This is the time of year when we batten down the hatches on our farm and prepare for winter.
First and foremost, of course, is cutting firewood. Now that we have a decent supply of logs, we've been cutting and splitting them as we find time.
With snow on its way, Don and I did a lot of cutting and splitting last week, and the girls did a lot of hauling and stacking.
Here's a bunch o' logs cut up, ready to split.
Maybe it comes from eighteen years of running a woodcraft business, but I find wood to be beautiful.
Here Don is splitting and I'm hauling log rounds to him.
The pile of split wood started out small...
...but Don added and added and added to it.
Getting ready for winter also means finding tools that have been left outside, and bringing them in. This string is used (among other things) to line up fence posts. It got accidentally left out. I brought it back into the shop.
The reason the string was out by the logs in the first place is we decided to permanently fence in a landing around the logs. (The string was used to make sure the fence poles were lined up straight.) This way we can cut up the logs at our leisure, and if and when the landing is empty, it can be used as extra parking.
Brit came over to see what we were doing.
"Can I help?"
I liked the pattern this shattered cookie made. (In logging parlance, a "cookie" is a thin slice of log.)
The pile of split wood grew taller...
...and taller, until all the cut wood was split.
After this, the girls stacked the wood on the porch.
With snow starting to threaten, the next thing we needed to do was put end caps on the west side of the barn. Our wind almost always comes in from the southwest, so this was necessary to keep our hay from getting wet from blowing snow or rain.
Earlier, Don had cut some sheet metal into three-foot lengths. Then one by one we hauled them up to the top of the barn and slipped them into place...
...and he screwed them down securely.
It was a cold day when we did this, and Don was working bare-handed (it's hard to hold screws with gloves on), so we took frequent breaks to defrost.
Next step was adding a stout girt to the top of the barn to attach the next section of end caps.
I got to see a view of the barn I seldom see: above the hay looking down.
Don was short two endcap pieces, but that's okay. With our prevailing wind direction, those missing caps won't affect the hay very much. We'll get to them next time.
While Don finished up the barn, I tidied up the yard and packed the truck for a dumpster run. We don't have garbage service in rural areas of our county, so instead there are dumpsters located in strategic locations. We take a dumpster run every couple of months.
I drained and coiled the garden hoses and put them in the barn.
Snow was forecast for the next few days. Not a lot, but enough to indicate winter is here.
We got a light dusting of snow last night...
A little more snow this morning.
The snow came down vigorously at times.
It's always fun to watch the chickens facing snow for the first time. Half our flock has never seen it before.
Meanwhile for the animals, we are keeping an extra 80 lbs. of dog food on hand...
...as well as 200 extra pounds of chicken feed.
In past winters, we've been snowed in to the point where we ran low on animal feed. Not this winter!