Thursday, January 4, 2018

january snow

This is how the snow began, shortly before I went out to do chores this morning. It was relatively balmy - over 10F! - but when I came in, I was wearing quite a lot of snow despite my efforts to brush myself off on the doorstep. This kind of snow collects quickly; the goats who had been outside looked like heavy-coated sheep. But compared to the day-after-day well-below-zero weather we've been having, I think even this heavy snow must be a bit of a relief to them. I do hope we don't get the strong winds predicted to follow a foot of new snow; that's when big trees come down, and I have several that are vulnerable.

I had a big headstart on chores today, since yesterday the carpenter offered to move bales of hay out to stock up the various feeders before the storm. I would never in a million years have asked him to do this, but what a kind thing to think of - he accomplished in four trips what would have taken me at least 21 trips. Quite a boost!

Recently I've been missing the drawing and such that I was doing in the warm weather. So beginning on the first of January, I've begun doing a bit of daily mark-making. The first three are watercolors, working from photographs taken earlier.
(I currently have no interest in painting snow. Maybe in August!)

A little portrait of little Tansy, before she was covered in snow:

Today there may be painting and knitting! And lots of feeding the fire. I cancelled my Physical Therapy appointment, as it seemed foolish to risk going off the road or having some other mishap on my way to a healthcare appointment. And as the snow continues to fall heavily, and new inches pile up faster, the choice to stay home is reinforced as sensible. The air has been white for the past few hours:

Just going out to tend to the animals will be plenty of travel for me today. The barncams are unfortunately out of order and I've brought them inside to see if they can be revived. They've never failed before last week, but maybe the constant extreme cold in the past couple of weeks was just too much. This means more actual bundling up and trundling out to check on everyone, not just going out to feed.

It may seem counterintuitive, but especially in this sort of weather, the goatcams provide much more effective "care" than do frequent visits. When I go out to the barns, some of the goats always get up from their cozy snuggeries to see what I'm up to. And then other goats get up because they are afraid the first group might possibly be getting something they want. A carrot penny. A peanut. A short poetry recital.

And then, when the goats turn to go back to their special little spots, there are all sorts of arguments because every goat now wants a spot previously claimed and perfected by an earlier occupant.
Dear oh dear.
Barncams are just So Much Better.
I'll go nudge them a bit. If I can't get them working, I'll have to replace at least one.
I hope you are warm and dry wherever you are in the world today.
And hydrated! Easy to forget in the cold, but so important.

(Full disclosure: this is a 2017 image, but there isn't enough light to take the same view right now. And it would be a nearly identical view; that mug just about lives on that corner of the porch windowsill, within easy reach at all times.)