Unlike much of the rest of the country, north Idaho has been spared the brutal cold and heavy snows that have plagued so many other places. In fact, we're having a remarkably mild winter with barely any snow at all.
Earlier in January we had some high winds. Wind is nothing unusual out here on the prairie, but once in awhile we get a humdinger and this was one of those times. On Saturday, January 11, the day started out calm but the wind picked up by dawn. It was screaming. We had every kerosene lamp on standby and we kept every livestock tank brimful in case we lost power (when we lose power, we lose the use of our well pump), but miraculously the power stayed on.
But a particularly violent gust snapped the top 40 feet off of our tallest pine. Thankfully no cows were underneath.
And then we had a two-week period of dead calm, freezing fog, and bare frosty ground. While I'm sure folks in the Midwest would give their eye-teeth for this weather, frankly it got boring after awhile. The kids wanted a good whomping snowstorm so they could get some sledding in.
The weather finally accommodated them. I don't know if whomping was an accurate description, but at least some weather moved in.
So we did a few things to get ready, notably splitting some firewood. It was juuuust beginning to snow while I split.
Front porch, before:
Front porch, after:
I caught up on laundry.
I've been keeping Matilda and Amy tucked in the barn for a few days. (Before anyone hollers, Matilda is a Jersey. It's normal for Jerseys to look quasi-skeletal with ribs and hipbones showing.)
The reason is because Matilda is limping. She somehow twisted or sprained her back right ankle. Since Matilda is our lowest cow on the totem pole, she tends to get pushed around by the more dominant animals, so I wanted her to stay quiet for a few days.
I found a clutch of eggs in the barn...
...which turned into a bigger clutch the next day.
On Wednesday, we got about five inches of very pretty snow.
Breakfast for the beasties.
We had a little bit of wind, but mostly it was calm snow.
In the afternoon, I let Matilda and Amy out to stretch their legs and also so I could clean the barn. Amy's not used to being confined, so she immediately dashed around and fell to playfully sparring with Petunia.
Matilda is still limping, but seemed glad to get outside.
A sentinel quail watches over his flock.
Major is easy to spot in this kind of weather.
He and Lydia enjoyed a good romp. At his age, Major mostly stands there and lets Lydia do the romping, but his body language eggs her on.
The dogs were aided and abetted by Older Daughter.
We decided it was time for some comfort snacks in the form of survival cookies. Lydia is very attentive through this process because she knows from experience that she gets to lick the spoon. We divvy up any leftover bits of dough between her and Major.
Altogether it was nice to finally get a taste of winter.
My sympathies to all the poor souls across the country who want to shove winter back where it came from. Hang in there, spring is on the horizon.