As I’m sure many of you have heard (or are, perhaps, experiencing), the east coast is taking a beating from a gnarly storm. The coast received the worst of the snow fall yesterday; we only had a dusting by our standards, around 2-3 inches.
The current threat is the brutal, arctic winds sweeping in. We are under yet another wind chill warning today and tomorrow. Winds are expected to gust up to 40 mph with wind chills as low as -45º F. That’s a cold not to be messed with. Everyone up here knows that, in those kinds of temps, you keep your outside time to 10 minutes or so, and expose as little skin as possible.
But we’re all tucked in safely for the evening. The sheep are closed in the barn with layers of bedding straw to burrow in and lots of green, 2nd cut hay to munch on to keep their bodies warm (the 4″ of fleece they are sporting certainly doesn’t hurt), and a water heater to keep their drinking water warm and available. Ditto for the hens and ducks, who have the added comfort of heat lamps in their coops.
We also do what we can for the local wildlife. The bird feeders are constantly refilled (especially with our visiting flock of turkeys hitting them hard on a daily basis). I toss seed and lettuce under the back stoop for the rabbits that come looking for food in the early dawn. We’re providing food, heated water, and shelter for a feral cat in the sheep run-in. I’m also going to pick up some bags of feed corn and put it out near the wood line as supplement for the deer this weekend. I’m judging from their forays into the backyard over the past couple of weeks (and the eating of 2 of my young cedars) that food became scarce in the woods much earlier than usual this winter. Generally we don’t see them that close to the house until late January/early February.
Inside, the wood stove is blazing, and the dogs are comfortably basking in the heat. Hermione, our rescued deer mouse, is running around the house in her plastic ball. I’m cooking up some martini chicken with steamed rice, sipping some wine, and feeling grateful for the warm house, good food, and safety and comfort of my life with Nora and our many animals. My thoughts go out to those not so fortunate souls who are homeless and/or hungry on this very cold evening. Stay safe and stay warm everyone!