Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Storm weathered

8" of new snow and a day later...

Waiting on the tractor

The sun was out, and the roads out to the farm were semi-passable - if you had 4-wheel drive, enough horsepower, and ample clearance to bust through the drifts without high-centering, cause the plows sure hadn't been through! - although the temps were discouragingly low. Shiny clean new snow isn't terrible, I guess.

The ponies bounced around doing the "horrors! it's a tractor-dance" while T pushed the bale forward - chasing one another in loops, bucking and kicking for no apparent reason and generally being super silly. I expect they were glad it wasn't snowing any longer, either!

(Please be kind and ignore the nasty sagging woven fence in the background - there is a line of electric up to keep them out of it, and that whole section is on the "spring-fix" agenda.)

I know, that doesn't look like 8" of snow, and actually it's not - there. The lot is in a nice little hollow, and combined with that treegrove it keeps the snow amounts way down when the wind's out of the northwest. Saturday morning the wind was out of the southeast - never a good direction as it's the one angle they don't have anything to stand behind, so I was really glad to see it switch later in the day, even if it meant colder air was moving in.

But I waded through some lovely (deep) drifts to get the gate open for the T & tractor, so I can tell you exactly where some of the snow that isn't in the lot went!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yes, it's another blizzard

Spring flowers will be waiting a while longer. We had 6" of new snow this morning when I poked my head out. We had a brief lull, but it's settled back in with a vengeance at this point.

I ran out to take care of the ponies before noon, not wanting to risk additional accumulation and drifting - with just the light wind we had last night there were 8-10' runners across the oil road in long stretches. The county plows hadn't been out yet, so cleared road other than a few brief wind-scoured sections ended at the city limits. All the local churches canceled services, so even at 10 a.m. I had pristine snow to plow through once I turned on to the gravel. Which, since I took the dually, wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Depth perception was a shade iffy though, since the whole world was white, so I was pleased to not hit any 2' deep monsters.

I'd fed heavily yesterday knowing this was moving in, and distributed even more to the various feeders today just in case the roads are bad enough we don't make it out to the farm tomorrow. We're supposed to have at least another 6", which actually isn't terrible - it's the what the wind will do.

That's what SafeTravelUSA is showing for SD at present - isn't it all that red just purdy?

The only good news is that with the wind having switched around to howl down out of Canada, the horses will have the treebelt for shelter - well, that and the fact that President's day means I don't have to try to make the trek north until later in the afternoon tomorrow!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Signs of Spring!

Look Mom, no hat!

All that sunshine felt really good - too good, apparently! I actually left the house without my jacket, but luckily T's was hanging in the back seat of the truck - with gloves in the pockets - when I got out to the farm to feed.

I took an hour to fuss over everyone, pulling out some windtangles and de-mudding a bit. Walked up to see if there were any new calves yet, but didn't spot any.

It's amazing what a few days warm weather can do to a whole lot of snow!

Not to mention what it does to the outside of the truck! I won't tell you it was close to clean when I left home, but it's sure a lot more brown than when I left!

Not sure how much horse time I'll have this weekend - T's mom and his nephew are visiting. But I did manage to drop a couple of bookcases and some odds and ends off at GoodWill, hit the bank (well, not literally) and the post office to mail some belated V-day stuff, and... then it was back to the house for more skirtwork before the company shows up. Such fun.... Hopefully next weekend I'll be RIDING!

Monday, February 14, 2011

New feet!

No new pictures, but the farm five have shorter feet this morning. The farrier came late yesterday and we made good use of the warmer afternoon. Three were good, including Sunny who semi-redeemed himself for his earlier monkeyshines (more on that in a minute), but the last two were antsy.

The wind by the time we finished was really howling, and it was starting to get chilly, which isn't an excuse for bad behavior, but does make the fidgets more explainable.

T cleaned the sediment off the waterer innards - the water flow was down to a trickle again, and then we shored up a section of fence and strung an electric "thou shall not pass" across the upper end of the lot. The snow has drifted to deep and packed so hard where it narrows to the gate into the upper pasture that Sunny has learned he can step right over. And not only over the gate, but over the fence into the tree grove.

We raised the fence, but with no way to raise the gate, ended up running a temporary electric line. I flagged it well, and it should hopefully keep him where he belongs. Things are finally supposed to melt some this week, but this should take care of the problem even if the drifts don't subside.

Unfortunately, no additional riding time this weekend, but even working on the fencing didn't seem like such a chore when I could strip off my scarf, winter coat and hat and work in just my sweatshirt and vest!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

5 minute ride

My first of the new year! And given that I haven't been on him in months, he was extremely good in just his halter.

He's like sitting on a table at the moment. So fat - but with the cold we've been having, I'm not too upset that he's a bit tubby, it's good insulation.

The horses have all weathered the winter really well. As I slid off last night, the first few shedding hairs of spring were clinging to my vest.

We had 30's! And 40's for Saturday and Sunday, although the later day will be super windy according to the forecast.

This little guy was born night before last, and his mom stepped on his back fetlock. (Do cows have fetlocks or are they called something else?)

Anyway, we helped splint his back leg to give him a bit more support.
By the time we left he'd figured out how to stand up - with a little help, and was looking much perkier with his belly full.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

That's my boy...

The one on the right looking not at all sheepish - the stinker.

See the hay bale on the left? He's supposed to be on my side of the bale. But somehow he and the pinto both not only stepped over the bale feeder (which, admittedly, had gotten somewhat buried in packed snow), but also to squeeze their plump and furry selves between the gate and the bale - a space I don't find particularly roomy. But they did it, because that's where the tracks originated.

I spent Friday afternoon digging out around the front, and then T popped the feeders loose with the tractor, so they're back at an appropriately non-steppoverable height. Twits.

I walked the escapees back around where they belonged, and hopefully they'll stay put.

More snow and cold for next week. I'm SO ready for spring.