It is a snowy, icy scene as I sit in the warmth of the house with my morning coffee.
The light coating of snow has frozen over night and then a cold rain came in and crusted over the snow.
In the far distance the bulls are moving about under the tall firs and out by the barn. They are wondering when their breakfast is going to be served.
They may have to wait for me to enjoy climate control and another cup of coffee before their question is answered.
A couple of years ago on Christmas Eve just before the evening chores, I slipped on a patch of ice as I stepped off the sidewalk and twisted my ankle and foot.
I knew that once I had my barn boots off, the swelling would keep me from putting them back on again. The chores got done, but it was a painful go. Sure enough, once I got into the house and removed the boots I found that I had black and blue and purple all around my heel, up to my ankle and down to my toes. I had bunged it up good, but since I could still move in every direction felt that nothing had been broken. Continue reading
The early morning hours of Christmas Eve had it all starting with freezing rain that made a sheen atop the lightly frozen mud. During the day the mix of weather showered the farm with hail balls and sleet and light snow fall all day.
A light wind blowing makes the day feel a lot colder than it really is and makes it uncomfortable for us humans while doing the chores. The animals do not seem to mind it much and spend the day under the tall firs while they wait for the next feeding time.
With temps hovering below freezing all day, the snow will be hanging around for Christmas Day.
I knew it felt colder as I was doing the morning chores. That briskness in the air, the smell of freshness.
Once I got across the river to feed the main herd, my suspicions were confirmed.
Looking out across the hay field/nursery field, and past the trees, the top of the hill above Timber stands with a snowy robe of snow.
We have only been having daily rain. Our field sits with puddles all over and a fog drifting to and fro.
By watching the mountain we can observe the yearly progression from fall to winter. This snow zone could easily lower in elevation and we could have the white stuff fall at any time now.
This winter has trifled with my organizational skills. Actually, A LOT of things trifle with my organizational skills, but for today, this winter is on my list.
This post was supposed to start by saying that the last of the snow has finally melted from the gigantic piles that were formed where the massive amounts slid off the metal roofs (?? would that be rooves?) of the barns. See what I mean? This winter is even unsettling for my words.
Anyway, back to may rant…
At daybreak, a new skiff of snow greeted the animals in the bull pen, with the chance of 2-4 more inches during the day. It was barely 24 hours since we had finally melted the last of the snow here at the river level of the farm. I was reluctant to climb the hill to check out if we still have snow at the top of the ridge, but I would have assumed that it would of either been gone or close to it by now.
It will be detrimental to move the main herd of cows to the far pasture today as planned since they cannot graze when the snow covers the grass. The move will have to wait at least a day or two.
Even though the river is still pretty high, the threat of flooding has passed for our area.
The snow that is left is still melting, and high up where the River starts still has a lot of snow pack. The river will slowly settle back inside its banks.
Patches of snow are hanging around in the shady spots in the fields, the road banks where the snowplows scraped great quantities off the road, and the sides of the barns have piles where the snow slid off the roofs.
With our foot of snow and the constant thawing from the bottom where the ground was a degree or two warmer, the river started to rise.
We were still dealing with sporadic power issues, and barely getting around downed trees that still clogged the county road when we started watching the water levels as they rose above flood stage.
My driveway only had the Gator tracks from the mandatory two feedings a day for the herd across the river. The tracks were nothing but slop at the base. The water was rushing under the snow pack toward the river.
From daylight til 3 pm the river crept past the edge of the bridge and into the field, inching its way toward the county road.
The tracks you see on the left are made from the Gator when we cross the county road, beyond is the river. On the right is the small filed between Timber Road and the bridge. We had to drive through water to get to the bridge.
We tuned in to the Co-0p Facebook page for updates. The electric company posted the expectations for crest time of the river since so many customers are subject to the devastating effects of this one stream.
Just as predicted, the river crested and started to fall shortly after 3pm on our stretch of the waterway. Those neighbors that live closer to the coast, out past Jewell and Mist, still had rising waters for the next two days.
Minor damage was caused on our farm, although we did lose some of the stream bank areas, several old alder trees and some fencing along the grazing fields.