Enjoying the Snow

| 1/5/2018 11:51:00 AM

snowcovered farm

Yes, I know, snow can be a real bugger sometimes.  There’s the drift that always forms just a few feet in front of the garage doors.  Some years I think I shovel the same snowflakes from that spot over and over.  And there’s the new eight inches to clear off all the trails and driveways and walk-paths that crisscross the barnyard and curve their way past the pig pens and chicken coops.

When the first snows hit, we portion out all the shovels like they’re a ration.  One in the garage, one at Farmstead, one in the other garage, one at the coop, one in the barn, one at the pole barn, one at the back door.  You just never know when you’ll be stuck some place and need to dig your way out (or need the one in the car to get yourself unstuck yet again).  Wake up for chore time and some mornings you have to dig your way out!

Not that I’m complaining about the beautiful snow we’ve been having.  I love the elegant, clean look and brightness it adds to the landscape after November’s dulled browns and grays.  It softens the sounds, brightens the mornings and evening (even in the shortened days) and adds a sparkle when the sun is out to catch the frozen crystals like jewels trapped on tree branches.

Our sheep dogs love the snow, snapping up a mouthful in mid-gallop as they romp about the barnyard obstacle course.  For them, it’s like catching a mouthful of ice-cream.  They come up for air, noses powdered white, then keep running.  The sheep stand in their paddocks, observing the day, the downy flakes piling up on the their thick-fleeced backs.

The appearance of snow that sticks around on the farm also creates an interesting storyboard of who’s been where in the tracks left behind.  The appearance of the classic splay-toed prints of turkey feet outside the fence tells of either an escape or a wild visitor, the tunnels of mice and voles bely movements typically unseen, and the highways of rabbits and squirrels spell out their favorite routs and hidey holes. 

2/7/2018 9:38:04 AM

That is why my brother last summer put radiant heating coils in his driveway and paths to the house, barn and the chicken coop. No more shoveling. and no more ice either. Just flip a switch.

Jhoane Robinson
2/7/2018 7:44:43 AM

Thank you Laura! Your elegant words paint the lovely picture we didn't get to enjoy this winter. I love the beauty of those Dickens winter scenes! Our winters, (usually spelled WINTER) at our farm Oasis Gardens in NE Utah normally hover between 20º F and –20º F for weeks, but this year have not even hit 0º F. While all of you back East have been digging out all winter, our one and only snow came on Winter Solstice (thankful for that!), but now we are looking out at the bare-brown normally seen in November, and not just a little concerned for our fruit trees that are beginning to bud. Ah, the beauty and magic of the winter you described! Again, thank you! Jhoane Robinson Oasis Gardens & Learning Center

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