The snow that fell earlier this week meant different things for all the residents of our farm.
The chickens disapproved of it. Two days in a row, when we opened the door to one of our youngest layers’ coops, a hen went flapping out into the world, and landed like a comet in the powder. Each time, the hen just sat there by herself, in the nest-like depression of snow. After checking out the situation for some time, she took flight again and went right back into the coop without touching the snow again. The other hens, who have lived through previous winters, perched on their door to to take in the sights, but they didn’t venture farther than that.
The children approved of the storm because it meant two snow days in a row. They did their chores in broad daylight, which was a refreshing change during these short days. There was a bit of snowball fighting, and of course we had some “snow” for dessert (which is fresh snow with cream, sugar and vanilla extract mixed in).
I am not sure if I understand the dogs’ reaction. As snow fell thickly Monday night, our most dedicated guard dog, Sassy, slept soundly in the chicken coop. I never can pet her for an extended period of time after dark because she’s working so hard, but this week was different. Apparently guard dogs get snow days just like children. However, the lovely blanket of snow soon brought out snowmobiles. We’re on a major snowmobile path. (There are miniature “yield” signs on each side of our driveway, and the path stretches along our ditch and also across the corn field to our south.) Sassy has been working overtime barking at all the snowmobiles that roar across the fields after dark. I thought this was upsetting to her, but my 11-year-old disagrees. He thinks she feels satisfied that she’s always able to scare those snowmobiles away from our property. The snowmobilers continue on blissfully unaware that they have been chased off by our dogs.
For Ian, snow means tractor work and staying in the cities one night to avoid a treacherous drive. As soon as he was back home, he was on the new International, clearing paths to all the coops. I know the chickens appreciated his efforts.
Ian’s mother, bless her heart, had a sleepover here and kept us company while Ian stayed in the cities. It was a wonderful gift to us as she helped big kids with homework and played Legos with the little one.
I loved the storm. After a terrifying drive home from town, I just stayed put. Leaving the grocery store Monday late morning, things looked fine while I was still surrounded by stores and signs. As soon as I got into the country, all I could see was white. Thank heavens they put some bumps in the asphalt to warn cars that are heading into the ditch. We wouldn’t have made it home without them. Once that scary part was done, I loved breathing in the scent of new snow, and trudging through the new accumulation feeling like I was getting acquainted with the storm. Something in my heart brightens when there’s a fresh blanket of snow on the fields, like I too can hold the light and sparkle.