Well, we made it through to the end of 2017 and now it's on to 2018!
The week before Christmas was sunny and delightful if not wintery weather. Highs in the 70's aren't really appropriate for the last half of December but it was appreciated. It was great that the last minute shopping wasn't hindered by horrible rains or snows or freezing temperatures. I loved the snow we had back at the beginning of December and especially appreciated having it separate from any holiday so it could be enjoyed all for itself.
We are making up for all that wonderful December weather with below freezing temperatures all this week. Sunday morning was balmy and we all took that time to get ready for the cold. My husband Ron verified all the pipes and spigots were appropriately protected from the upcoming cold with pipe wrap and when that ran out towels and duct tape. We turned off the irrigation system and shut down both the front and back fountains. I put out 8 bales of hay so all the animals have easy access to shelters well stocked with munchables. I also moved the animals around a bit.
The two pastures usually reserved for horses have shelters with only three sides. That works great for keeping hay dry when it rains and for blocking the north wind but it doesn't offer a lot of protection from our current weather of freezing temperatures and howling winds. I moved Steele up to one of the pastures with a more enclosed shelter. That leaves two shelters and the barn for the llamas, alpaca and goats. I closed some gates and opened others so I can drive the mule up to the top pasture to feed Steele if I don't feel like walking. Yes, I think we are all prepared.
The last couple of years we have gone out to an early dinner on New Year's Eve. Good food served to me makes me happy and we still got home before the crazies came out after dark. This year we just stayed home. The front was blowing in and we didn't know how much rain and/or freezing rain there might be. Turns out we had some mist but no rain, freezing or otherwise. It's probably a mark of our advancing age that we had a great homemade dinner and went to bed early.
It was 29 degrees when I got up yesterday morning. There was a skim of ice on all the water troughs that needed to be broken up but all the animals were fine and frisky. The sun was shining so most of the animals found a nice spot in the sun to graze. The prediction is for freezing temperatures each night this week but warming up to above freezing each day. That makes life easy for me. No need to carry water, I just need to carry a stick to break up the ice when I feed.
This morning they were predicting colder temperatures but it was warmer here - still below freezing but only just barely. We are supposed to have one more night of temperatures below freezing and then it's back to more normal temps. I'm really happy with any temperature if it's sunny. It's the freezing rain that drives me nuts. So far we've had little or no rain, just a bit of mist. I'm happy with that.
I hope you all had a happy holiday season together with family and friends. Hugs and warm thoughts go out to all our friends but especially to those who have lost loved ones this year. May 2018 be a wonderful happy healthy year for all.