Another snowstorm….and it’s officially Spring

Well, we were expecting a little snow, but this is just too much.  It started snowing yesterday, Saturday, evening and has been constant since then with wind speeds up to 35 mph.  We are really stunned to see this.  This is the 3rd major snow for us this winter, and it is highly unusual to get any snowfall during a winter.   We are northeast of Dallas.  The El Nino phenomenon has kicked in big time. 

I got everyone tucked in  Friday  night.  The alpacas got plenty of hay; the chickens got their feeders filled and water topped off.  I cleaned up the barn and everyone had clean places to lounge.  The wind has been straight out of the west and right into the barn and out the other east doors.  We left the roll up doors open in case they wanted to go out, but so far they have not.  They all have a coating of snow on them but are warm enough cushing in the barn.

The chickens filed out of the coops when their little door was opened and milled around.  They don’t mind the weather, and the barn is a space they like to hang out in and they are protected there.

We just stayed in the house and watched it snow.  Monday it is supposed to be in the 60’s so this will all melt soon enough, but we will be back into the wet and mucky ground once again.  More rain is expected this week.  We can’t seem to dry out more than two days before we have more wet weather.

We just were not expecting all this white; it’s about 3 inches on the ground and we are supposed to get another 3 or more today.  Unbelievable North Texas weather.

Snow, snow and more snow

We have had now 12+ hours of ongoing snowfall. This is very unusual for our area and has set a snowfall record for this calendar date and also for the amount of total snowfall in a season for our area.  The snow is expected to continue through until the early morning hours of Friday morning then taper off.  Saturday is supposed to be in the 50’s.

Today on my way to work I slid off our little country road (the road has a sharp turn in it; I turned the Explorer steering wheel,  but it kept going straight).  Off the road, into the ditch and up the other side and into the neighbors pasture as I steered it back down the ditch and up onto our road.  And mind you my foot was not even on the gas pedal the entire time.  The vehicle took on a life of it’s own.  Luckily in that section of the road there were no trees, poles or pasture fencing.  I went on to work, very slowly, but the outcome could have been totally different. 

I am amazed at the bravado drivers have in bad weather and choose to impose their bravado onto other drivers by endangering everyone’s safety.  I also don’t understand the drivers who choose not to turn on their vehicle headlights as a matter of safe visibility.  Not because they can’t see, but because I can’t see them in downpouring rain or like today when the snow was so thick I could not see them until they were there, and especially WHITE vehicles. Duh.  That’s why I choose to stay home if I can in bad weather; not because I am a coward, but because I choose to stay out of the way of those idiots.

Please drive safely and TURN ON your headlights so we can see YOU.

Sunny day

We got back from a week in Colorado where the ski resort had nearly 500 inches of snow.  We sometimes dream of retiring there, but when we hear the locals say they are sick of the snow, then we rethink it and decide that Texas and the lovely weather will keep us here, with an occasional visit to Colorado to satisfy that desire. 

I am sure everyone goes through the same dilemma, of maybe going to live somewhere new when they have the time and money.  We moved to this one hundred acre ranch in the country just 30 minutes from where we were in the city, three years ago.  We have lots of goals for this place and so I think it will keep us busy and interested throughout retirement.  We have six alpacas  and two guard llamas right now to enjoy, plus our lab mix dog, April; my husband the architect now has his woodworking shop with dreams of starting up a side business of building and selling custom furniture for others (he has successfully made furniture for family members over the years); and I would like to expand the ranch with other critters, especially looking into the rare breeds and heritage breeds.  Chickens, ducks, fainting goats, Navajo Churro sheep,  could all live here. We have the acreage, more than we had ever anticipated having; we just need to invest time and money in putting the right accommodations in place and be sure we have the time to manage everything and do it well. 

I am currently researching the best type(s) of chickens that will lay eggs for us and be easy to manage in our North Texas environment.  We have the interesting animals that visit us here: coyotes, red tailed hawks, rat snakes, various beautiful butterflies, hummingbirds, and diverse birds (swallows, owls, dickcissels, meadowlarks, etc.), rabbits and of course the field mice.  They are all interesting to watch and also understand their habits.

So we will stay where we are and enjoy this place; we can always dream, but reality is that I think we have actually found our ideal retirement home.

Winter in Texas

We had snow and some ice; twice this week, Monday and Thursday.  Rather unusual to have two systems come through in such a short time.  It was a nasty day yesterday weatherwise and today it’s the opposite; sunny and warm.  The alpacas huddled in the barn all day yesterday.  They ventured out into the snow today.  I was raking hay out an area of the barn and discovered some very young bunnies huddled in a 3″ deep hole the mother had made in the soft and warm sand.  I left them as I found them and covered them back up with the bunny fur and straw the mother had lovingly covered them up with.  She must visit them at night when it is dark and quiet.  How sweet.

A late Texas snow

just one of the girls  It’s a beautiful cloudless day in northeast Texas; the snow is melting quickly. Yes, we had a late storm yesterday.  It was predicted but we always wait to see if it will really turn out as predicted.  Sleet moved in first and then soon turned into a nice fluffy, wet snow. It snowed into the night.  This morning we had a soft coating of white; it was lovely.  Usually we get ice but not this time; it had been in the 60’s so it was too warm to ice.  The alpacas darted into the barn when the sleet arrived and stayed in during the snow.  I feed them in the barn each evening so they always feel warm and safe there.  Today they ventured out as the snow melted to graze the new sprigs of green.  The dwarf apple tree has just bloomed.  Spring has sprung.