Tag Archives: snow

From Inside the House

This morning we woke to snow on top of last weeks snow but we had a beautiful blue sky.  Last week we got about 10 inches of snow and the most we’ve had all winter. Over half had melted and this morning we woke to five more inches on top of the leftovers.  It was 25* when we woke this morning and now its 38* now.  The best part – we didn’t lose any calves this time.  Here’s a touch of our beauty in western Virginia and Craig County on the mountain:

It’s melting now and by mid-week we’ll be in the 60’s and rain.  It will be a sloppy mess but needed for our crops and gardens.  We haven’t had snow like this for a couple of years and we all knew it was time.  I’m not saying the spring snows are over but sure hope they are.

We have six more cows to calve from our spring herd and these mom’s and their little ones could sure use a break.

My chickens don’t like the snow either and a few got trapped under the grainery last night and refused to walk through the snow to their warm house but it looks like they all survived and are ready to see some green grass and mud!

Everyone be safe and spring is here even though it doesn’t look like it!!!

 

Accumulation

Finally we had some snow this morning to help the spring pasture growth!!  Here it is the middle of March and we get around five inches of the white stuff.  It started a little before 5:00 this morning and now it’s over and there are hints of blue sky peeping through.  

A totally different day

Pictures tell what kind of day we’re having today on the farm.  This is the front yard after the storm and the snow starts melting:

The meadow between our house and our daughters house is out of its banks.

The meadow between our house and our daughters house is out of its banks.

Huge pool behind the gazebo and in front of the house.

Huge pool behind the gazebo and in front of the house.

It runs into the driveway at the bee house and flows into the spring from the mountain.

It runs into the driveway at the bee house and flows into the spring from the mountain.

It's coming out the hills behind the house and barn and down pass the cemetery.

It’s coming out the hills behind the house and barn and down pass the cemetery.

Rivers running under the 9" of snow we got Sunday night and Monday.

Rivers running under the 9″ of snow we got Sunday night and Monday.

I need taller boots

We’re in our second winter snowstorm and I have got to get taller boots. Mine are 9.5 inches tall and when I went to feed Miracle this morning it was over my boots.

These are my Tractor Supply boots that I love and wear year round on the farm.  They're 9 1/2 inches tall and they're lightly insulated.  I've had them for three years and one of them is starting to leak.

These are my Tractor Supply boots that I love and wear year round on the farm. They’re 9 1/2 inches tall and they’re lightly insulated. I’ve had them for three years and one of them is starting to leak.

Hubby says it’s over the boots because of the way I walk in the fresh snow and scoot it in front of me. I still need taller boots if this is going to continue through spring!  The next ones I get in the spring will be up to my knees, I think.

It started snowing here again last night before dark and hubby says we have 8 inches now but it was still pouring down snow when I started this post.  It’s supposed to turn to sleet and freezing rain and then rain all day tomorrow.  We woke up to 18* and it’s now 22* .  The snow is like powder and we’re so glad the wind had not gotten up yet.2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (1) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (2) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (4) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (5) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (6) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (7) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (8) 2nd Snowstorm 2016_Feb 15 (9)

Hubby got the snowblower out while  I fed the calf and had me a 48 inch path to the chickens and the smokehouse.  I’ve swept the porch and steps off three times so far but Sassy has decided to stay in the house this morning.  She went out for a quick potty break and fled back to the house!

Sassy likes her bed during storms.

Sassy likes her bed during storms.

Hubby is out feeding the stock now and the powder snow makes it hard to roll out the bales but everyone is waiting for some food to warm up their insides!

Feeding calves during snowstorm 02152016 (3) Feeding calves during snowstorm 02152016 (2) Feeding calves during snowstorm 02152016 (1)

The snow has stopped now and we’re waiting for the sleet and rain.  All of the cattle are doing well and my chickens are warm and been fed well and have plenty of  warm water.  The wild birds now have plenty of seed on the ground after I swept the snow away from the feeders.IMG_0009 IMG_0011 IMG_0015 IMG_0025 IMG_0021 IMG_0018

I’ve prepared a roast in the crockpot with onions and celery and will make a gravy over it later and serve it over noodles for supper and some fresh bread.  The laundry is almost done and the wood has been brought in for this evening warmth.

Firewood stand full of oak, locust and wild cheery.  Toasty night to come.

Firewood stand full of oak, locust and wild cheery. Toasty night to come.

Venison tenderloin in the crockpot smothered with onions and celery.  I'll make a mushroom & onion gravy over it once the loin is tender.

