January 2011 Winter Storm

The winter snow storm rages like an irritated itchy rash outside the window of the old farm house. I just came inside after spending a few hours making sure all the animals were nicely tucked into their shelters.

Charlotte and Ginger (the pigs) are in the barn buried under a pile of straw. Nugget is nesting on top of Charlotte because there’s no better way to keep your feet warm than by standing on a warm pig. Missy (chicken 2) is wandering around the stall, scratching and pecking finding little treats under piles of hay and straw.

I put a thick layer of straw down for the ducks and with their feathers they curl together and settle in to the sound of wind rattling the windows of their little shelter. Full dishes of food and a quick trip to the pond for a drink and they’re happy.

We had three horses for a couple of months, but we’re back down to one. Autumn. My sweet giant girl with a gentle nature and huge heart. I load the truck up with eight small square bales of hay and drive through the snow out to the horse shelter. The two goats and horse are already inside and the building is warm with their body heat.

I add a fluffy layer of fresh straw to thicken their bed and offer three piles of “inside” hay. There’s a seven hundred pound round bale outside, but it’s in the middle of the field and in the middle of the wind. After a little scuffle to decide who gets to eat from which pile the two goats and horse settle in for a good snack. The food helps product heat and the heat keeps them all warm.

I stood quietly watching Nelly, Billy and Autumn enjoy their inside hay. The smell of horse, straw and hay was a pleasant fragrance and better than anything I could buy in a store. I watched as each bit of hay was picked up by dainty lips and drawn into the cheeks. Their loud chewing sounds were a comfort.

I felt the warmth spread from my belly and into my heart and I thought this is what it must feel like to be deep-in-the-gut-happy.

I bundled up the dogs in their warmest coats and took them outside while I shoveled several paths for them to run. They played, got wet, happy and then cold. We’re all back inside now.

Each dog has selected, and is napping in one of the three heated beds. The sound of Gizmo snoring inspires smiles and giggles. Gizmo is double chicken winged in his bed with both back legs shooting straight up in the air. No wonder he’s snoring, sleeping on his back.

I filled the wild bird feeder and I can see blue jays and cardinals enjoying the seeds regardless of the weather.

It seems like today is a really good day to enjoy the farm. I love a good snow storm.

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