Saturday, January 17, 2015

Cold Again

Up early to make coffee and get the dogs out.  Takes me five minutes to pull on the layers I need.  Everything has to be covered.  Izzy, Rat Terrier, refused to go out the door. The ice and snow is very hard on dog  feet.  A couple of my dogs have tough black leathery paws and they can stay out forever.     I saw a tiny drop of blood on the step.  I bet that was poor little Izzy.  Cooper's paws are especially tender.  He does his business very quickly then I bring him inside.   Minus 15-18 F. here.  Hard to tell with so much frost on the thermometer which is outside the wall of the milk house.  No wind.  We had one day of reasonable temps and it went up to 32 F. inside the barn.  Positively balmy.  Looks like some blue sky today.  I watched snow squalls all day from my classroom window and hoped everything was okay back on the farm.  When I did get home I found I forgot to slide the north side barn door - also called Thor's Door - closed.  The bunny/guard dog area floor was covered with snow.  I'll have to get it out of there before it turns to ice.  Toting buckets of feed and water are tricky enough as it is.  I haven't turned an ankle yet this year and don't want to.  The knee I injured skiing, then was aggravated by Lilly knocking it backward, is giving me fits.  Don't know how I'm going to bend down in the lambing pens when the babies come.      I have a doe expecting bunnies any time. Went out several times to check on her last night.  She has a lovely nest built, but with minus 0 temps the best angora nest might not be enough. I'll have to bring her inside but she will hate that.  Unhappy bunny moms might eat their babies, or ignore them.  Will ponder this dilemma over coffee while staring into the flames where I do my best thinking.  I have an old girl down.  So sad.  She's ancient, at least 13 I think.  I saw her knocked around by the younger sheep and that might have been the straw.  I have her on a bed of hay with a blanket over her in the barn.  Gave her Nutri Drench and watched her black tongue lick it all around her lips.  Most people don't keep their sheep long enough to let them get to this point, but I have several.  Will get spouse to help me take the other old girls out of the group and into a protected area where I can spoil them until the end.  Some sheep hang on forever.  We've been through so much together and I'll miss them. Most sheep only live 8-10 years.  Not long enough.  New blood is on the way, but not now, in this ridiculous cold.  Thankfully.

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