Venison tenderloin in the crockpot smothered with onions and celery. I’ll make a mushroom & onion gravy over it once the loin is tender.

Once the sleet/rain/ice arrives we may lose power but we’ve learned after 44 years of marriage to be prepared for it.  All of the buckets in the laundry room are full of water for the bathroom, 12 gallon jugs are full of water for cooking and whatever else it’s needed for and the candles and flashlights are where they’re easily accessible.

Hope you are all warm and safe!  Spring is just around the corner!

SPRING!!!  CAN'T GET HERE SOON ENOUGH!

SPRING!!! CAN’T GET HERE SOON ENOUGH!

 

January 2016 Big Snow

It’s been a while since folks in our area have seen a storm like we had this week. I’ve got some time lapsed snow storm pictures to show everyone including Robin Reed our wonderful meteorologist.

January 21st - day before the snow started.

January 21st – day before the snow started.

January 22 - Snow started falling sometime before 6:30 a.m. It started heavy and then by mid afternoon it quit.

January 22 – Snow started falling sometime before 6:30 a.m. It started heavy and then by mid afternoon it quit.

January 23rd - We got about 6-7 inches the day before and woke up to this on the 23rd. The wind is howling and the wind chills were in the single digits most of the day and night.

January 23rd – We got about 6-7 inches the day before and woke up to this on the 23rd. The wind is howling and the wind chills were in the single digits most of the day and night.

Today this wind is very limited, the snow has quit falling the and the beautiful fun is shining.

Today this wind is very limited, the snow has quit falling the and the beautiful fun is shining.

All of the outside animals are doing fine but cold.  Eddie is trying to feed the round bales but they won’t roll out because the snow is so dry so he’s feeding the cows 6-7 bales instead of the normal 2-3.  The snow drifts are up over the cows bellies but the blessing is there are no babies due until March and April.

Prissy and George are doing well and taking care of Miracle.  They tend to lay on the side of the haybale away from the wind.  If not for the older orphans Miracle would have a time getting through the snow because it’s over her belly!

Here’s some more scenes of the last three days from the front porch and the kitchen window:

Visibility outside is almost non-existent with the wind blowing the snow but this guy found the bird/squirrel feeder.

Visibility outside is almost non-existent with the wind blowing the snow but this guy found the bird/squirrel feeder.

The feeder is full of scratch feed and peanuts.

The feeder is full of scratch feed and peanuts.

January 24 2016 (1)

January 23 2016 (9)

January 22 2016 (18)

January 22 2016 (14)

January 24 2016 (2)

I'll have to wait for the snowblower to come through the yard because the yard is drifted over my knees.

I’ll have to wait for the snowblower to come through the yard because the yard is drifted over my knees.

Look at that beautiful blue sky!!

Look at that beautiful blue sky!!

Beauty of nature at its best!

Beauty of nature at its best!

Can’t wait to get to the henhouse and check on the girls, Rooster and Fred!  Roscoe may even come out of hibernation with this beautiful sun shining and the temperature has already risen to 30 degrees.  I’ve been watching the orphan calves this morning and Miracle tends to stay between Prissy and George for their body heat.

Stay warm everyone and pray this will be the ONLY storm we have this winter even though it’s only January!!

Did I Say It Was Cold on January 13th?

Well, it’s really cold today and I’m staying in the house except for emergencies. Check it out:

I hope the winter isn't entirely like this!

I hope the winter isn’t entirely like this!

It’s 9* outside with the wind gusting between 5 and 13 mph leaving us with a wind chill of -2.  It was -3 with the windchill when we got up at 7:30.

We woke up to snow yesterday morning which didn’t amount to much but it still makes it colder.

Ground covered with snow on January 17th.

Ground covered with snow on January 17th.

The wind is still blowing and Eddie fed everything early today and made sure they could get to water.

Wind gusting changes things on our weather station.

Wind gusting changes things on our weather station.

Stay in and stay warm!  Spring is just around the corner (I hope!).

Baby, it’s cold outside!!!

This is our outdoor weather station that I got hubby for his birthday.

This is our outdoor weather station that I got hubby for his birthday.

We named him Robin Reed after our local weather forecaster.

We named him Robin Reed after our local weather forecaster.

Our pond had about a two inches of ice on it and now there's patches of snow on top of the ice.

Our pond had about a two inches of ice on it and now there’s patches of snow on top of the ice.

My wood pile is disappearing and I'm the only one using it!

