change in the air

Yesterday's balmy temperatures and rain are long gone, with high pressure in their wake: 1 to 2 inches of light snow, strong wind gusts, and temperatures below freezing, at least through the rest of the week. Northeasterners are getting this soon! In fact, I just checked the forecast and it's due to start literally this hour. The resulting cold won't be as cold, though. The cold wind felt rough at first today: I went walking north up the hill with N., the road covered in ice, and much of the sand that was put down blown to the edges. As nice as mild weather has been, I am hoping that we have some average (that is, cold) winter temperatures and plenty of snow over the next few months. Now that we have a well I am in constant (rational? irrational?) fear of depleting groundwater supply. Of course.

chicken coop dusting of snow

I say that we walked north up the hill because the other option is south up the hill. Our place occupies what I'm going to call a micro valley, the road sloping steeply upward in either direction. So if there's a ton of snow or ice, we're staying put.

Lately, including earlier today, the outdoor work we've been focusing on has been clearing trees from all around the farm. The dairy barn and the large pole barn are well surrounded by young trees that are starting to do some damage, and we're committed to avoiding that. Aside from a couple of trees that need to be professionally removed because they are large and inches (or less) from a building, we're taking care of pretty much everything with a very small bow saw, which is labor-intensive but is an excellent way to warm oneself.

snowy dust fields

Another big project is cutting a path to access the vegetable/perennial field, which is separated from the rest of the farm by a gully and thick brush. This isn't a good photo (above) to show the work we've done, but you can at least see the pasture (foreground) and treeline/brush/gully in the middle, and fields beyond that we will want good access to. After clearing, we will be placing tubes in the gully, which is 4 feet deep in spots, so that we can make a bridge!

This weekend we had visitors on Saturday and Sunday! It is so wonderful to show people this place and describe our plans and real work that's been completed. A certain couple from Minneapolis brought chili, corn muffins, and pumpkin whoopie pies/cupcakes! We all went on a lovely walk that was new to everyone, saw confusing farm implements, and smelled the manure.

P1000375

Thanks for reading!

-ppppppp