What do you make of the following? [In no particular order.]
1. We haven’t used the snow plow yet and the tire chains aren’t even on the John Deere.
2. The spring (from which we draw our water) and lower pond are outflowing.
3. We began feeding hay to the horses in November and to the sheep and goats in December.
4. The stock tank (water) heaters have been running, off-and-on, only since the middle of December.
5. The bees were displaying hygienic behavior last month.
6. We have used less than 50% of our (heating) wood supply.
Winter here in central Pennsylvania has been mild and precipitation has come mostly as rain. After a storm system passed through last week things got cold, sunny, and dry. This afternoon however another front moved in and we went from clear, blue, skies to what you see in the image below. We are expecting precipitation in the form of freezing rain tonight. All of our animals will tolerate the cold, if it is dry; they also tolerate wet conditions, if it is warm. The worst weather conditions, even with sufficient shelter, are those that are cold and wet – such as those we are expecting overnight – especially when there are little ones. It is a good thing that lambing will not start until early spring, March 9th at the very earliest. The ram was put in with the ewes on October 11 and removed on November 25; 150 days from the day of first exposure marks the opening of our lambing season.