Monday, March 6, 2017

Surviving the winter of 2017

The evening of Christmas Day the wind hit and it started snowing hard.  We lost electricity about 6 PM.  The temperature hovered around 7* degrees above zero.  But wind blew at times about 70 miles an hour, so wind chills were horrendous.  By morning the wind calmed a bit , but still in that 30 MPH.
Got the tractor started with lots of ether.  Normally the engine heater kicks on at 4 AM, but no electricity.

We got everything fed that morning and got the generator going.  It is a small one and we only charge one refrigerator or deep freeze at a time.   So we keep alternating appliances.  Marshall and CJ amd Lily moved in with us because we didn't have a generator for their trailer house.  With all the cisterns at the deep well we get gravity flow water, so that helps a bad situation.

After the third day with no water we come up with a plan to water the cows.  Marshall took the chain saw and cut a hole in the ice.  We had the generator and a sump pump and a water tank.  The sump pump filled the tank in a hurry as it pumps like 20 gallons a minute.   We chased the cows to the water.  The water was of such bad quality that nothing drank.  They would rather lick snow.

Finally got electricity back on late Thursday.  So we were out of electricity for part of five days.  The veterinary came to ultrasound the ewes so we could sort off the early lambers.

The weather stayed so cold most of the month of January that we fed a lot of hay.  Normal winters when there is grazing I feed 3 to 4 bales.  Most days I was feeding 10 bales of hay.  There was snow everywhere so the grazing was all under snow.  I had to feed everything they ate.

Our diveway to the county road is 3 miles.  I would open the road maybe twice a week.  Sometimes it would stay open for three or four days before it blew shut again.  Several times when we would go to town for groceries and supplies, by the time we make it home the wind would come up and we would barely make it home.

We hauled bales from the other place to here because we were feeding so much we would run out before spring.  That was an iffy project because of road conditions.

By mid February the weather finally broke enough that the snow melted away,   There was very little run-off.  Either the ground was dry enough to soak up the water or the snow was so dry there was no moisture in it.

Yesterday Mar 5 it was 70 degrees by noon.  Today it is 29 degrees with a 50 MPH wind.  Gusts are predicted to be 70 MPH.

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