Friday, February 8, 2013

The Storm is Here

Anyone remember the Blizzard of 78 and where they were ?

When I heard that this storm was predicted to start on 2/7 I thought it was ironic.

Sure enough, last night, the first snowflakes started to fall.  It got just a little bit heaver at 5 am and by 7 am it was coming down hard and fast.     It was 16 degrees.

School has been canceled and everyone at my off-farm job is working from home today, which is a very smart and efficient move.

I read an interesting statement this morning at Taylor Made Ranch blog and I want to share it with you all:
Did you know:
"The men and women who produced the meat and vegetables that you are buying may very well work right beside you in town, then go home to work on their farm or ranch the other 128 hours each week.  They are your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors."

I read that statement and then I drove to the farm to feed and water the herd.  The road was very slippery.

The cows had their winter jackets of snow on and were glad to see me when I arrived.

First thing I did was count heads and make sure everyone was accounted for and that the coyotes didn't steal anyone.

After I said hello to everyone and fixed a few fences I went to fill the water tank and it was a solid cube of ice.  Apparently the power had shut off in the night OR the electric fence messed up the power to the tank heater.  Anyhow it was a mess.  I checked the fuses, the reset buttons and then switched plugs. In a few minutes the heater came back on and defrosting was underway.

I unplugged the block heater on the tractor and prayed that the tractor was not affected by the power issue. 
I hoped it would start.  It did.

I went and dropped the electric fence to the ground and went and speered a nice big hay bale and headed to the hay rack.

With the big bale on the front of the tractor, the big rear tractor tires slipped around and sometimes spinned on the ice under the snow.

Just as i was driving over the electric fence on the ground, the rear tires spinned and ate up the e wire. I stopped immediately as I saw all the fence posts bend.

I jumped off the tractor and tried to get some slack in the wire so I could unwrap it from the big right rear tire.

It was a fight, but I won it and returned the e wire to the ground and fixed the posts and insulators.

I hopped back on the tractor and as I did I noticed a heifer inside the hay rack.

Not good.

The calves use to be able to go in and out of the rack, but now they are about 200 lbs heavier and sometimes can't get out if they get in.

This heifer would not remove herself from the rack, now tying up the routine and making some cows a bit anxious.

I had to get off the tractor AGAIN and enter the danger zone to get her out.

This is when and where most fatal farm accidents occur.

Its a tight working space with big hungry cows and a cute, but not-too-bright, heifer.

I was able to extract the heifer from the hayrack and get back on the tractor and drop the bale.

A cow breakfast is a BIG breakfast.

I will return this afternoon and repeat the routine.   I am bringing my snowshoes.

This is what I like to see as I walk away;  a happy herd eating, fences up and the water tank full.

 This is the view from the road.

The herd is almost obscured by the snow as they eat their breakfast.

My toes and fingers were numb from the cold, frozen ice water. tractor metal and being stepped on by 2 cows near the hay rack..  It was time to head home and warm up and have some breakfast myself

 I returned home to be greeted by my 2 comical drakes, Rudy & Agnew.  They wanted me to re shovel the special path to the coop.

I had already done it twice before I left to feed the herd, and now did it again.

Will probably do it 9 more times today the way this snow is piling up.

The ducks always have a lot to say but I won't listen to a single quack until they start laying eggs.

 Egg production has tripled here in the past 3 days.  Its thrilling to open a next box and find four eggs in Nestbox #1and another big egg in nest box #2.

When it snows, a few of the hens prefer to nap on the porch rather than go all the way back to the coop.

Big Blonde hen, Marilyn, prefers to sit and sleep in my favorite chair as Mavis and Meverette  (the hardest working hen I have ever met in my life) wait at the door for some warm treats.

It is beautiful and peaceful here with the snow.  8-10 inches so far.

I hope you are all staying safe and warm today.

And I hope none of your heifers get stupid inside a hay rack.


  1. wow stay safe! and warm - love seeing the snow cows. :-D

  2. Being a farm girl I know how much more work there is when it snows but oh how I wish I had some of your snow. Have a peaceful weekend.

  3. Wow, it seems as though you put in some very long days! Thanks for visiting today - I've been enjoying reading some of your posts. Your farm is beautiful, and I hope all is well through this storm. I'm llooking forward to reading more!

  4. I am so glad you, and your herd and pets, are safe and well tonight!

  5. I hope you guys stay safe and warm during the storm. I grew up on a farm and this brought back a lot of memories :)

  6. Stay warm and safe. I love snowstorms as long as nothing goes wrong! You sure have some adventures with your girls. I wouldn't know how to go about getting a cow out of a hay rack!

  7. Stay warm as best you can, and be careful out there! I hope that heater keeps the water flowing for you!

  8. Such hard work! I was in Paul Smiths College in the blizzard of 1978!

  9. Oh my gosh...I just hope that the continuing story of this whole mess of a storm shows us that they all survive this, great post tho. But so bitterly cold. For all.

  10. Wow, your morning work sounds like an awful lot to me. I love the farm animals but now I am thinking my office job is a breeze. Loved your post and the photos. Have a great day, stay warm and safe!

  11. Whew, I was tired just reading about all you did before you even had breakfast. I'm sure most of us have no idea how much work it is to run a farm so your post is a bit of an eye opener. I'm very conscious of supporting our local farmers and buy from a local farm one concession over.
    Lots of snow in southern Ontario too, but it's a sunny day today.

