Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

We had a foot of LOVELY snow last week. It knocked out our power for two days and caused general chaos in this area. I love the snow, the way a hush falls over the farm while it is falling. I sit in my window and watch. It is good weather for bird watching. The birds are easily seen against the white backdrop. In winter, we get Dark Eyed Juncos, Oak Tit Mice, Finches, Rufous Towhees, and several that just flit through on their way to warmer roosting sites. They still have to fill their tummies, even though their food is covered with a foot of snow, so I make sure their feeders are full of sunflower seeds, or suet, or thistle. I have a woodpecker post that I fill with a peanut butter/corn meal/seed mixture that the nuthatches like. We even have several hummers who have refused to fly south, so I bring in the frozen feeder in the mornings, replacing it with the one that I brought in to thaw the day before. They love me :) Since I can see them so well and they are hanging around the feeders, it is a good time to sketch them. It is not an easy thing to do, to sketch a 'winged person', but with practice I am getting better.
The goats don't like the cold, but they like being WET even less, so they get to have a snuggly snow day in their cozy barn, calmly munching their alfalfa. No power means no indoor plumbing, no hot water (NO WATER, period) no showers, no light, no TV, no computer.... Lucky for us we are mountain people who love to sit by the fire in the wood stove and just breathe. We don't mind heating a can of soup for dinner. But the goats have to have clean WARM water. If they drink it cold they lose body heat. So I had to melt snow on my gas stove to make water for them to drink. One full bucket of snow melts down to about two inches of water in the bottom of that bucket. I was making three to five buckets of water every day just for them. Do the math. Then we needed enough hot water to wash our hair and bathe ourselves. AHHHH! My bucket muscles are still a little sore, but I think it was good exercise :)
Lucy rarely left her place in front of the wood stove. In fact, she was highly insulted when the power came back on and I kicked her pig butt out the front door! (She is like a naughty three year old, into EVERYTHING, and gets bored very easily. If it sits on the floor it is fair game to be tossed or snuffled or rooted over :) The good news is that she can't climb!
Our Aussies LOVE the snow! They RUN around and play and bark, and then lay down and drag their bellies for several feet. They love "snow ball" although they are a little confused when they can't find the "ball" that I have thrown for them. Jack lays down on his side and makes a "snow dog angel"!

When the weather broke, I had to drive back down the hill to go to work. The brilliant sunlight on the snow made the high meadows look like fields of diamonds, and the shadows cast by the trees were deep periwinkle. My spirits SOAR, my angels sing and I just LOVE this beautiful place we live in!

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