Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Freezing temps and farm life

It was 23 degrees when I went out to feed this morning. Today was a tank top-thermal shirt-underarmor shirt-fleece sweater-hoody-Carhartt's jacket-long underwear-Carhartt pants-and 2 pairs of wool socks-kind-of-day. I felt like a giant marshmallow. My fingerless gloves, that up until now have done the trick, proved entirely insufficient today.

Once I had finished bundling myself and managed to squeeze myself out the door, this is what I saw:
Icicles hanging from the raspberry trellis:

Stoic donkeys, who met me at the fence closest to the house:

..and then beat me back up to the barn:

A frozen stocktank with a lone, orange goldfish still swimming at the very bottom:

A devoted farm pup, shivering in the cold, who refused to go back into the house:

Hearty eaters who knock their hay buckets over after the second bite:

Donkeys with fuzzy winter brows who will stop anything they're doing to have a carrot coin:

An alien creature with tentacles that used to be a Japanese maple:

Two goats telling me they haven't been fed in a week:

A disgusted face looking at a frozen water bucket:

Slippery feet on frozen surfaces:

Goat displeasure expressed at being left so soon:

...and then using a sweet face to try to coax me to please stay just a bit longer:

An oatmeal breakfast hand delivered to the spoiled chickens of Critter Farm:

...which the chickens devoured with great gusto:

An awesomely feathered head of my girl, Dottie (pretty girl on the right), who hasn't had a full head of feathers in almost two years!:

The removable wedge used to secure the coop door frozen solid to the door itself:

Frozen chicken waterers:

...thawed with a 5 gallon bucket of hot water:

And a beautiful face, unexpectedly appearing around the corner of the coop, who left me with a smile on mine:

Tonight, it's supposed to get down to 15 degrees, much colder than we normally get in our rainforest atmosphere of northwest Oregon.


  1. sighhhhh... I feel for ya girly... I am not a cold weather person and we too are approaching our first hard freeze sighhh..

    80 today, 81 tomorrow etc... Friday night 29 degrees...sighhh... no snow to my knowledge is headed for us...

    That will do in what is left in the garden :O(... I am NOT a cold weather person.. have said it before ... 107 does get a bit much in dead of summer but I do like warm weather so much more than cold!

    Hang in there! Had to laugh at your clothing description that would be me as well, except I have to have big warm gloves in even 40 degrees!

  2. With all the cold weather this post gave me a warm feeling.
    You have so much to be thankful for.
    Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and yours.....

  3. brrr brrr brrr!!! I still don't want snow!! When did the gold fish get there Danni??? I've been so bad at blogging lately...I'm trying to make up for it!

  4. brrr brrr brrr!!! I still don't want snow!! When did the gold fish get there Danni??? I've been so bad at blogging lately...I'm trying to make up for it!

  5. Don't you love how fuzzy cute the goats get in the winter?

    Frozen water, my nemesis.

  6. Brrr! But the only redeeming thing of the cold is it sure gets rid of the mud.
    We had 21 and 30mph winds this am. No one was happy, except that lil' grey cat. He's not right in the head or sumthin.

  7. Burr! Sure looks cold. It's hard to spend much time outside when it's that cold.

    I absolutely love the photo of the Boys under your heading of "Slippery feet on frozen surfaces." It would make a great postcard or calendar page. :D

  8. Wow! I little taste of Montana in Portland, huh? Enjoy the beauty of the snow, but stay warm! And by the way, Miss Dottie looks SO snazzy with her hat on! I hope she gets to keep it!

  9. Thank you for sharing your animals! I love you're blog! Sweet Chester is my favorite.

  10. I had to laugh at the mental picture of you all bundled up. I guess it's all perspective. It's 4F here right now. My poor hen who was molting froze to death today. I feel awful since I had to be gone today and didn't realize she was that naked. :(

    Looks like yours are weathering the weather just fine! Good luck with your "cold" night!

  11. Man oh man....I can feel your pain in regards to the cold temps. My little fingerless gloves werent cutting it either. I had to break out some "whole" ones yesterday. And boy, did that make a big difference. :-) And me, too with all the layers...gotta do it.

    That Kai...ever the beautiful and curious llama...I love her. :-)

    Look at Dottie!!! So proud in her full head dress.

    Hey, would you bring me some fresh, hot oatmeal, too? I like brown sugar on mine, please. :-)

  12. Better get some mittens or proper gloves, just in case you get a cold winter. Those fingers looked real cold. It's cold here too, the second snowstorm of the year is supposed to come through tonight. Meanwhile we have a huge windstorm and rain going on outside. Happy Thanksgiving!--Inger

  13. It was almost 80 here in Mississippi today...I am such a wimp when it comes to cold weather :( I didn't think about how much less time you'd be able to spend with the animals in the cold...don't guess you can just bring them in the house with you ;)

  14. Dottie is looking so fashionably beautiful these days! Burrr-Willeys, Danni ... we're suppose to be down in the 20s by tomorrow night ... amazing, isn't it!?

  15. Oh my sweet Dottie! I hope she gets to keep her 'crown'.
    Boy, it IS cold at your coop. The wedge frozen to the door? And is that really a goldfish swimming in the stocktank? How did he get there?

  16. and we had 70 degrees yesterday...go figure. the animals look rather surprised by the weather! i love that you made the chickens oatmeal. what a good mommy you are.

  17. Ack! So jealous of all your reader's warm weather!

    Thanks for your kind reply.

    I don't know why my poor hen left the coop yesterday, had she stayed snuggled into the bedding she would have been fine. I have very old hardy breeds, Buff Orpington and Barred Rock, so I normally don't put the heat lamp on until we get to -20 F. Sounds cruel, I know, but otherwise it interferes with them adjusting to the cold and I do watch them closely as it gets below zero. Four degrees shouldn't have been a problem. I have one more girl finishing her molt, but she's feathered a lot more than the one we lost. I'm keeping a close eye on her now. Even a cold hardy bird doesn't have a chance if she doesn't have feathers!

  18. Layers are a good thing when its that cold, even if you can hardly waddle with all that puffiness..I hope your walking back into a nice warm fire in the fireplace..and a hot cup of tea:)

  19. What a wonderful post! You always take such amazing photos of your animals. Ugh...it's not that cold here yet but the chickens aren't happy with where the temp.s seem to be going.
    Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  20. What great pictures Danni! I so want to bring all the critters into the house to sleep with us, but Don just keeps saying no. :(

    Stay warm and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Brrrrrrrr! I love cold weather but not when it happens that quickly and not when I'm still cold even though I am bundled up.....thanks for sharing such great pics despite your cold fingers :)

  22. Just wanted to let you know I just found your blog and have looked at a lot of your posts, I love all the pictures and stories, and will keep coming back :) It's a great blog and a lot of fun spending time with you! Take care. I'm in Canada and amazingly it's just starting to get cold here in Eastern Ontario.


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