Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The way we get by

At Aimee's folks this Christmas, a young relative was looking at our pictures and said something like, "is there always snow in Maine?"

Good question.

The answer is, sometimes it seems that way.

Yesterday we had about six inches, by this morning another six. The dogs, especially Mary, were not impressed.

The snowbank outside the front door is taller than I am. The firewood pile looks like an igloo. The barn view from the road is obscured by another big snowbank.

It's the tiny Kubota tractor that makes these snowbanks, piling all the snow that falls out of the way. Life would be a good deal harder without a tractor.

In the winter I run the Kubota on kerosene (paraffin), instead of diesel. Kerosene has a lower flashpoint, and so the tractor starts better. Even so, it takes a good count of 60 or even 90 minutes on the glow-plug.

Chickens don't suffer much in the snow if they have a warm, dry barn to scratch around in. They like a little unfrozen water in the morning. They can get out, but they'll only go out if the sun comes out and it warms up. They amuse themselves scratching, perching on the gates, clucking mildly to one another.

Sheep on the other hand don't like to come into the barn much, except to eat and drink, and so they stay out in the snow and get covered, sitting there quite happily with several inches of snow on their backs.

When they could be in a nice warm barn.

I have no photo of the sheep. To get one, I'd have to wade through two feet of snow to the yard at the back of the barn where they hang out.


  1. You must have a really good battery ... or mean seconds instead of minutes ;)

  2. Definitely seconds. Just checking to see if anyone was reading;)


  3. Your Kubota is beautiful! We are currently without a tractor. Most of the time we don't need one, but this December and January were pretty snowy for our area, and we were wishing for a tractor.
    Good picture of your chickens! My chicken pictures tend to be very blurry.

  4. Maybe chickens don't move as fast in Maine! This tractor cost $6,000, which was perhaps too much, but it always starts, sips fuel, and came with implements including the loader, a York rake and a rototiller, which we use a lot around here. There was also a plow. We've definitely gotten our money out of it, but it still soldiers one. Not bad for a machine built in 1973.


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