Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blizzard of 2016

It's hard to tell how much snow we actually got, due to the drifting. Somewhere between 2 and 3 feet is my best estimate. It was certainly more snow than I've seen in my lifetime, at least in one falling. Several years ago, we had two back-to-back snowfalls that were fairly substantial.

The sheep and dogs made out fine. There's a lot of snow in the feed area of the hoop house, but other than that, everything's good. If I had replaced the roll-down door on the closed end of the hoop house, much less snow would have gotten in. I covered the opening the best I could. A lot of the snow came in when the people door blew open.

The walk to the barn was treacherous. The drifted snow was waist-high. I came to understand how people can get stuck out in the snow, even if they are very close to their destination. I used a shepherd's crook on the trek back to the house and it was much better (and safer). I fed the sheep extra last night, so I could wait to feed them today, after a path was cleared to the barn.

Day 2 (today): the sun is shining. It is a beautiful day. The snow is beautiful. The dig out has begun. A local farmer has plowed me out.  He plowed the driveway and a path down to the barn.  I still have to shovel out some paths and dig my car out.  I won't be using my deck for awhile. It is piled high with snow. Zak's backyard is also deep with snow. I dug a path for him, but it's not enough. I need to take him out for a walk, so he can choose where to do his business.

For city dwellers and suburbanites, I don't see how a big snow is much of a problem (unless power is lost). So, you have to stay inside for a few days. There's not much shoveling to do and there are no outside responsibilities. For a farm, it's a much bigger deal, especially if there are livestock.  You have to get to them. You have to get feed and water to them. Worse yet, sometimes, lambs, kids, and calves are being born in the middle of snowstorms. I'm glad I'm not lambing.

Fortunately, the snow slides down the sides of my hoop house.  My brother wasn't so lucky. One of his hoop houses got covered in snow and the frame bent like an M. No animals were inside, but equipment and vehicles were.

There was plenty of advanced notice for this big snow storm. Anyone that wasn't prepared has only themselves to blame. I made sure I had plenty of food and feed. Anyone who ventured out during the storm (other than those that had to) was foolish. 

Time to go out and do some more shoveling . . .

We will all survive the blizzard of 2016.

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