Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shots of the Past Few Days - or - Can I Put My Gloves Back On Now?

I thought I would share a few photos from the past five days here at Sheep Thrills Farm, aka "Oleo Acres - One of the Cheaper Spreads". We started off last Friday with very cold rains. I kept watching the water level rising in the back half of our small pasture. While it was disturbing me, some of the locals found it to be delightful. Silly ducks!
Before we knew it, by Saturday morning our stream had indeed flooded its banks. And it continued to rise. These next couple of photos were taken as the stream was receding from flooding the lower end of our sheep pens near the barn. Whether or not they wanted to go in, I made sure all sheep were in the barn on Saturday night.
The picture above shows the stream receding, but in the lower right you will see two railroad ties, heavy things that they are, side-by-side. The force of this little bit of flooding was enough to float one of the ties up out of the ground and lay it beside one further down. I was glad to see this was all it had done, as a few years ago, I had to don waders and use a lasso to capture ALL of the RR ties with major flooding we had at that time.
The only problem, other than our dwindling hay amount as stated in the previsou post, was that the rain was so very cold. Shetland sheep are well known for their ability to thrive in adverse conditions, but we had winds driving this cold rain into the fleece of the adult sheep, who were outside at the start of all of this. I took off a glove and checked Skittles fleece deep down next to his skin. The wet hadn't gotten that far, but it was just a matter of time. I mainly did it as a convenience for myself - I really didn't want to be out in this stuff nursing a sick, shivering sheep back to health.
Here's a shot of our deck. Tea on the deck anyone?

And it looks like I won't be planting any cold season vegetables any time soon.
I did turn the sheep out for a while each day. After putting everyone in for the night, I happened to see that Skittles had broken trail over to his (darned) tire-toy, just to make sure it was still there as I had promised him.
By yesterday evening the sun had started to try and make an appearance again. This last photo was about 4:30 p.m., MST. You can see we're in the shadow of the mountain, chilling down rapidly, but across the field behind us and the Interstate, rays of the sun made it through.

This morning looked as if we were going to get another 24 inches of snow. I decided at 7:30 a.m. I would have a cup of coffee before going out to the barn. The Weather Channel on TV said we were at 2 F, but I know darned well we were below 0F here. I noticed on the Sheep-O-Vision that the sheep were still sleeping or calmly chewing their cuds. Everyone was fine. Except me...I knew I was going to have to put on layers and layers of clothing to brave the cold to feed and water everyone.

That's OK...I still wouldn't trade them for anything! Well,...maybe a ticket to New Zealand...No, I think I'll stay. It was fun to see the lambs' reactions to their first real snow. I wouldn't miss that for anything. You know how it is with us shepherds! ;-)

But Shadow would like to know why I've been changing clothes in the basement...exchanging dry clothes for wet clothes. Well, Shad...YOU go out and shovel if you want to find out why! :)


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

BRRRR . . . I don't miss that weather at all! I'm glad you have a woodburner to thaw out those icy body parts after chores.

melanie said...

It's amazing to think that even with winter settling in full force around here, we are still not as frigid or snowy as you guys! Arizona has Upstate NY beat? Well, my, my...

Tina T-P said...

I'm with Michelle - BRRRR - I'll take the grey rainy 40 degree days we have over 2 degrees F any day. T.

Tammy said...

Good grief.

How do you cope with 24" of snow and taking care of the sheep? We've had 18-20" here before, but not since I got the sheep some 6 or 7 years ago (sorry, its blurry sometimes... ha). I've often wondered how they would navigate through that much snow. I know how I navigate thru it---with short legs--and it ain't purty! I really had no idea you would have such extreme cold and snow where you are at. Stocking caps off to you and your efforts to get chores done!

Kat said...

Wow, I can't believe all that snow!! I'm not going to show those pictures to my hubby or he'll want to come out and go skiing. :-)

Stay warm!

Nancy K. said...

If you ever need a break from the snow and cold in Arizona, you're welcome to come visit MINNESOTA for a nice respite!

Good LORD! I had know idea you got such wintry weather...

What? You don't LIKE Skittles' attachment to his tire????


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Hard to believe that you have more snow in Arizona than we have in northern Nevada ;-)