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?"
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.