Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow, then cold

Here's our front porch, snowed up to the knee wall and festooned with icicles.

Another snow day off school, I'm reading Keynes, topping up my macro before a paper I'm due to give in June.

Snow and economics is definitely enough to keep the "animal spirits" under control.

Of course, the real animal spirits have to be looked after too. The sheep decided to eat a whole bale of hay this morning, so they got another one this afternoon. It will be cold tomorrow, a low of -15 F is forecast for the Penobscot and Kennebec Valleys.

No time to have sheep go hungry. Their rumens need to keep cooking for them to stay properly warm. they can have as much fodder as they want.

That means that it will be closer to -20 F up here on the Jackson-Dixmont hills, which are essentially the divide between these two deep Maine valleys.

I often wondered if Dixmont was old Acadian French for "ten hills," which is about how many we have.

This was always an unlikely theory, since this area was never really occupied by the Acadian settlers. It was too remote from the coast for the colonial period.

There were some French and Indian War (1763) skirmishes through here, though, and the occupants of the French forts further down east would surely have appreciated the landmark.

But, says Wikipedia, the town was actually named for the father of Dorothea Dix, and used to have the most sheep of any town in Maine. Too hilly for any other kind of farming.

I can appreciate that.

Our sheep don't appreciate history, even when about sheep.

But they do like hay when the weather is bad.

Sheep are less color-coded today.

All sheep become white sheep in the snow.

Even though they have a nice clean barn, they'd rather stay out in the snow.

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