel paths for them.
“So where are the blessings?,” you might be asking. Well…
- We are blessed by a woodstove that can not only guarantee us heat if the power goes out, but is a great place to allow cinnnamon rolls to rise for hungry workers.
- We are blessed to live on acreage where our next piece of free fuel is just a hike and a chainsaw away.
- We are blessed to have the health needed to tend to our animals and help out a neighbor in need.
- We are blessed that our children are ahead of the curve in learning what it means to work and meet real needs without having to do a formal class in “Life Skills”. We just live life.
- We are blessed to have a working tractor with a front end bucket to help with plowing and taking hay to the animals.
- We are thankful for all the ground water soaking into the soil for Spring planting.
- We are just plain thankful to be alive, to have a family to love, and faith that this too shall pass with the changing of seasons.
And in the end, just grab a cup of hot chocolate with us and admire the beauty of God’s Creation in all its many faces.