Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back In Maine

I made it back home from my trip to visit my mom in Florida. It took a bit of work and time but Delta came through.  The Nor'easter after Sandy gave the mid-Atlantic states another wallop.  LaGuardia was again at a snails pace.  I got into Bangor at 2:30am. I called into work from LaGuardia.  No sleep and ICU just aren't a good combination.  The weather change was a bit of a shocker.  Ted brought my jacket to the airport so I survived. 
The weather has definitely took a turn for the colder here.  I found this Woolly all curled up and barely moving. The grass has started to freeze nightly and the ground is beginning to get hard.
Poor little guy. It is kind of sad but they will be back with a vengeance next fall letting us know whether our winter will be aggressive or light.  This year they were everywhere.  They were making mad dashes, for a caterpillar that is, across the roads this fall.  So I guess we know what to expect. Heavy snows and cold temps. Yehaw!  I will explain the yehaw in a later post.
The big change for the animals is Frozen Water Bowls. Not good. 
Even the troughs have a thick layer of ice every morning.
We now have the seasonal event of adding the heaters to the tanks. Yes, the electric meter begins to whirl.   Even Emma and Lucy's dog bowl has a heater.  The barn cats have to get fresh water too.  It was kind of fun removing the ice sheet and breaking it up.  Okay, I still have a bit of kid in me. I'm weird too, I take pictures of it. 
We bought heavy duty extension cords because our breakers kept tripping and going off last winter.  We learned that the snow would hit the connector where the extension cord plugged into the heater and trip the breaker. Last winter we covered the connections with electrical tape.  It worked somewhat.  There were still a couple of mornings the troughs were frozen.  Well there is a very special fix for this. 
Yep, liquid tape.  It can be found in the electrical department, of course, and comes in different colors.  We painted the connections with the tape and it dries quickly.  It smells like the old airplane glue from my childhood.  You know the glue that were weren't suppose to use in small spaces because it gave you a wicked headache and kind of woozy. 
We couldn't leave the cords on the ground.  The goats would have a fun time pulling them apart and getting all wrapped up. That is just what goats do. It's in their nature.
Then we ran the cords across the top of the fence and secured with zip ties.  Only time will tell if this system works. We will find out during a good snowy Nor'easter.  That is just the way life is. It will never happen when the weather is sunny and dry.
We plan on running electric and water hydrants to the troughs in the future.  You know, the future when we have the money to rehab the barn and do these improvements that will make life easier.
Emma and Lucy seem to absolutely love the cold weather.  They spend their days wrestling and running around the yard. Then inside to sleep in the rays of sunshine in front of the nice warm wood stove.
Winter is coming. No, winter is here. A sense of expectation is in the air. That and a hint of wood smoke.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Tombstone Livestock said...

I bought several galvanized water troughs from someone that had removed the plug in the bottom and replaced with short piece of pipe to water both sides of fence. I wonder if you did that would your heaters keep water warm enough to only use one heater ... I know no matter where you run your electrical cords goats will find them, my goats broke joint in plastic electrical conduit and now lights on my gate don't work, lol.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i really wonder what our weather is going to be like this winter. last winter was so mild. now we are stuck in endless 50+ degree days and 30+ degree nights. i want snow!

Rian said...

Gosh, it looks cold over there. I love Maine, but really wonder if I could survive a winter.

Your woolly caterpillar is cute... and certainly has a nice woolly coat.

Mary said...

Ah.. Maine in November. I remember it well. My husband and i live in Oregon now, but our families still live in Maine. Mine in Pittsfield where i grew up, and his in Dover-Foxcroft! :) It's a wonderful place every season, but the winters aren't exactly... easy. I love your blog here and will visit often!

Peggy said...

We are having cold winds today but am sure I will have to live my cold, snowy, winter through Mainely Ewes Farm. Here's hoping you have a great one! LOL

Peggy said...

Oh, we hung box fans on the gates and inside the milking stall to help the goats with the summer heat and humidity... Robby the buck chewed and pulled on the cord (gate one) until he got it unplugged and hanging down. The dogs finished chewing the cord off and played keep away with it. We had it secured up high we thought. LOL

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Glad you're home safely and wise decision to not go into work. LAG is a nightmare; I HATE going through that airport and don't, whenever possible.

Dog Trot Farm said...

Glad to read that you have arrived home safe and sound. Winter on a farm requires lots of time and effort, but oh so worth it. Wishing you and your's a Happy Thanksgiving, greetings, Julie.

Marigold said...

I'm so glad you didn't get lost in Florida. Now then, are you accusing us goats of causing trouble? I mean, really. Doesn't simply everyone get wrapped up in brightly colored cords? Don't your fingers just itch to take them apart? I ask you, would life be any fun if one weren't inclined to do such things? :)

Ruth Dixon said...

Well, Maine and Oregon have something in common. We have Woolies or Woolie Bears as I call 'em, too! I haven't seen a lot of them this year, but most all of them have been in the last week. Stay warm, sometimes I get tired of all the rain, but I don't want ice either.

Kelly said...

Tombstone- Our tanks don't have plugs. They are cheap rubber ones from Tractor Supply. We have to be able to dump them and scrub them out. See what I get for getting cheap? LOL

Jaz- Wishing snow your way. I'm hoping there will be enough to go around for everyone to have what they desire. I want a load of snow this year.

Rain- It is cold and I love it. Summer is a blessing and we work our butts off. Winter is a slower pace, warm and fuzzy on the inside.

Mary- I am a Florida transplant to Maine and I love it here. I love the hilly area of Pittsfield and our vet is in Dover-Foxcroft. I would love to visit Oregon. Thanks for visiting.

Peggy- You have my mountains and music. I will send some snow your way to make it perfection. I love goats and they love to make me try to figure ways to keep them out of trouble.

Thistle Cove- I agree whole heartedly. I will rethink my plans in the future. Sometimes it is cheaper. Cheaper is good. LOL

Julie- I love seeing my mom and wish she would visit here more. Florida hold no warm fuzzies for me. Im glad to be home.

Marigold- YES goats cause trouble, you know exactly what I mean. I really don't think you guys can help it.

Ruth- I have always heard that Wooly Bears are used to predict the winter. If they are plentifly then there will be a long cold winter. They were out in hoards this fall. I tried to miss them on the road when I was driving. If a cop had been behind me he would have pulled me over for DUI.