More Snow Today

I’ve been outside and it sure is pretty! This is our firewood pile.  To the right of the picture you can see part of a tarp which covers a tree cut up into lengths, but not yet split. Our front porch is also covered with firewood.   Our firewood pile grew by leaps and bounds Christmas Eve morning, right after Santa gave CG his Christmas present early…a new Husqvarna Chainsaw!  No more cutting wood with a broken chainsaw, or our other “new” chainsaw that was 30 years old!"snow in va, wood pile, oak firewood"

This next tarp is covering a months worth of hay that was delivered on Friday.  We go through 800 pounds of hay every week for our 5 horses and 9 goats.  Luckily, we found a really great hay farmer that sells these to us for a great price and delivers too!  And, it’s really nice, really clean, barn-kept  hay.  This is one of those things that has really made my life a lot easier….not having to scourge the country side every week or two for hay.  Now THAT was stressful!

"storing hay outdoors in winter"

This next picture was taken from the front porch. (actually they all were, I was still in my pj’s)  The first big tree is a Chestnut tree which drops thousands of sharp spiked chestnuts in the fall, and smells like a dead animal in the spring!  The tree behind it is a big cedar tree that we love, but that we will have to take down or top out because it’s growing right in front of our yard light.  The baby goats were fenced under these trees during the summer and ate the bark off the lower half of the cedar tree, but it’s still green.  Must be a pretty hardy tree.   Plus it’s grown around an old dog chain that is still attached to the trunk.  Most  of the trees here on the property are growing around either old dog chains or collapsing fences, making them worthless as lumber.  Behind the trees is our fall-rut buck pen.  Atticus and Finland have been out with the horses until the snow.  We moved them back up to the pen for the snowstorm.

"snow, goats, winter in Virginia"Hope your day after Christmas is warm and cozy!

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Shantara Acres Farm Blog is One Year Old!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since my very first post.

It was actually a year yesterday, the 23rd.  We were busy working outside and I didn’t get time to post it then.

We were working on turning one of those old barns made out of logs with a roof that’s much too big and heavy into a chicken house.  It’s probably about 12 feet wide by 16 feet long, with plenty of room for everything a chicken could need.  We had been using it to store old fence boards and other things we had torn down, but we think it would be better used as a chicken house.

Now we just have to talk the chickens into staying inside at night.  The house has an electrified chicken yard around it, but just before dusk all the chickens started flying the coop and doing what they always do, roosting in trees.

I haven’t given up.

I’ll try again over the weekend.

Right now we’re waiting on a load of 8 round bales to be delivered.  They weigh about 400 pounds each and we go through 2 a week.  Finding someone to deliver them to us was a true blessing, because before that I was having to go get hay every week. Our truck can’t haul a months worth.

Well, gotta get my hat and coat and get outside.  I wish everyone a very merry Christmas!  We’re expecting snow, are you?

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Cold Enough To Bring The Chickens In To Sleep Beside The Fire!

Well, not all of them, just one little hen whose mother roosts in a tree and leaves baby on the ground to fend for herself.

What’s wrong with mothers in America anymore!

Well, Pricilla, as I’ve named her got to sleep in a box  beside the fire last night and we never heard a peep out of her.

"chicken gets to sleep in a box beside the wood stove on cold nights"

Pricilla in a box, with her head tucked under her wing...sleeping beside the fire.

Until this morning.

At the crack of a very cold dawn.

She started squawking like crazy, apparently just realizing she was in a box beside the fire and not outside with mummy dearest.

Good news is, the snow and sleet stopped earlier than expected last night.  Both the vehicles started up without problem, and the pipes didn’t freeze.  The roads are still a mess but we’re expecting sunshine in a little while and hopefully that will melt everything away.

If you’re living somewhere sunny and warm right now…don’t even talk to me. 😦

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4 Feet High and Rising!

Well, it’s not actually 4 feet high…yet, but who knows how long this is going to go on?  We could be buried 10 feet under when it’s done!

It’s still early, and these were the only two pictures I could get from the front porch in my robe and slippers.  Brrr..

At least my unthawing attempts yesterday worked on both the outside water hose and the kitchen hot water pipe, which were frozen  solid for nearly two days.

We had to haul hot water out of the bathtub to the animals….quite a chore for us, but they loved it!  They didn’t even complain that it didn’t have cream and sugar in it…let alone coffee or hot chocolate.

I draw the line at giving them coffee or chocolate.

 

"Horses in the snow in central Virginia"

Caritas, waiting for breakfast.

Caritas is wearing Epic hoof boots with thick pads because he has such a hard time getting around when the ground is frozen.  The pretty green leg wraps and Rhino horse blanket help him stay warm.  He moves less than the other horses so we keep him wrapped up in really cold weather.

 

"Horses in the snow in centrl virginia"

Caritas on the right, Lyrik and Tara on the Left.

They all got extra hay last night, but now they are out moving around so I guess they are ready for more.  I hate the thought of going out.  At least it’s warmer out there today.  28 degrees instead of 7.

Are we having a happy holiday yet?

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We’re Back To Winter Weather Again!

The weather report last night said a dusting of snow…but all the schools would be starting late.  We wondered why.

This morning I figured out why…it’s 15 degrees out there, and SLICK!

This is our driveway that leads down to the road…I tried walking out there for a moment.  YIKES!"snow falls in central virginia"

Luckily, we got another load of wood that burns nice and HOT!  It’s white oak and it keeps the fire going all night long.  In this picture we’ve been limbing some cedar trees that are a little too close to our chimney.  The goats get all of these boughs and strip every needle and every piece of bark off of them.  They also do that to live trees standing in their pasture…not so good for tree health. "limbing a cedar tree and stacked firewood"

Hope that wherever you are you are staying warm and dry!

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