Monday, December 22, 2014

December On The Farm

We had several snowstorms in early December, but each one was followed by warmer temperatures and a complete thaw. It was really more like autumn than winter, and I reveled in the beauty of each morning's eastern sky:

It was getting cold enough at night, however, that I began leaving the barn door open at night so the cows could sleep indoors if they wanted. Of course they left a mess for me to clean up when they did sleep inside, but once that was cleaned up, the process of putting down fresh bedding hay was really quite pleasant. The new hay smells sweet and when it's not too cold outside and it's snowing lightly, it's all quite picturesque - kind of like a manger scene.

I began going out to do morning chores early, before daybreak:

But then one day, a Nor'easter hit and it snowed for three days:

By the end of it, we had several feet of snow, and piles along the driveway and road which were four feet high (this photo was taken at the very beginning, before much had accumulated):

The apple trees collected the sticky snow, looking lacy and beautiful:

From inside the barn, I could see that the windows had been blasted with snow:

The cows began sleeping in the barn every night, but of course that meant lots of manure cleaning for me. Each morning, after giving the cows a bowl of grain, I'd pull the tractor around through the snow and fill its bucket with manure and urine soaked hay.

The pigeons are locked indoors for the winter:

But they seem happy and have developed their own little pigeon society with mated couples, big pushy bosses and demure, shy birds who would rather just be left alone:

The chickens mostly just roosted and ate. They too are locked inside until the weather improves:

I tend to all the animals three or four times each day, and they all seem to be doing well:

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