Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Snow’ Category

Hooves on Ice

I don’t know if we are doing this right.  I’d love some advice!!  By, Sunday afternoon, our snow turned to snow under ice as freezing rain covered the homestead.  Literally, everything was / is covered in a sheet of ice.

January 2017

While the goats don’t seem to mind rain or snow, ice is a different story.  Our goats are Spanish Heritage Meat Goats…they are large, about 100 – 120 pounds.   Imagine being a goat….walking around in life on high heels….their hooves remind me of heels.  What a weird design hooves are….anyway…..here you are, walking around on an icy surface in heels.  It would be a bit precarious, at best.  Remember, Bambi??

Call it experience, intelligence, or instinct……the goats do not venture out of their barn when they sense the ground is slippery and icy.  As the ice became a bit more brittle later in the day, they did eventually venture out.  I feel badly for them because they just stood around getting really wet from the rain that pooled on top of the icy covered snow.  I have to wonder if we should have done something different for them.  Should we have closed them in for the day?  Is it okay that they just stand out there and get thoroughly wet?

January 2017

They do have a thick, winter coat on….it does repel water and snow away from their skin, but will it eventually get saturated?

January 2017

Will they be chilled throughout the night?  Any suggestions or shareable insight out there??  I hope they were comfortable through the night.

The goats bedding is dry and very thick

The goats’ bedding is dry and very thick

The chickens seem to have more sense.  On days like yesterday, they stay in their house, or on their covered porch.  Ice and snow are not their things, and they know it.  Unfortunately, I did not build their chicken cabana, as in winters past this year.  I blame it on a certain puppy.

January 2017

Sometime in the very early hours of Monday morning, snow started to fall again.  These were big, chunky, fat flakes….they were the type that would land on the dog….and stay on the dog…haha!

January 2017

Quickly, our footprints were filled in by the fluff, and quickly the new fallen snow started turning into slush within the well defined grooves of tire tracks…..

January 2017

…..and footprints.

January 2017

As of Monday afternoon, the pond was still frozen, there was copious amounts of snow still to melt, and beautiful pictures yet to be taken.  It is so strange to be covered in frozen for this long….imagine doing this for a three, four, or even five month stretch.  Guess what??  There is more snow in the forecast tonight, and tomorrow.  Am I dreaming of spring….not yet.  I think I would like to take in the beauty of it all for just awhile longer.

January 2017

Thank you for visiting our frozen homestead today.  May you have a wonderful, tenth of January.

Your friend from Oregon,


First Snow of 2016

I wasn’t sure it would happen this year, but in the last month of the year, Jack Frost decided to visit the Pacific Northwest and allowed a bit of Christmas cheer to fall from the skies.  It was beautiful….and still is as the frozen white lingers upon the grounds of the homestead.

This morning, the same as yesterday….the small finches that we are fortunate to share this forest with, are visiting the snow covered brick patio that we have scattered with wild bird seed.  It is beautiful to watch them dance from the trees, to the patio, into the barn…..scittering to and fro.  It makes my heart so happy!!

December 2016

Mine is not the only heart who gets happy watching the little birds…..

December 2016

…..his does too!!  Hahaha

There were two, “firsts,” with this snow…..his first……

December 2016

……and her first……

December 2016

…..paws in the snow.  They loved it, as I thought they would.  Penni has always loved the snow!

December 2016

Following the snow, came the freezing rain, and everything turned to ice.  We lost power for several hours, and it became very quaint and cozy with the wood stove providing our heat, light, and coffee!!

December 2016

December 2016

At least when there is snow, ice, and 30 degree temperatures outside one doesn’t have to worry about the perishables within the fridge…..haha

December 2016

The cold does create some beautiful, natural ice sculptures…..

December 2016

December 2016

….but I am thankful when the ice turns to slush, and the roads aren’t so scary to drive on.

Merry Christmas!!  I hope your day is filled with joy and beauty.  I think our weather is headed to the east of us, so be careful out there!!

Thank you for visiting today.


First Snow 2016

It’s always an exciting event when the first snow…or any snow for that matter….falls.  In it’s silent descent, the beauty unveils itself with a crisp, exoteric whiteness not often duplicated.  Like a gift, gently unwrapped under the Christmas tree.  It is calming, and gives one permission to settle in, and linger….just a bit longer.


On the other hand….snow, the kind of snow we get is FUN…but we don’t live in it for months on end.  When it snows, it is an event for a few days…it may or may not snow again during that particular winter….but then again…..it might!!


This is the goats first experience with snow.  They sniffed it, they tasted it….


…they ran into their house…then back out.   The funny thing about snow….you don’t feel the wetness on your thick, curly, fur coat until it starts to soak in….I think.  So, they stand outside as the flakes fall and accumulate on their tops…they don’t seem to have the sense that they need to go in out of the “rain.”  Funny goats.


The flock is more seasoned and are keeping their feet warm by staying under cover…except for this one adventurer.




It’s a lovely day in the Pacific Northwest!  Thank you for visiting the farm today.  More of the fluffy white stuff is still in the forecast for this afternoon!  Happy New Year to you all!!

#Have-a-Dane Hill Danes



Water, Water, Everywhere Water

The past 3 – 4 weeks have been testament to one of the draws the Pacific Northwest has had on me for many years. I like rain, I like wind, I like temperatures that drop , and drop, and drop. I like snow that lasts a few days and then magically disappears. I like that there are distinct seasons, and most of the year, (with the exception of July – Sept.) you can either expect it to rain, or accept that it may rain. Did I say I liked the rain?? BTW, I won’t say anything about the summers and the incredibly blue Oregon sky….that’s a secret…shhhhhhh!!

A tree stump overtaken by the water running into the pond.