My wood pile is disappearing and I’m the only one using it!

Clear blues skies on Wednesday, January 13, 2016!

Clear blues skies on Wednesday, January 13, 2016!

Hubby's new weather station.  It's been used more than any he's ever had.

Hubby’s new weather station. It’s been used more than any he’s ever had.

Yes, it’s wintertime and it’s supposed to be cold but darn it we just got teased really bad with 50 and 60 degree weather and my body is just not liking this one bit!  I can stand the cold if there’s sunshine to go along with it but that wind is wicked!!  My son thinks I’m a wimp but one of these days he’ll understand where I’m coming from. Right, Shawn???

I know I have to stick it out for at least three or four more months so I guess I’ll be quilting, crocheting, reading, cooking, embroidering, and blogging a lot to keep me occupied for a while.  I’ll be making hourly trips to the henhouse for eggs and taking them warm water.  I’ll be checking in on Roscoe three or four times a day and making sure he’s okay with just his fur coat and watching to make sure hubby’s hounds will have plenty of protein for food and hay in their boxes for warmth.  We have their houses facing the morning sun to keep them warm as well.  Mother Nature will take care of everything else.

Now, to find my seed catalogs and make a list!!!

Spring? ? ?

I know that spring is just around the corner because I found these in my yard yesterday.

Crocus

 

Crocus

Aren’t they beautiful??  Spring is coming in like a lion and I have two little orphans because of it.  George and Prissy were born on March 15th& 16th consecutively.  It’s was the worse days we’ve had all winter.  George’s mom decided he should be born and baptized at the same time so she had him in a wet weather spring in the middle of a blackberry patch in 0* weather.  He was so cold he could not get up to nurse and when Eddie found him Mom left to go eat.  Eddie packed him up in the tractor cab and carried him to our cellar.  Twenty four hours and lots of warm towels, heat lamp and propane heater, he was toddling around and taking a bottle.

George is curious and very pushy!!  Normal little bull.

George is curious and very pushy!! Normal little bull.

Prissy was delivered to the main house the next morning covered in ice and snow and barely alive.  I didn’t make it to work that day because of the snow and ice and I think Eddie was glad to have me there.  He found Prissy covered in four inches of ice and then snow.  Beside her, the mom was cleaning and trying to make her dead twin come back to life.  Eddie scraped off the snow and loaded her in the tractor and brought her to me.  I got out an old cutter quilt and he laid her by the woodstove. I grabbed old towels and blankets and started drying her off.  Sassy helped by licking her face.  I was certain she would die because her tongue was cold and she was so lifeless.  Sassy and I worked on her all morning, shifting her from side to side and warming another old quilt to lay over her.  We gave her about an ounce of warm milk every hour or so trying to get her warm on the inside and the outside.  Around 9:00 p.m. she started trying to get up on her own and by 10:00 she had taken three ounces so we decided to move her to the cellar with George.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Prissy-very quiet and docile.

Thankfully both calves are doing well.  George has been a little rough on Prissy and stepped on her the first night they were together and she limps from her left front leg but we’re hoping time and some loving care will fix that.  She’s a lot smaller than he is coming in at around 45-50 pounds and Eddie says George weighs over 75 pounds.

Here’s some more pics of them from the last two weeks and I’ll update their growth and shenanigans as time goes on.

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Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Prissy is trying to making friends with Cuddles, the cat.

Curious calves.

Curious calves.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy's ears.

George has a voracious appetite, funny, big kicker, and is constantly sucking on Prissy’s ears.

Prissy is watching the chickens.  George usually chases them.

Prissy is watching the chickens. George usually chases them.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

Prissy and George enjoying the sunshine.

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering "why?"

George climbing out of his hutch and Prissy wondering “why?”

Feeding time!!

Feeding time!!

It's not as easy as it looks when there's only one person feeding them.

It’s not as easy as it looks when there’s only one person feeding them.

George tries to take Prissy's bottle when he empty's his first!

George tries to take Prissy’s bottle when he empty’s his first!

Just to let you know how I feed them, we buy powdered calf milk that is medicated and high in protein and feed them two quarts every eight hours.  The powdered milk is mixed with water and the first couple of feedings they are given colostrum to get the immune system going that they couldn’t get from their natural mom.  At three to four weeks, we start introducing them to the small grains.

More to come!!!

