Following the Freezing Fog

from the soft pink reflections of dawn to the first light of sunrise striking the mountains

and the graceful birch tree branches

from the tops of the hard rime frosted mountains to the soft rime covered teasel in the old barnyard

from the tree tops in the brilliant blue sky to every tall blade of grass and small seed head

We were blessed with a Sunday that was a spectacular, sun-filled, sparkling winter wonderland.
It was just what we needed to renew our spirits.
(click on pictures to enlarge)

Freezing Fog

This winter has been full of interesting weather, and Saturday was no exception.  We were in a fog, literally… All. Day. Long.  And not just any fog, we were in a freezing fog.  This occurs when liquid fog droplets freeze to surfaces.  Early morning the temperature was 33 degrees.  It had dipped to 27 degrees by late mornng and remained there the rest of the day.  Normally you would hear no complaints about a 27 degree day from these parts, but with all the moisture in the air, it was just miserable.  There was a running battle with icing gates, latches and doors.  We were all kind of soggy by the end of the day.
Now, lest you think we are complaining, we have to let you know that this is just a set-up for tomorrow’s post… pictures from Sunday… it was a spectular day!  In the meantime, please enjoy the soft mystery of the freezing fog… honestly, it really was quite pretty also. 

Snow Day

  Some days you just have to endure enjoy the challenge that mother nature throws into your everyday life. Yesterday was one of those days. What better way to face a day of blowing knee-deep snow with sub-zero windchills  than to pack along the camera and take some pics while doing chores? The adventure began with the half-mile trek through the snowdrifts to the barn. 102_9792 Along the way being very thankful for the knee-high subzero boots and insulated coveralls, and wondering if the Polaris Ranger is up to the challenge of all this blowing snow. Get to the barn and feed the easiest and biggest (thanks to the weather break that allowed us to get the breeding groups back together at the barn) group first. 102_9793   Recruit the help of Bella to spread some straw in the barn: 102_9798 102_9800 Then it is time to feed the couple outlying groups. The Ranger makes it from the garage to the barn and gets loaded for the trip to the graveyard field and the ewe lamb group.  102_9801 (Hoping the shovel is just riding along for moral support) Success!! Made it across the flat drive to the field and actually found the feed pans! 102_9802 102_9803 Next, the greatest challenge, up the hill to the rams and Betty Lou Moo-Moo and Beefcakes. Once at the top the snow usually isn’t too deep ‘cause it all blows away, but on the way there are usually some deep drifts to navigate bust through. 102_9797 Will the tarp-sled need to be reinvented? Or the big gun reinforcements snow angels called in? Not today! Once again the Ranger pulls through the drifts and up the hill. 102_9805 102_9806 Betty Lou and Beef and the Rams were very thankful and an extra bale of hay was left just in case it is necessary to hoof it to the top the next day. It’s back to the garage for the Ranger to await the next day’s challenge, and back to the barn for a Bella mini-photo shoot.  Inside shot: 102_9808 Outside shot: 102_9810 Our little girl is growing up so fast. Then, fill a feed bag with hay to take to the goat boys back at the house and on the way again through the drifts through which someone had recently made a path. 102_9811  A good morning set-up for a warm afternoon/evening of knitting and spinning!

Hot! Hot! HOT!

Just like the rest of the Eastern U.S., it has been hot! Up here, high on top of our mountain ridge, we rarely see so many hot (90+), humid days in a row. It was so humid during one of our hay-making days that the in-home weather station reported that it was raining outside.
All of us, animals included, have been seeking the shade and trying to catch any breeze we can. The sheep do very little grazing during the day. It is just too darn hot. It finally rained a little bit yesterday, our first rain in July. We are grateful that it has cooled off some this morning, but hoping there is more relief in sight. We need rain, and the heat has been very stressful for the animals.

Snow, Ice, and More Snow

Mother Nature has sure been making up for the mild winter we had been having, by dealing out very cold, windy, snowy and icy weather the past couple of weeks.

We have had a couple of feet of snow followed by at least an inch of ice, then topped off with another 3 – 4 inches of snow. If you walk carefully, you can walk on top of the ice with just a few sudden break-throughs into the deep snow below to throw you off balance.
The ice has done a number on a couple of the temporary fences we have while others appear less affected.

Several of the sheep have ice coats but do not seem to mind at all.

The sun shone brightly today to show off the ice but didn’t get warm enough to actually melt off much.

Warmer weather is coming soon!?!?