It’s official. We’ve had record-breaking snowfall this winter. And winter isn’t over yet. The Valentine’s Day storm brought another foot, plus, of snow, and high winds are making drifts of monster proportions. This was the scene on Sunday morning that my intrepid shoveling men faced.
By the afternoon my son waded out, just to see what it’s like to walk through epic snow.
Steve shoveled. And shoveled. I think that we need a snow blower. Perhaps something like
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This is the path to the Little Barn.
The goats get their paths shoveled, too. I fear that they are now very out of shape (more so than usual!) because there’s not much exercise that one can get when one’s paddock has been reduced to a snow canyon. Goats digest their food in their rumens – and to break down the tough forage, a lot of fermentation goes on, which acts as a natural furnace. To keep them warm I’ve been feeding extra hay. The goats are rather enjoying this winter!
The rabbit has had a path shoveled just for her. I don’t know what we’ll do when it snows again – there’s no place left to toss it.
This morning dawned sunny, but the temp remained at zero. That didn’t stop the hens from coming outside to get scratch grains. The extra carbohydrates will compensate for the calories that they need to burn to stay warm.
The winds, though, are fierce today, and the hens prefer their coops. Lucky for them, I designed them to be sunny, spacious and airy. Inside, the temperature is a comfortable 20° F.
There’s just one thing to do on a day like this. Find a sunny spot and wait for spring.
Wow Terry! I think of you EVERY time I watch the weather report! The snow is massive! Are they worried about flooding? I saw them putting giant piles of snow in trucks and hauling it away…I cannot believe how much there is. I hate to tell you, but I walked the beach on Valentine’s Day in shorts and a t-shirt. Dave said..”Let me take a pic of you to show Terry”…he is so cruel. Of course it is dry as anything out here. Love to you my friend and warmer days!
Tell Dave that warm thoughts are welcome. What’s scary here is that barns are collapsing under the weight of the snow. I just heard about an indoor ring that came down. Luckily, no animals were in it at the time. (Not to worry, Tonka’s barn has a sloping roof that the snow has been sliding off!) As much as I look forward to springtime, I think it’s going to be a muddy one!
I think the snow blower may be the way to go! You can still shovel in certain areas, i guess, but where it’s getting really deep, at least it would throw it at a greater distance than a shovel will. It may not be a bad investment.
Shades of what we went through last winter so we feel your pain. As for snowblower, the snows of last winter led me to trade in the 24″ Toro 2-stager this fall. Traded it for a 30″ 3-cycle Cub Cadet that can throw snow longer distances. It cost more than the Troy-Bilt but it is worth every penny when you’ve hit my age, live alone, on a hill, with a 300+ driveway that develops mega drifts!
I think you should definitely purchase a snow blower. That will guarantee an end to the snow. Several years ago, friends of mine in Newburgh, NY purchased a generator after their electricity had been out for several days. Just as they were getting it hooked up, the power company got the electricity back on and they’ve never had occasion to use it. :-)
I’m somewhat familiar with that. I had a generator installed the year after Hurricane Katrina, which put us without power for 2 1/2 weeks. Each year since, with the exception of one (Hurricane Issac in 2012), there hasn’t even been a close call. If that ‘is’ why, I wish I’d put it in the year before!
We have a generator (built-in, natural gas) after being without electricity for about four days a few winters ago. We bought a snowblower at the same time. The thing about the snowblower is that it spreads the snow around so that with each snow the canyons aren’t that much deeper. That is, no deeper than the 22″ plus 5″ plus 9″ plus 20″ of actual snowfall so far. I shovel the front walk and it’s really tough to lift the snow over the previous piles. My husband now clears the driveway in an hour and a bit, where before it took two of us shoveling eight hours. He gets very cold (Reynaud’s Syndrome) so even with those wonderful hand warmers it’s a worry if he’s out too long.
Six more inches tomorrow on top of the weekend’s twenty inches! My husband is still enjoying it.
I love my John Deere snow blower. I don’t know how I would cope with all this snow without it. FYI, the January Consumer Reports lists four Troy-Bilt snow blowers as Best Buys, and Troy-Bilt and Toro blowers have the lowest repair rates. Cub Cadet snow blowers are also highly rated, but they are more expensive and are not rated Best Buys.
Your driveway is about the size of ours. How long does it take you to clear it?
It depends on the quantity and type of snow. 20 minutes for less than 6 inches of light, fluffy snow. An hour or more for lots of snow and/or heavy wet snow. Deep snow and really heavy snow requires a slower pace and taking less wide “cuts”. My snow blower is over 25 years old so I tend to try to take it slow.
Definitely thumbs up for the snow-blower purchase. Mine has an electric starter (no pulling on a rope in sub-zero temperatures) and tracks instead of tires. Hang in there. Spring is just around the corner–you just can’t see it for the drifts.
I think before spring comes it will be mud season.
I’d say go get a snow blower. There is a risk of heart attack from shoveling snow, especially for men. I can see some appeal. The few times I’ve shoveled, I found it refreshing, except for the sight of dirty snow and dead leaves turned up onto the fresh new snow.
And at some point, I think I’d just put on a pair of snow shoes and forget about shoveling! ;^)
I’d go with the snowshoes, too, but one has to open barn doors, and haul water, etc…
Wow that’s impressive snow!!! Do you fear that it could cave in on the bunny? We have been in the single digits for days now. I noticed our roosters’ waddles have partially turned black, so I brought them into the shed to live until this passes. My hens are laying like it’s summer, why I don’t know. Take care!
Mine are laying, too, and the horse is shedding. It has nothing to do with the weather, and all to do with daylight hours.
I have never seen snow like that before. I really feel for you. The U.K. just wouldn’t cope. I am glad to see you are all okay and coping so well.
There is something invigorating about thriving in adversity.
Fantastic pics as usual. Hope you don’t get to much more snow, you need a slight thaw (not all at once) or everyone will be swimming!!! We have had rain all day, four girls were happy dust bathing under covered area, but two went out to forage rain or not then came back and had a dust bath looked like they had been mud wrestling what a sight!! wish I could have sent a pic very funny. Thinking of you, keep safe.
Funny! That the sort of thing a Polish would do.
We used a TB snow blower for years, but now have a bigger more powerful one. Ariens 921 series Sno Thro. We bought it at a farm equipment store, where we have purchased our big, heavy equipment. It cost more, but is more industrial. I have to clear a steep, looong drive and it is both dangerous and difficult, and this Ariens has served me well. If your paths are level the TB might suffice, though. There are chronic problems with the new eco fuels and carburators clogging. One thing you guys have to know is that when the snow is above the height of the thrower (in your case, lol) you have to have someone go in front and push down snow across a cleared path, then use the SB on THAT snow, repeat repeat repeat. It’s still easier than shovelling though. If you have stone paths (uneven) you can just have the tines adjusted a bit higher.
Good advice. Complicated machines, for sure.
Snow blower…..yes……auger type. We had abig one in Michigan. Then we came to our senses and moved to the Smoky Mountains. We kept the snowblower for years. Finally hauled it off to the dump. We do get snow but not like what they get in the higher elevations. The trouble here is everything goes uphill so even a little ice or snow can be bad. We are having freezing rain as I speak. Going to get colder with snow over the ice. Love the pics, looks like all holding up well. Except for Steve maybe. Buying the snow blower will surely put an end to all this nonsense!
I’m far more scared of freezing rain than snow. Stay safe.
That looks like the snow blower I’ve been trying to get my husband to buy. He keeps putting it off. Maybe after this winter he will get one….he is 82 and it worries me!
Aren’t you moving south soon?
No, it’s too nice up here the 6 months it isn’t winter! :)
Scooter is not so dumb, is he?
He knows what he needs to know.
Terry I know you have a lot to worry about at the moment, but have you noticed Opal’s bottom is she okay?? Tell Steve you need a bigger area shovelled that might persuade him, could the boys not help with some trade off if they help with chores?
She’s fine. Typical messy-bottomed cochin. It’s hard to groom and preen in this weather, and before the manure can fall off it freezes on her soft feather. Not a winter-hardy breed.
Carol is right – England would grind to a halt with a tenth of your snowfall! It looks pretty (from a distance but it must be bitterly cold and very hard to carry on with anything like a normal routine. Hats off to you all!!
Oh, do keep the hats on. It’s bitter cold with a bare head :)
Oh, oh Terry……practice what you preach……you’re out there in the path with no hat on! :)
It was a toasty 10 degrees :)
winter has been challenging in new england
this year, but i still wouldnt live anywhere else
Looks to me like almost all “votes” are for a snow blower. No wonder animals hibernate!
I say we ignore it all and sit with Scooter by the fire :)
I have to learn how to take a screen shot, because I missed saving the most beautiful picture of Twiggy out pecking around in the snow last evening at sunset. White hen, white snow, red comb, just the right lighting—would have made a lovely greeting card.
Get the snow blower.
On a Mac you hold down the Command and Shift Keys and press the pound sign # (or hashtag if you prefer).
She is stunning in the snow.
Do you worry the goats will be able to step over their fence? Out here last year the horses were stepping over the fencing with all the snow drifts we had.
FYI, I love my snow blower, can’t imagine a winter with out it
If the snow was heavy, I would worry about them escaping, but it’s so loose that they’d just fall in and disappear!
Seeing these photos remember Candy, she would like a lot.
I was thinking the same thing.
Terry, do you wanna build a snowman? ;) or an igloo? Your mountains of snow are unbelievable…hang in there!
This is fine and light snow – not good for snowman making. It’s also too deep to even start :)
We had about a quarter of an inch of snow, the most we’ve had since Feb 2013. I’ve never experienced snow deeper than a foot. I would imagine our cats would deal with it like Scooter :-)))
I imagine those fine felines would!
Yes, you definitely need a snow blower! It’s just dangerous to shovel that much snow. I’ve known of too many people who have lost their lives due to heart attacks while shoveling. Just do it. :-)
I checked in on your hens early this morning and they were all dust bathing in the corner under the perch!
I’d go for the snow blower because as soon as you buy it, the snow will stop!
May stop, but would be back next year!!
Terry, is there a way I can send you photographs of our coop and run setup? We’re in southern VT, and while we haven’t had as much snow as you, we’ve still had over 3 ft. My husband built our arrangement last year – a coop whose roof extended over an entire fenced enclosure. We quickly realized the blowing snow would fill in from the sides, so we screwed old sheets of metal roofing around the bottom to keep the snow out. This fall, the enclosure was expanded, and the sides covered in barnboard up to about 3 ft, then hardware cloth. So the chickens have a covered outdoor area (dirt ‘floor; scattered with hay so they can scratch and bathe) that never needs shoveling. It’s been a godsend for us and for the chickens. Hard to describe, so photos might help. It would make so much sense for you and your birds. Also: snowblower? Yes!
You can send the photos to me via email. Simply click on the little rectangle at the bottom of this page that says “contact Terry” – that sends you right through to my email address.
Wow, what are you going to do with all the runoff in the spring?? That snow is incredible. I can’t believe you’re getting so much. Scary about the barns collapsing. 2 years ago out here a number of barns collapsed from the weight of the snow on the roofs. It was a bit frightening. Hope you don’t get any more snow!!
Oh, and forgot to mention- snowblower is a MUST!!!
Terrible news about the train carrying crude oil in West Virginia makes snow and rain seem trivial even though its hard work. Had a thought if all watchers from around the world collectively send a coffee there would be money for a snow blower and maintenance ( good idea? ) Will admit I do not do electronic money, but have sent mine by snail mail. The cams and blogs bring me hours of entertainment, well worth every dollar. Keep up the good work.
Also Spring must be around the corner here, not only crocus and snowdrops out, but 4 big clumps of frog spawn in pond !!!
Jan, I so appreciated your contribution to what I do here at HenCam. It costs a couple of thousand of dollars yearly to keep the cams and this website up and running. I couldn’t do it without people like you.
Has it arrived already??
Thanks for sharing! I enjoy checking in on your HenCam.
Yes, I agree! A snowblower is a God send!! :)
Keep warm!! 30 days till Spring! YAY!!
So crazy to watch and see the crazy amounts of snow you have received! On the news this morning they are talking about how we have broken 5 records of warm weather already this year here in Washington. I feel for you! I say get the snowblower-why not make things easier!
I have to admit that after last winter (record cold and snowfall), we bought a used kubota tractor with a backhoe, loader and a snowblower attachment. With our 18 acres and the goal of restoring the native forest to the parts that were used for agriculture, it has come in sooooooo handy! We are most pleased with our purchase in the winter after a big storm!
If Steve does not think he needs a snow blower, give it to him for Christmas. And tell him his gift to you is increasing the chances you two will have each other for many more years.
Will this heavy snow have a negative effect on the pond & the big fish?
Hopefully not. The pump is working, the water is circulating. If anything, the snow provides insulation from a deep freeze.