Friday, March 1, 2013

World of White

This past week has been a bit of an adventure! We had one snowfall last week, which dumped around a foot here . . . the first group of photos are from two days after that storm and after the snow had begun to melt some . . .


Aurora and Lacy

Two of the beehives after being dug out. The boards lying in front of them are what I used to prop up over the entrances to keep the snow out.

The dairy girls enjoying their alfalfa pellets



Snow geese flying overhead . . . we have seen SO many flocks of these this week! I love hearing them and watching them!

Rabbit tracks in the snow

Then on Monday night/Tuesday morning of this week, another storm came through bringing our total snowfall to nearly two feet!


The view from out our living room window Tuesday morning after getting back in from clearing snow off of the hoop houses, etc.

One difference between the snowfall this week and last week, though, was the fact that this one was a very wet snow . . . it made it so beautiful outdoors, but it was destructive to trees, animal shelters, and powerlines. Over 14,000 people in our county electric cooperative lost power including us. Very early Tuesday morning, the power started flickering on and off with it being off for thirty minutes or so, coming on for maybe ten and then going out again.

 It was so white out!

I was the first one up in our family in the morning, and after my first look outdoors admiring the amazing beauty of the snowfall, I began to notice some of the effects of it . . . broken tree limbs, animal hoop house shelters that were very bowed down under the weight of the load of snow on top of them, and branches of fruit trees that were so heavy laden, they could break under the weight. I hurried and ate some breakfast, and then headed out to start the snow removal process. 

The dairy pen . . . I had already gone into their pen and cleared off their shelters at this point, but before that, they and the gate were entirely covered with snow, too.

After tromping through snow that was almost up to my knees in many places, getting the heavy loads off of all five hoop houses, and using a broom to knock the snow off of the fruit trees, I was rather tired! But when walking past the chicken pen, I knew something had to be done there! The snow had torn the netting where the posts held it up in the center so the netting was all the way down to the ground buried in snow. The weight of it was pulling in the sides of the chain link pen, and the hoop house under the netting was collapsed nearly to the ground. I started clearing off the netting by using the broom to hit it, but had to go inside for a break after a bit as I was so tired after all of this! Then Leah went out and finished the big project . . 

It's almost done here! Leah is the dark spot on the right side of the photo. :)

She had to crawl on her knees underneath the netting and use the back of a rake to hit the netting and knock the snow off little by little.

The trees were so weighted down with snow, that our trailer parked up behind these ones in our yard could hardly be seen.


Dad taking care of the bucks in the morning


 The weight of the snow had made some of the branches on the oak tree low enough that Classic could reach them. He was enjoying chewing on them!


Thankfully, when we all finally finished chores, our power was still coming on at times, so we could heat the house up, dry all of our wet outdoor clothes, and get warmed up. Around noon, though, our power went out for good, and thus began our 24 hour time period without power!


 Our poor burning bush . . . I wonder if it will ever be the same again?

Slowly the temperature began declining, while we sat curled up under afghans cross-stitching, crocheting, or reading (or all three for some of us. :), and talking together. It was really quite fun! We talked to Ryan and Ashley a couple of times throughout the day, and they had lost power, too. Thankfully, their power was back on by mid-afternoon!

The trees were so pretty under their blanket of snow!

 But as pretty as it was, it was damaging, too . . . this is one of many branches that had broken and fallen.

Around four in the evening, Dad, Leah and I headed out to do chores again, and as the temperature was hovering around freezing outdoors, things weren't really frozen, just slushy from the snow. We were thankful for that as it made chores easier!

 Looking down our driveway

As darkness began to settle in, we lit candles, two oil burning lamps, curled up on the couch and a rocking chair, and read, crocheted, and talked by lamplight, meanwhile enjoying our dinner of granola, bread, and whatever else was in our pantry! 


Leah reading by lamplight (it was a little brighter than what it looks in the photo!), and a rocking chair on the left was where I was with my basket of yarn at my feet as I worked on crocheting an afghan.


Our cozy little abode for the evening

Partway through the evening, we watched an old T.V. western on Dad's laptop, finishing it up just before the battery power ran out. It was rather an enjoyable evening! Albeit a bit cold. :) We all headed to bed early after covering our beds in layers of afghans and quilts . . . this was one time when I was especially thankful that I had made so many of these things!

Morning came and still no power . . . the temperature in the house was in the upper 50's, but when you have to spend so much time outdoors doing chores, we were all chilled, and 58 degrees, felt cold. Our activities of the day before continued, though I sat down at the piano and played for awhile until my fingers were so cold they began to stumble over the keys. :)


Looking towards the buck's pen with Classic standing up in the corner.

We finally got through to our power company (the phone lines had been busy every time we called), and they said that our power could be on as early as that night. There were crews coming in from other counties, and they were optimistic that our power could be back on by that evening. However to our surprise, our electric space heater clicked on around noon! It didn't take long for one of us to run up and turn on the central heat. :) It felt so good to begin to warm up again! One thing I think we all decided after this is that having a wood stove sure would be nice!

