Monday, March 03, 2014

Wintery mix, again

Five degrees this morning, wind chill -17.

Yesterday started at 38 and rain. It changed to pellets of sleet after lunch at mom and dad's. We shoveled the heavy sticky ice off the shelters as we checked babies, bottle fed Julep (who was born a little early and her mama, Hailey is short on milk) and fed everybody some extra lunch hay. We listened to the thunder through the thick clouds and we're thankful the predicted winds didn't materialize. 

The ice was crusting everything at 4:00 pm and we broke it out of feed pans and off water troughs. Doing evening chores at sunset, we brushed the pelleted heavy ice off of everything, freezing our gloved hands in the process. 

Then at 10:00 pm, Boomer's shelter collapsed under the weight of all the new sleet. He and George were outside and fine. All four people went out and shoveled, heaved and propped the shelter up with pallets. It's standing fine this morning. Again, we shovel crispy ice off shelters and were very glad it was pellet stuff that didn't stick to trees so we kept our  electricity. 

The angoras shelter seemed to be collecting the greatest weight of ice, or maybe it was just because we cleared it last. 

Finally, about midnight, the precipitation change to a light and fluffy snow. 
We started morning chores about 6:30, doing them in shifts with the wind chill so low. The stuff covering the ground is crusted over, frozen hard and easy to walk on. There is ice covered with ice pellets, covered with ice and powdered with snow on top. It's not supposed to get above freezing for several days, so at least we have the current consolation that this stuff is easy to get feed through. 

Even though I had flipped the feed pans after last nights chores, I still had to chisel them out of the ice this morning. We've hauled buckets of hot water from the bathtub to everyone this morning and will start a new round of water buckets shortly. 

Now, all the sheep, goats, horse and llama are tucked into well bedded shelters out of the wind. The humans, dogs and cats are warming up inside the house. And I think we are all hoping this is the last round of "wintery mix" for this season.