Wintery Mix Protocol
"Wintery Mix" is a horrible thing. It is a mix of wetness that falls from the sky at or about 32 degrees so it includes rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain, etc. It's that really cold wetness that seems OK while it's falling but immediately turns bridges and overpasses into skating rinks.
We had a full day of wintery mix yesterday. It started before I got up. There was already enough ice on the back deck to be treacherous when I walked out into the living room first thing. And wintery mix is sneaky in addition to being treacherous. It turns happily to ice in some spots but stays wet and watery in others.
In this situation there is a protocol. For myself, it includes silk long johns, a long sleeved silk undershirt, some sort of turtleneck and at least one sweater. And of course, gloves, a hat and a warm jacket. Also usually staying on the property rather than skating on the roads.
For the animals, the protocol includes hay, hay and lots of hay. All the animals have shelters they can get into regardless of the weather. They have a place to get out of the rain, get out of the wind and for now get out of the cold. You also have to check what's coming. We had the wintery mix yesterday but it got really cold last night. The precipitation stopped by middle of the afternoon and then the clouds moved off so the night was clear. It was 18 degrees when I got up this morning. All the water troughs had at least an inch of ice on them. Knowing the cold was coming I put all the goats in the barn yesterday morning. They were nice and dry through all the wintery mix and protected from the cold last night. This morning they were tickled to be out in the sun!
So the animals and I both stayed warm and protected. The llamas wandered out into the wintery mix as they chose but always came back into the barn to dry off and warm up. All the animals have four legs and were out in the pasture so as far as I know they were immune from slipping on the ice. On the other hand, I was not. I took a tumble down the side stairs of the studio this afternoon. Nothing injured except my pride since I landed on the softest part of me - my derriere. I spent the next 30 minutes making sure those steps weren't slippery any more.