For the first time ever, we had someone come out and plow our driveway instead of us shoveling it. That was a blessing as the snow was very hard packed and deep! Another blessing from the snow is that it will improve our drought conditions . . . our area is still in a moderate drought, but this snowfall should add 3 to 3 1/2 inches of moisture to the ground! So now we're enjoying heat, keeping up with daily tasks and animal chores, and looking forward to when the snow melts and spring arrives!

16 comments:

Tabitha said...

SO Beautiful Sarah! <3

Elizabethd said...

Snow may be very beautiful, but there are so many dangers inherent. Cold can lead to hypothermia, animals can suffer. I do hope you and your little farm are all well and managing to keep warm and safe.

Nabila Grace said...

Such beautiful pictures! It's sad that something so beautiful causes so much damage at times. I love your goats curiousity it seems at what's going on. Hah! Goats are so fun! ;)

Joy said...

Beautiful pictures! We've had power outages several times in our married life (once it was for 10 days!), and I know what you mean about the wood stove...I so much wish we had one!

7 Eagles said...

Wow, Sarah! What an adventure! Reminds me of the year we had an ice storm in Michigan that took our power for 4 days. The kids had a blast playing hide and seek in the dark, frying pizza on the gas stove, and eating and playing by candlelight and firelight. They were sorry when the lights came back on!:-)

~ Betsy

Karen F said...

Wow! It sounded like "some of you" chrochet, cross-stitch and read all at the same time! Hahaha! Very tallented, I'd say! :-)

Glad you were able to look on the "bright side" of things, and enjoy the power outage. :-)

Thanks for sharing about it, and posting all the lovely picturs!

Rena said...

Those photos are extraordinary! Snow is such an amazing thing, I can't imagine living in a place where it falls on everyday things so heavily like that. The goats seem to take it in their stride!

I see that one thing about living where you get snow, is that your four seasons are so clearly defined. I like the idea of that. Here we do get four seasons still, more so than those living in the tropics etc get - but winter's kind of halfhearted - morning frosts, grey skies, very cold wind and rain... and we do get pretty cold because the houses aren't really designed for winter. Short dark days and cold toes and the like! But spring doesn't come as quite so much of a miracle when things have stayed green all winter like they do here. I can just imagine what it must be like seeing all that snow melt and the crocuses start coming up... amazing! :)

P.S. the oil lamps look like fun :)

Sarah said...

It was, Tabitha!

Sarah said...

How true, Elizabeth. And thank you for your kind concern! We are all doing well here and stayed safe and (mostly) warm through it. :) Now it’s warmer and the snow has started melting . . . after enjoying it for the time we have, I’m ready for it to melt and spring to come!

Sarah said...

Thank you, Nabila! The goats were so curious about everything . . . it was amusing watching their reaction to the snow. :) And yes, they are a lot of fun!

Sarah said...

Thank you, Joy! Wow, a power outage for ten days is quite a long time! I’m certainly glad ours didn’t last that long. One day seemed long enough!

Maybe someday we’ll both have wood stoves. :)

Sarah said...

It was, Betsy! I can imagine the fun your kids had during your all’s power outage. It sounds like you all made the best of it! With having as much fun as they were, I can see why they were disappointed when the lights came back! Having a stove, though, would make a big difference with that. :) I didn’t mind much missing the lights, but the heat was a different story!

Sarah said...

It does kind of sound like that, Karen! Makes one think that we are especially talented. :) Sad to say, though, we can only do one of those things at a time! Except for maybe crocheting and reading.

And yes, we did enjoy it overall! At least I did. :) Though all of us were glad when we had heat again!

You’re welcome for sharing, and thank you for your comment!

Sarah said...

It is amazing, Rena! Another beautiful facet of God’s intricate creation. Yes, for the most part, the goats didn’t mind the snow! In fact, some of them seemed to like playing in it.

That is one thing that I love about where we live . . . the difference between each of the seasons. Each one has its own beauty and delights, and each one is enjoyed. My favorite season change is winter to spring as it is so distinct! Leaving behind the whiteness, cold, and barrenness to brilliant greens of leaves and grass, blue of the sky, and the wide array of colors in the flowers. Once this snow melts we should have early spring flowers blooming before long!

Sometimes our winters where we live can be a little more like yours . . . they are still enjoyed, but not nearly as much as ones like what we are having this year!

Yes, using the oil lamps is fun! I always enjoy being able to light those whenever the power goes out. :)

Anne said...

The snow is beautiful, but very tiring too. The wind, cold, and trying to walk on ice just wears me out. :-) Thankful for the men who work the power lines!

Sarah said...

I would agree, Mrs. Anne! It has been a wintery last few weeks hasn't it? Chores have been certainly been tiring! And I would imagine even more so with your large acreage and as many animals as you have. I hope that everything is going well for you all and especially with the calving through all of this!

Yes! I, too, am so thankful for the men who work faithfully on the power lines! Their hard work in the inclement weather and often late into the night is much appreciated.