Snow Drift Choices

Does it frustrate you when your kids set items down around the house like they were preparing for an Easter Egg Hunt? My four granddaughters who stay here do that. It drives me crazy because often the items are just within arms length of where they belong. I’m sorry but housekeeping is not horseshoes, you don’t get points for getting close to the goal.

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I have a husband who’s just like them. Drives me crazy. “Thank you sweetheart for moving the large rocks (the previous owner lined the drive with) but since you had them in the tractor bucket, couldn’t you just have putted on over to the rock wall 50 yards away and drop them along it?”

“That would have taken too long.”  was his excuse.

“And handling them twice isn’t?” I said. Of course the rocks have been there two years. So when the semi-truck and pup came, they had to dump the logs for firewood where they did not belong because they couldn’t get around the rocks to put the logs in their proper place.

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Which was the same excuse for putting his brother’s vehicle where we usually pile snow and often people back up. Along side it was a pile of broken boards he took off from the frame which held the cover for his dad’s boat. The ones that should have been in the pickup to go to the dump.

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He left to work out of town for a week and three snow storms rolled in with high winds.  We have another storm on its way but the wind hasn’t left and small flurries.  The logs you can see and the rocks on the far side made a great fence to catch the snow, dumping it extra thick and loooooong along the road that once use to only get a couple short drifts. The beginning of the drift was where the vehicle was. The vehicle stopped the wind and dumped snow on the road in front of it. So I pulled the heavy snow off onto the bottom of the lawn to the west instead of to the east where the vehicle sat. The next storm hit the snow piled on the lawn to the west where the wind comes from and dropped it onto the road creating an even deeper drift.

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Note the goat weather vane and sign on the chicken coop. They make me smile.

We typically have to dig a path 30 feet to the chicken coop and then clear the door to let the hens out. On the other side of the fence is the goat stalls which we do the same but the drift isn’t as long. We expect this as the wind hits the building and the snow drops. Nothing we can do about that.

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The small door on the barn often has to have a little shoveling too, to get in to get the tractor but no biggy because the tractor can move the larger drift in front of the barn as I come out. So what’s the point to all of this other than vent my frustrations? Be careful where you put things. Think of the weather patterns for 12 months of the year. It does not matter whether it is snow or rain, they both can cause problems. AND when you move something, move it to where it belongs. If an area is really muddy and gets slick then don’t put your horse trailer you use frequently in this spot. If water collects in a spot, pay attention and don’t put a pen there.

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These are summer pens for obvious reasons. We have no where else to put them that works so the buck goes in the far side in the spring and summer rotating in the pasture with the does if he acts too bucky and the kids and lambs in the near one for handy access to bottle feed. Come winter, we have to cull smaller stock way down to how many will fit in the two loafing shed stalls. img_8591

This whole area before long will be under 4 feet of snow for the winter’s duration. The reason I just took everything I would need out of the garden shed like snow sleds. It gets buried. Yet, on the other side of these two pens where the hay is, the snow level drops dramatically. And as you can see in the photo above, the snow barely falls next to the barn on the north side forming a clear natural lane to haul hay through and around the corner to the goat’s hay feeder. Where the feeder is protected from the wind. The only snow free area in this corral is a short path and the feeder. Was this a brilliant move by myself in placing things this way? Not really, what we did was observe, see what naturally occurred, and then put in temporary fencing, watched some more, and then wood posts and nice gates if natural traffic flow cooperated with the weather .

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We thought beside the milking shed would be a great place to put several rows of split wood this year since it was a short jaunt to the house. We’d had a portable chicken coop here for several years and little snow was in it’s pen. See what happened? Not going to work. Why the coop worked but because of looks had to be moved, and the wood didn’t, I have no idea but I’m glad we didn’t put any more wood than this.

If you intend to live a do-it-yourself lifestyle then dip your toe in before committing to location for things or you will have wood posts to move not just metal t-posts, and every snow storm you will be fighting the weather far longer than necessary.

To live a life in-sink with nature is to learn that everything you do has a consequence. The town moves snow on the road but we have to do it ourselves so we’d better do it so we have less work. The town will supply your heat for your house but we do the most of it ourselves and if the wood is buried under a drift, that makes it difficult. If you want stock then do it so they are less work. Our beef shed is in an area with the least amount of snow up from the pasture. The bottom of which gets a snow drift 10 feet or more in the winter. We are going to investigate how to best use that drift to our advantage this summer with help from a friend who is an expert on water and irrigation.

So before you move something or build:

  • Observe
  • Experiment
  • Then commit

And remember, everything you do has a consequence for good or bad. Our oldest had college professors that continually asked her how she knew so much at a young age. “I learned it in the barnyard.” she’d reply. Indeed this lifestyle imparts wisdom.

 

2 thoughts on “Snow Drift Choices

    1. Yes, a difficult one. It is indeed a cat flap. We have a large number of predators in our area and so for protection and warmth, we have a cat door for the cats. They come in the house when it is really cold and lay by the fire, otherwise they are barn cats. We are so grateful for their skills. Our neighbor even loves them. Duke goes to his house hunting but first goes to the window and waves with his paw to announce his presence and then goes to work. they’ve not had a mouse since our arrival. One rancher has a cat door above a platform that goes into his barn for added protection. Apparently they’ve had a predator that would use the lower cat door. The challenges of country living.

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