Thursday night we had the storm of the winter. It was predicted and that is a good thing as it causes people to stay home and off the roads. One of my tenants is due to have a baby and she was afraid it would come in the middle of the storm. I went over and plowed late Tuesday night. Not a soul on the road except me and the Town truck. In fact I had to drop the blade going down the hill so I would be able to get back up. Friday morning we had to call out the big gun to plow the driveway as the drift by the gate was 4 feet high and heavy snow. Baby did not arrive and a good thing it was as it took an hour and a half to even get the regular plow out of the barn.
The cross country skiing is excellent. Good base and good cover. Maggie loves going skiing but sometimes thinks we are a little slow.
So far we have seen rabbit tracks, coyote tracks, squirrel and one lone moose. The woodpeckers have been very active. Plenty of bugs in all the dead trees.
The Valley is filled with young skiers. More snow tonight for powder skiing tomorrow.
Hurray! The ground is covered with lovely snow, more than we have had at this time of year in many years. Downhill skiing is good but cross country skiing was really good last weekend. A little chilly around the edges but manageable with a face mask. There was finally enough snow for the big groomer to make the trip around the East Pasture Trail, my favorite of the whole local system. The snow was soft and trackable(new word). I skied up to the scenic vista and then around the Windy Hill fields and thru the biathlon range. It was so peaceful, no wind and maybe four other skiers. Maggie went with me. She is the original snow dog, part Samoyed and part white Shepherd, follows right behind me until it is time to turn around for home and then she is off like a shot, like come on slowpoke let’s get a move on here. It is supper dish time.
The cows are not quite as enthusiastic. They don’t like deep snow. It is hard work for them to walk through it. The cold doesn’t bother unless it is wet too. The snow stacked on their backs tells you how well insulating their hair is.
I am not seeing any moose tracks this winter. The section of trail to the left is usually loaded with moose tracks but the population is decreasing drastically. Maybe all this cold will kill off some of the winter ticks which have been hard on the moose in recent warm years.
This year’s Christmas tree had stamina. From the day it was cut in early December until the middle of April not a needle was shed. You still have your Christmas tree up, visitors asked? Well, yes, I replied. I like the lights. Finally in February the tree moved outside but I couldn’t bear to just throw it on the dump. It was still green and bushy so I stuck it in a snow bank where it seemed to be happy. And it stayed, and stayed, moving from snow bank to snowbank. until the last snow bank melted in April. Even then it was green and perky so we put it in a pail of water. Lately I notice some needles falling but I would say we got maximum mileage out of our local tree.
You know how it is. Holidays are for eating. Sunday we went to a friend’s house that I used to visit frequently in years past for some memorable meals. As the years add up it gets harder to plan and cook for 12 people but at the last minute my friend’s daughter said why don’t you and Bob come. It will just be 4 and we know you are very informal.I know they always cook enough for the multitudes. I volunteered to bring the dessert. Dessert should be easy, right? A few apples and some topping. However, I had been bugging my son for the past two weeks to get his books in order so I could do his tax return(CPA in real life). I guess he felt Sunday morning was a good time to do this with my help because he showed up at 10, computer in hand. He uses accounts receivable and I don’t so it took me awhile to figure out where the problems were with Q books; up to him to solve them. 2 hours later the books were balanced and the crisp was in the oven, not without a few traces of apple on the keyboard.
The dinner was delicious and we came home laden with enough food for several days including a large untouched blueberry pie owed to Bob for some chores he did for them. For two people to eat a large pie takes a little doing especially since it is best fresh. I thought I would get a head start on the project. .
The other night we loaded up 150 bales of hay on a pickup and trailer, all ready for delivery the next day when the weather was supposed to be good. Come morning there were snow flurries all over but blue sky above so eventually it was safe to roll. The trip went fine, I hear, and included a visit to NH Farm & Forest in Manchester. The whole rig was so late getting home I didnt here it come up the drive. The driver did not come to the door asking for help with the trailer since there were guest vehicles all over the door yard. All was very quiet. However, the next morning this is what I saw. OK farmers and truckers what is the problem here??
Finally- enough snow to cover the trails. Enough snow to groom and even better, enough snow to ski, downhill and cross country. Whew! thought maybe it wouldn’t happen this year. Sure, we had a little rain today to add to the acres of ice we already have. Three crashes yesterday that I know about but no broken bones. One of them was me. I was foolish enough to try walking on ice with an inch of snow on it instead of walking where I knew there was dirt underneath. Momentary lack of focus and boom. It happens so fast you wonder why the snow is falling on your face instead of the top of your hat. One squashed kiwi but the rest of the groceries survived. Anyway, the driveway on the north side of the barn, which does not receive sun at this time of year, would make an ideal skating rink. I didn’t even consider plowing with the truck but instead chose the Ford tractor with chains on all four wheels.
Maggie loves the snow and comes with built in creepers on her paws. But even she is sliding around.
For someone who is not a particularly creative writer, blogging is hard work, easily put off(maybe tomorrow or I’m too tired) and…….stuck again! The best ideas seem to come to me way up in the woods- at least 60 minutes from the nearest keyboard-or in the hot tub- key boards not allowed. And for old bloggers which I am by the time you find a keyboard the ideas are long gone. Then there is the subject of pictures. A picture adds a lot. They say one is worth 1000 words. But by the time I find a picture my text has miraculously disappeared. Start over? Don’t think so. Another attempted blog down the drain. So now I should end this blog, go find a picture if I can get one out of my camera and start over.
October 30 and 7 inches of snow lies on the ground. Some of the new calves have seen snow but most haven’t and it is fun to watch them stick their noses in the white stuff that looks like yogurt but doesn’t smell like it. What is all this stuff that is hiding our food?
Our new tail-wagger, a white shepherd/Samoyed mix from North Carolina, is delighted with the white stuff, having spent the whole summer languishing in the heat. She runs fast and far and then comes back to say, hey, look at me run. I am the fastest runner around. Then she collapses in a snow bank for a nap.
The farm is not caught by surprise. The hay machinery is put away, the plow is handy, the generator works, and the snow blower is almost fixed.
Does any one know why there are so few acorns this year? I hear it happened down south in 2008. No acorns. Why?
Winter has arrived in the north country of NH and even with snow tires and 4-wheel drive I couldnt make it up the hills. Ski areas are making snow like crazy and everyone is digging out their winter sports gear. The cows are unhappy about leaving the shelter of the barn. They don’t like snow on their noses. Herefords are better at foraging than angus. The latter stand around waiting to be fed. Pretty soon it will be time to pull the electric fence.
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