A tree stump overtaken by the water running into the pond.

January was an inordinately dry month for most of Oregon…then February hit and the flood gates opened up…well snow first, then rain. Thankfully, actual flooding has been at a minimum, but the rivers, creeks, drainage areas, etc. are rushing to get to the Willamette River, to eventually get to the Columbia River, all in an effort to get to the ocean. We have a year round creek, pond, and seasonal creek from the pond run-off…they are currently really, REALLY running hard. I put together a little video of the rushing waters on our property…I was explaining things for Tony as he was out of town yesterday, so please forgive the narrative.

Unfortunately, my friends and family back in the SF Bay Area, and California in general, are suffering through a huge drought. Having lived most of my life in the Bay Area, living with drought conditions is part of the package. This year, however, is really severe. I’m praying for you all, and hoping that your spring time will be full of rain days. Also, the fire season is going to be really scary, big PRAYERS that His hand will protect you all.

How Did They Do It???

Just about 2 feet of snow!

Just about 2 feet of snow!

Our neighbors horses...so gorgeous!!!

Our neighbors horses…so gorgeous!!!

How did they do it?? As I try to navigate my world in the midst of a three day snow storm I am amazed at how unprepared I feel. Albeit, I lack in the true snow boot arena, I have mud jumpers that do the trick in keeping my feet dry (for the most part)…since my snow pants (I think I have snow pants) are still packed away somewhere within our shop, double layers of pants seem to keep me warm enough for about a half an hour, although soaked through…then there’s the waterproof jacket and gloves….I’ve got some stuff, but definitely not enough. Trudging through two feet of pant soaking, ice accumulating, leg freezing snow, the warmth of a nice warm fire was all I could think about….well, that and sledding down on of our hills obviously adding to my already frozen appendages. But I have to think….”How in the world did the pioneers….those who crossed the great divide, climbed the Cascade Mountain Range to land in the Willamette Valley of Oregon…how did they make it without the warmth and waterproofing necessary to sustain life this day and age. Would we be able to survive as our ancestors did? How did they survive?” I guess many did not (remember the Donner Party), but somehow, most did!

How did they do it??!!

How did they do it??!!

My San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley, sun 90% of the year upbringing and adulthood is a far cry from the winters of the Pacific Northwest. There is much I have to learn about preparing for weather that can turn on a dime…what’s that saying up here?…”If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes…” On Thursday morning, this was so true!! Within 15 minutes of my walking out the door for work, we went from a few clouds, cold, brisk, refreshingly clean air, to major clouds, “It’s starting to snow”…”We’re in a blizzard (well almost)”…”It’s snowing for 3 days”… “We’ve got 2 feet of snow”…to the beginnings of freezing rain…and if it warms 15 more degrees (which is actually predicted) we may have flooding due to a fast melt of all the snow!!! Holy guacamole!!!!! I am not in Kansas…or in my case, California, anymore!! But I am so happy to be here!!

How are the adult and young flocks doing in all this cold……update coming soon!! In the meantime, here’s a friendly, Claudio, hello!!

Claudio wondering, "What the heck is all that cold, white, icy stuff!"

Claudio wondering, “What the heck is all that cold, white, icy stuff!”

OMGosh…It’s Cold out There!

Well…I’ve had to cut my posts from one loooonnnnnnggggg post to two shorter. Keep an eye out for my next post….!

I think that almost the entire country has been in consistently dropping temperatures.

At 7:00 this morning, our outside temp was 3 degrees…3 DEGREES!! The welfare of my chickens has been a huge concern. I’m just short of inviting the flock into the house…..well….maybe not that far, but the garage stays in the back of my mind. Though their house is really wonderful, it is not insulated, and the roofing is metal sheeting. Without help, their inside water would surely freeze…actually it did. This freaked me out!! I felt like such a hugely awful chicken mama, but it threw me into action. I started with rigging up one 250 watt heat lamp, and a heated water bowl…since there is no power to the house, I hooked up power with long, yellow, construction power cords. A week and a half ago, this worked fine…this past week it fell way short. Implementing a cord splitter, heat lamp #2 was employed. The temp dropped again…we moved the heated, outside water dish inside. This seemed to work well for the teen temperatures…but last night we were going to be dropping into the single digits. So, in the dark, in temps of about 13 degrees…Tony and I were out at the chicken house lowering the heat lamps to more directly provide heat to the chicken roosting / nesting areas instead of the general house. With this, and a generous supply of cracked corn, everybody survived the night. Give me a break now….I’m used to animals living INSIDE the house…these girls and guy are my first out-of-the-house experience, and with these kind of temperatures….let’s just say it was a glorious 6:30 a.m. moment when I heard Benedict crowing!!

It's cold out there!

It’s cold out there!

Heat lamps add warmth.

Heat lamps add warmth.

Heated water bowl was a necessary addition.

Heated water bowl was a necessary addition.

Coaxing them in with cracked corn so I can shut the chicken door.

Coaxing them in with cracked corn so I can shut the chicken door.

Claudio the hogging the heat.

Claudio the hogging the heat.

At least they look warm and toasty.

At least they look warm and toasty.

The cabana has been a really great addition, and the flock has spent a lot of time out there. Tony picked up a couple of straw bundles, and spread some of it on the floor of the cabana. That was a hugely great idea as the chickens are not liking foraging around the snow very much. They actively kick around the straw and look for the chicken scratch we’ve thrown out in it, and little bugs that may be hiding.

A big pile of straw to play in.

A big pile of straw to play in.

The more extreme cold is supposed to last a few more days, I think we’ve got it covered….maybe…wait until the next post, big news on the farm!!

Rooster tracks in the snow.

Rooster tracks in the snow.

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