We were expecting winter weather this weekend.
For the past week, the weather has been sunny and brutally cold. This photo showed some of the winter sun highlighting the tree trunks. What looks like snow flakes in front of the trees was falling bits of hoarfrost that, honestly, looked like falling diamonds. It was indescribably beautiful and the photo doesn't even begin to do it justice.
This red-shafted flicker has been hanging around. Doubtless he's having a hard time finding food.
When the weather was at its coldest, we kept the Jerseys (Polly and Matilda) and their calves in the corral where they could go into the barn at night for maximum protection. After the close call with Polly in mid-November, I'm not taking chances with the more delicate Jerseys. (Dexters are tougher.)
But the temperature (thankfully) rose and snow was anticipated. Here was the forecast for January 3:
So on Saturday we split some firewood before the snow arrived.
Front porch, before:
Front porch, after:
I cleaned the barn stalls and made sure the floors were padded with straw.
It pleases me to see animals at the feed boxes at any time during the day. Don built the boxes last fall under the barn awning, and they've proven remarkably successful in keeping food clean and available at any time without getting trampled or soiled.
After a day of battening down hatches, a dinner of fried rice warmed us all.
On Sunday, it snowed. Man did it snow! It was a day to stay huddled at home, but Younger Daughter had an obligation in a nearby town, so I drove her.
Once we get off our dirt road onto the paved road, here's the view across the fields. Rather monotone, no?
Driving back home, Younger Daughter snapped these birds on the frozen lake. I think they're coots, but since I was driving I couldn't be sure.
Even in mid-day, everything looked ghostly with the snow falling so heavily.
This is the paved road, heading back to our house.
Matilda and Polly were anxious to get into the barn, so I cleaned their stalls, gave them food, and put them to bed early.
Every time Lydia came in from the yard, she had jingle balls of snow on her toes...
...which she would chew off.
Major looked like a reverse Dalmatian.
Here's that red-shafted flicker again, tucking himself under the roof awning to get out of the snow. I took the photo through a glass window which reflects the lights from the Christmas tree (which, um, we still haven't taken down).
I experimented with photographing the dusk with the tree lights reflected in the window.
It snowed the blessed day long and into the night.
Then the temperature rose, and as of this morning it's raining and windy (go figure). The snow is melting fast. It's predicted to get to 40F today, with up to half an inch of rain. This means the snow will turn to slush, possibly the worst driving conditions. Schools in the area have been canceled. It's a good day to hole up with the wood stove glowing.
What's the old saying? If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes....