An update from our friends Nancy & Alan at Lewis Waite Farm, where your “extras” are from:
Snowing again! Sure looks lovely but sure makes
everything take longer. Getting the snowshoes out!
The cold snap from the North Pole seems to be ending slowly. It seems that the temperature in January never went much above 33 degrees ever. We certainly have become somewhat acclimated to the cold although no matter how we dress our feet and hands begin to get cold way before anything else. Dressing each morning is a thoughtful process. First you check the temperature and then look to the branches of the trees to see if the wind is blowing. I generally wear 4 layers of sweater, turtleneck, silk undershirt, camisole or t shirt on top and long johns, insulated pants and ski socks on my legs. If it is really cold like this week or we have a lot of freezer work to do, I put on my quilted lined bib overalls and make sure my sweater and socks are made of alpaca! Then, it is a mid length quilted lined jacket, my shearling sheepskin hat in cold weather and a wool or fleece hat when it gets warmer. Even though my gloves are leather with fleece lining, the wind seems to get through them when it is feeling fierce. The lined “snowmobile style” boots can be nice and warm some days – but if a bit damp from a previous outing, they can get cold quickly. So we all go outdoors each day looking like plush teddy bears, stuffed to a nice plump size. Sometimes all the bending and reaching you do during chores can be restricted by the amount of fabric!
You all must be diligent in dressing as well with the long walks you must take some days. We don’t have the wind tunnel effects for any distance like you must between buildings. We have a spot by the barn where the wind devils spin in mini tornadoes and whip up the snow into a drift in no time. Living here on the hillside (thank goodness we are not perched on the top!) is drift city some days. We have so many places to walk when doing chores we do not bother with shoveling paths. As long as you are “suited up” for the snow it only takes a couple days to get a nice path packed down just by walking it over and over. The wind can bury the paths pretty quickly but you just get to plow through the snow and start the path again. Putting your pant leg over your boot tops really helps to keep the snow out. In this cold season the snow has been just gloriously fluffy and sparkly in the sun and the moonlight. Running through it you can kick up a snow spray. Great Fun.
We may be only ones who really enjoy the depth this year. The animals don’t go too far off their own beaten paths. I tried to take the pigs for a walk one day on my snowshoes. I thought the nice path they make would open up some new territory for them besides just the path from the barn to the shed where they eat in the winter. Only three of them got about 75 feet from the shed up to their bellies in the snow and then one hooted/barked and turned around and ran back to the shed – too cold I guess.
Stay warm and dry, February is almost here and the sun is out longer each day. Enjoy the snow while it’s here, we don’t usually get this much. Spring will come!
Take care, Nancy & Alan