We are in a deep freeze right now. Although here in NW Montana, it's not as bad as in other parts of the state and country. We got down to -16° last night and it only got up to 1° today. The sun has been shining every day while it has been cold, thank Heavens!!! I haven't had to run the generator to charge the batteries, the sun has been doing a wonderful job. We haven't had the wind either. There was a little breeze today that was really cold, but it wasn't nearly as bad as in other parts. The cold came on somewhat gradually so the animals have had a chance to adapt somewhat. They are cold, but they are fine. I think the goats are growing a bit thicker coat of cashmere this year, they sure feel more fluffy. Wouldn't that be great!
It's rather beautiful in a cold kind of way. The contrast in colors between the blue sky, the trees and the snow is pretty. Everything squeaks. The wheelbarrows sound like ships in a stormy sea, groaning and squeaking as they are being pushed along in the snow. The snow isn't slippery, either. Our road is really smooth now, much better than in the summer.
The cold is hopefully killing a lot of the insects that have been decimating the forests in the last few years of mild winters. Good things can be found in just about any situation. :-)
The slash piles are all burned finally. It looks pretty nice out there. The last two weeks of burning season I was out there every day from 9am to 4pm. There were around 60 piles out there! The poles are all still scattered about out there, I'll get those sometime before next summer and get them cut up and curing so I have lots of firewood for next season. The goats are going to have so much fun out there in all that open area now. There should be a lot more forage for them to eat, too. I threw out all the grass seed I'd saved from the hay bales in the upper side of the thinned area, so there should be some nice grass up there. I'm going to see what all grows out there next year before I plant anything else. Now that the sun can hit the ground in a lot more places, it's going to be quite interesting to see what grows. It is so nice to be able to walk all through there without having to follow little trails and duck and squeeze through the trees. It was really thickly wooded out there.
The dogs are keeping all the deer and other critters out of the place now. Sam isn't afraid of deer and doesn't like them, so he goes after them whenever they come in close. Nellie is back to barking at them too, now that Sam is. I think she figures if he can bark and go after them and not get hurt, then maybe she can, too. They don't chase them very far, just out of the yard and driveway.
Well, I hope everyone is staying warm and your critters, too! Be careful out there...