 

The farm has been quite busy for the last three weeks

The farm is always busy but the last three weeks have been quite busy.  My chickens had almost completely quit laying but now the eggs are pouring out of them.  We’re getting 18-22 eggs a day and two of my ladies are starting to show broody signs.  It’s just too cold to set these ladies yet so I think I’ll give them until the first weekend in April to put eggs of my choice under them.

Beautiful eggs of all sizes and colors.

Beautiful eggs of all sizes and colors.

 

I had thought about buying some babies in mid-April or May but then decided if I’ve got broody hens that won’t give me eggs, I’ll put them to work hatching me some new layers.

Then maple syrup season came on us and last weekend we made 45 pints of the golden nectar.  The weather was such a hit and miss thing that we didn’t invite a lot of people to join us but our daughter had some of her clients come in to see the process.  It was very, very windy the day of the cook-off.

210 gallon tank for sap storage

210 gallon tank for sap storage

Gallon stainless steel bucket used to strain sap into tank.

Gallon stainless steel bucket used to strain sap into tank.

Trees tapped

Trees tapped

Shawn & Heather keep watch on the pan.

Shawn & Heather keep watch on the pan.

 

Sugar house steaming.

Sugar house steaming.

 

2014 Golden nectar

 

AND, the babies are arriving and they are so adorable.  The calves seem a little on the small size this year but that’s fine.  They grow so fast and smaller calves are definitely easier on the mothers.  Here’s a few of our recent arrivals:

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And of course, keeping the driveway clear of ice and snow and feeding the cattle has been a chore, not to mention keeping firewood on the front porch to feed the stoves.

Ice on top of snow

Ice on top of snow

 

You just can't be a good wood fire with the winter we've had.

You just can’t be a good wood fire with the winter we’ve had.

 

Stay well,  Stay warm.
Rita

 

 

What’s bloomin’ now

It is so blasted cold and blustery today.  It snowed for about 20 minutes this morning and then it got hazy and black looking and now the sun is shining.  The weather is crazy!!  I noticed yesterday that the allium, iris and sedum have peeped through the ground and some daffodils and Easter lilies but it’s calling for more winter sleet/snow by Tuesday again.  I so want spring!!!

Allium and iris

Allium and iris

Sedum peeking out from the leaves

Sedum peeking out from the leaves

More sedum

More sedum

Sedum likes the cold, I think.

Sedum likes the cold, I think.

Inside my house though, things are blooming so pretty and very out of season.

This is some type of begonia that is over six feet tall with very delicate blooms.

This is some type of begonia that is over six feet tall with very delicate blooms.

Amaryillus blooms in the spring instead of Christmas.

Amaryllis blooms in the spring instead of Christmas.

These two Christmas cactus bloomed last summer, two weeks before Christmas and started blooming again two weeks ago.

These two Christmas cactus bloomed last summer, two weeks before Christmas and started blooming again two weeks ago.

This is some sort of jade and normally blooms in early to late summer and it started blooming last week.

This is some sort of jade and normally blooms in early to late summer and it started blooming last week.

I have two shamrocks, one purple and one green, in our guest room and they're both blooming.  The purple one has pink blooms and the green one has white blooms.

I have two shamrocks, one purple and one green, in our guest room and they’re both blooming. The purple one has pink blooms and the green one has white blooms.

DSCN4804It might be nasty and cold outside but I do have a little spring season in the house.  It helps keep away the winter blahs!!

Yoohoo, spring, where are you?

Our little neck of the woods has been filled with major low temps for the last six weeks with minor warm ups and like everyone else I am SOOOOOOO ready for spring.  Yes, this is another post about the weather and knowing we can’t do anything about but gripe I think we are all doing that quite well!!

We were just hit with our first major snowfall which started around 2:30 on Wednesday evening causing me to leave work early so I wouldn’t be stuck out on the roads with my family worried to death.  NO I’m not stupid enough to wait for the roads to get treacherous before heading home.  I have a wonderful job and supervisors that allow me to head out early since I live about 25 minutes from home which is very much in the country.  We had plenty of warning about the incoming storm and prepared well in advance.  By the time I pulled into our driveway the roads were getting white and the mountain in front of our house and the one behind our house could not be seen.

Just got home!

Just got home!

This is what it looked like about 20 minutes after I arrived home.

This is what it looked like about an hour after I arrived home.

Hubby had worked most of the day before feeding the animals heavy and cutting some extra firewood for the main stove and the one in the kitchen.  It’s a good thing he covered it as soon as he unloaded it.  We had prepared for the electricity to go out as well and had five gallon buckets full of water for the bathroom, pitchers full for drinking and cooking and gallon jugs full for the animals and washing dishes.  Thankfully the power only went out twice and it was during the night and only long enough to have to reset the clocks.  Here’s a pictorial of how the storm grew as the night went on:

Almost a white-out!