  12. glad you got the heifer extricated from the hay rack! goofy thing! loved the snows on the cattle, but i know you were cold getting thru your chores! bless you!

  13. Oh I do hope you guys make it through safely. We have been watching the storm on the Weather Channel.

    I love your photos of the cattle. It's very interesting to see how you take care of them in mean weather. I love the dog and the chicken up on the front porch!

    Take care!

  14. Wow! You had a lot of work to do before you had your breakfast.
    Stay safe and warm.

  15. Got about 30" here, some places up to hips, all places well over knees. Didn't get it all moved, lots more to do tomorrow. Monday is rain and ice coming, so it MUST be cleaned up tomorrow.

    We are sooo glad we have a good tractor with a bucket. It pulled the plow truck out 3 times. After that DH just used the tractor to move the snow.

  16. What a tremendous amount of work, and then all the snow to boot. The pictures make it look nice, but working in that weather must be really hard. - Margy

  17. Beautiful series of your animals. Stay warm!

  18. That last picture would be great on a postcard!! Love reading along (from WI) and seeing your (snowy) adventures!

  19. Yes, I remember the Blizzard of '78. We lived in Michigan in a town on Lake Michigan so we got the lake effect snow. It took my husband an hour to go back and forth with our Chevy Blazer to try to get out to the road. The neighbors came to help only to have the snowplow go by and throw a huge pile of snow at the side of the road right in the path that my hubby was trying to drive out of! Do not miss those days! Stay safe and warm. Love the pictures.

  20. Thanks for sharing this blue cow rack. It's interesting.

    As soon as I leave this comment, I'll fix your defective link and add your photo.

    But . . . your poor cold toes--stepped on by two cows! OUCH!

    Happy Blue Monday, Janis.

    **Please place a link to Blue Monday on your post so that others can find us.


  21. Glad you got through ok! I am in Boston and jeeze, some snow, eh! The 78 storm was 10 years before I was born, but I got to live through this one!

  22. Glad to hear that you are alright. Happy Blue Monday!

    My Blue.

  23. I had forgotten all about the Blizzard of '78 until Jim Cantore mentioned it on The Weather Channel during one of their Nemo segments. Needless to say, we were far from it in southwestern Missouri, but I do remember the news reports about all of the people who were trapped for days in their buried vehicles on the road.

  24. Thats lots of snow and so much work to do before breakfast. Those cows look cold with the snow on them. Hoping the snow and your heater don't make too much more work for you :)

  25. What a cold breakfast. Sitting here in shorts and a t-shirt, I can't begin to imagine how challenging things must be for you. Looks like you're doing an amazing job caring for your animals.

  26. This post makes my story of digging my way to and into the chicken coop seem pretty lame! lol

  27. Love reading about the goings on at your farm! Hope you faired well in the blizzard. Sometimes I get overwhelmed caring for two animals, you make a herd look easy! New follow. Follow back at

  28. My in-laws have a cattle ranch in Oregon and your post reminded me of them. It's a lot of heard work especially in winter snow! Love seeing the cows with snow piling on them though.

  29. Wow- amazing how you were able to get her out of there. Awesome about the eggs- I would love to have my own as we go through about a dozen a week.

  30. I enjoyed your post and felt your frustration with that heifer. My husband feeds cattle pretty much all day, every day, seven days a week. Old enough to retire, he won't because he LOVES it in spite of the every day trials. There is something about farming that gets in your blood.

  31. What a day! Glad we don't have to contend with all that snow and ice, but I appreciate the farmers that do.

  32. That saying, I have heard of a similar one, A farmer and family always works in town. Most of our farmer friends have a job in town on top of feeding cow. I loved your pics. So full of characters!


  33. Oh my gosh, you must have been annoyed to have to get the heifer out of the hay rack, glad you were safe.

    Enjoy the snow, it has it's pluses. :)

    Visiting today from Thursday's Favorite Things.

  34. What a beautiful sight! Its so hot here in Australia, I would love a day of snow! x

  35. You take good care of your animals.
    Thanks for coming by.

  36. have you thawed out a bit? thank you for adding your wonderful blog to the Thursday Favorite Things hop. xo

  37. Wow, what a day for you... makes me tired reading it! Glad you got your wayward girl extricated from the hayrack... we used to break up the frozen water with an ax or shovel... Thank you for joining in 'Rurality Blog Hop #2' Hope to see you next Wednesday for #3... (I'm your newest follower and rss subscriber...)

  38. Wow this looks and sounds very familiar. I hope you get to rest a little and the snow does not upset things too much. Love your Herefords we have them too. Take care. B

  39. Obviously a rancher's work is never truly done. Thank you so much for this personal glimpse into your world. It was eyeopening and the pastoral pics are inspiring. Loved it.
    Thanks for sharing it all on BeColorful.

  40. PepiSmartDog: Wow, what an interesting post. Thank you so much for joining Thankful Thursday Blog Hop and I really hope you post more of your articles in it. I live in Australia and we have Summer, battling the opposite extremes. Your photos are beautiful; tough conditions but still beautiful photographs! Please join Thankful Thursday Blog Hop again - I'd love to learn more life on your farm. Hope your weather situation improves - fast~! :=o)

  41. That is quite a storm! And a bit early! Stay safe and warm!