Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tom's Weather Journal - November 23

It makes no difference how warm or cool the fall is up here; sometime before the start of Advent we freeze up. This is nature's path to winter, just as mud season is her path to spring and summer. When the "lock up" starts everything changes. The barn animals can no longer forage in the pasture--they make the final transition to hay. They hang around the barn to get out of the cold west wind.

The pasture water freezes up and I have to haul water in buckets from the outdoor spigot next to the kitchen door.

I make sure everything is out of the yard so when we do get our first big snowfall these things aren't buried and frozen solid for the rest of the winter.

I put my plow blade on the tractor.

I pay much more attention to the wood pile. When the cold comes it can come fast and for good. Two weeks ago today we had a low of 51ºF and a high of 63ºF. I was in a light shirt cleaning up the old shingles removed from the back roof. Last Wednesday the low was 7ºF and the high was 21ºF. The fuel line in my pickup froze, and I had to stomp the ice out of the barn's rubber water buckets.


  1. Boy did your post bring back memories for me. We had a 13 acre farm in northwestern NJ for 7 years. We raised sheep and horses and the winters were tough! The one snowfall we had dropped 21 inches of snow and it was really hard getting to the animals. The water situation where everything just freezes is another problem. We had the drop in heaters that we used for the animals, we bought them at Agway and they really worked great. Our water supply in the barn was called a hydrant style water spigot. It never froze so we just carried water from the barn to the run in sheds attached to the barn. I love your donkey in the picture!!! Good luck!

  2. Ok the Donkey got my attention straight away!(I have always had a soft spot for Donkeys since Donkey rides on Welsh beaches as a child.)
    Love your barn.
    Well off to the daily fun game of stomp the ice out of rubber water bowls..thirsty hens and pheasants

  3. Brrrr Tom you made me cold just talking about all that snow and ice. The donkey is darling. Do you name your animals? I have always wanted to paint a donkey for some reason. They have such soulfull eyes.

  4. Wow. 7 degrees. I feel like a total wimp for being amazed at our 21 degrees last night. Oh, and I simply adore your little donkey...and the sheep. Lucky you. I would love to scratch a donkey behind the ears whenever I wished.

  5. Brrr... it looks so cold! But I love your donkey. Is there a difference between a donkey and a burro?

  6. Thank you for a wonderful look at farm life. It's beautiful but I can see how much hard work is required. Stay well and have a happy Thanksgiving.


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