Almost a white-out!

Bird and squirrel feeders are full.

Bird and squirrel feeders are full.

Birds are feeding heavily.  They know it's going to get bad.Birds are feeding heavily. They know it’s going to get bad.

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Ground covered good with about 2 inches.

Ground covered good with about 2 inches.

Snow accumulation just after dark.

Snow accumulation just after dark.

Still piling up and it's pouring huge dry flakes.

Still piling up and it’s pouring huge dry flakes.

Hubby cleared a path so Sassy could get out to relieve herself and it's filling in.

Hubby cleared a path so Sassy could get out to relieve herself and it’s filling in.

Here’s what we woke up to yesterday morning:

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My car disappeared during the night.

My car disappeared during the night.

Hope the roof can bear the weight and there's another roof above it just as full.  When it slides off we'll know the sturdiness of our addition.

Hope the roof can bear the weight and there’s another roof above it just as full. When it slides off we’ll know the sturdiness of our addition.

21* and holding.  Wind is starting to get up.

21* and holding. Wind is starting to get up.

We’ve muddled through with no major crisis and hubby has to start over this morning cleaning out the drifts to all the animals to feed.  I’m keeping the fires going and cooking.  Today is a good day for a pot of homemade venison/vegetable soup!!

Interesting ride home this afternoon

Spring weather-gotta love it!!  This morning the weather forecast called for sleet changing to rain for the day and rain ending in the morning.  Well folks, they got it wrong again! It started pouring down snow sometime around 2:00, I think (no windows in my office).  At 3:45 I thought I had better get home ( I get off at 4:00 each day) and by the time I closed down the computer, cleared off my desk, locked up the files and got my coat on it was 4:00.  My drive home usually takes 40-45 minutes depending on traffic.  This afternoon it took one hour and 35 minutes and here’s what my drive home looked like, no words or captions needed and a 10 mph -15 mph ride home:

What I found in the parking lot after leaving work.

What I found in the parking lot after leaving work.

Most of the vehicles had at least two inches on them.

Most of the vehicles had at least two inches on them.

Half block from my parking lot.

Half block from my parking lot.

Pouring down snow and can't keep the windshield clear.

Pouring down snow and can’t keep the windshield clear.

Traffic is at a stand still on Prices Fork Rd one block from the office.  Took me 18 minutes to get one block.

Traffic is at a stand still on Prices Fork Rd one block from the office. Took me 18 minutes to get one block.

Creeping to the second stop light and traffic is backed up. and I have to get gas before I can head home.

Creeping up a side steet to get to Delimart-I have to get gas before I can head home.

NOw, I'm back on Prices Fork heading for my exit to home.  I't's 4:30.

NOw, I’m back on Prices Fork heading for my exit to home. I’t’s 4:30.

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On 460 headed to Newport.

Newport and headed to Craig County!

DSCN2940 DSCN2942                                                                                    Simmonsville turn straight ahead-slow down to five miles an hour and get through the turn!

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My driveway and the big red barn are in sight!!

DSCN2963                                                                                                                            The big red barn and my driveway are within eyesight now!!

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I sure am glad I made it without any mishaps and the snow is still pouring.  It sure is great to be home!!!!!!!!!!!

August/September Preparation for a bad winter

I can’t believe it’s the end of July!  This year has flown by!!  It’s time to start aggressively storing food for the winter, gathering wood, and winterizing all the animal sheds and the house.  I’ll save the house for last since the next two months will probably turn out to be our hottest months.  The farm equipment should be finished for the year except for a couple tractors.  Hubby always cleans them up and checks everything out for worn parts and replacement parts.  I clean up the garden and yard equipment but still a little early for that.  The major thing now is the garden.  I will have more green beans to can this coming week and weekend, more squash to freeze, onions to store and more cabbage to do something with.  The tomatoes and peppers are near ready yet and the summer “duratio” did away with most of the fruit.  Luckily I stored lots last year.

Hubby worked on filling the wood house again today and the split stack is out of the rain.  We still have a large load to split and more down from the storm to cut & split for the following winter.

All of the hay is stacked and ready for winter and hubby is in the process of cleaning up the hay equipment.  The roofs have been taken care of and I have to put new interior tar paper in the chicken house.  All of the major fence repairs have been made and the pastures are being sheared now.