Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby, it's COLD outside!

Last January we were without power for three weeks due to the epic Southern ice storm and hundreds of downed power lines in our county alone; this year our teeth are chattering. What gives? This is Arkansas; northernmost Arkansas, but still…

It’s 2 p.m. as I write this and 17 degrees F. out there with howling wind that drops the wind chill to -2. Area meteorologists are calling for wind chills of -16 tonight and a daytime temp tomorrow of 7 degrees!

Most of our animals dine outdoors, so we’ve moved their feed to more sheltered areas and the ones we can feed inside are inside. I’m carrying multiple buckets of steaming hot water three times a day, pouring it over ice frozen in their buckets.

Fortunately we still have the warm winter outerwear and water tank heaters that we needed to cope with life in Minnesota. But we were set up for blistering cold when we lived near Pine City and we sure aren’t here. It makes a difference. We’ve become Southern Sallies since moving down South!

The animals seem to be taking the cold in stride but I worry about them just the same. We kept horses and donkeys in Minnesota, not floppy-eared Boer and Nubian goats and a water buffalo.

Even the sheep are huddling inside their Port-a-Huts (we returned Rumbler—pictured above—and Ursula to their respective quarters yesterday morning before the big chill moved in). The only one who stood by his outdoor hay rack, despite the fact I’d already given the boys bagged alfalfa inside their Port-a-Hut and pitched long-stem grass hay to the back, this morning was—Mopple! When I filled it, Edmund tiptoed out, hesitated a heartbeat with his ears flying in the gale, looked at the snow, and then he scampered back to bagged hay in the Hut. Mopple tucked in to the hay in the rack. He’s one tough little sheep!

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