November 23, 2010


It's cold! It's 3pm and 26 F outside.

Normally, in our part of the world, we experience mild winters. We typically get one good storm in January but it blows through in a matter of days. The rest of the winter is wet and cool with very little, if any, snow and rarely below-freezing temperatures. This year is an exception.

It's a "La Nina" winter, which means the Pacific Northwest is getting a lot more precipitation and much colder temperatures that our typical. And it has arrived extra early. This is the first time in 9 years that we've had snow before Thanksgiving. I think the last time, back in 2001, it came down but didn't stick. Well, it stuck yesterday, today and probably tomorrow too.

Pacific Northwesterners are afraid of the snow and ice. We get a dusting and people rush to the store for staples and then lock themselves inside. Being that I grew up in Spokane, WA and learned how to drive in the snow, I'm fine continuing on like every other day. However, the public schools also close their doors which means either Jeremy or I get to stay home with Jordan. This is a good thing because we are not well equip at the farm for chilly temps.

Last year we had a week of freezing temperatures in December, so we purchased a heater for the chicken's water. They are set. But the sheep's water is a different story. This morning I went down to let the chickens out of their coop and the sheep's water had about a quarter-inch of ice on the top. I broke it up and then added hot water that I carried down from the house. (Times this by two because Junior is still on a separate pasture with his own water trough.) Just before lunch, Jordan and I went for a walk out in the snow and broke up the water again. Jeremy just went down and broke it up for a third time; and I'll head down one last time around dinner. We get to repeat tomorrow. We should probably find a better solution.

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