Early morning snow on the homestead. Here you can see the coop with one rooster out looking for scratch. Behind the coop, you can see a big apple tree and a slightly smaller pear tree. On the far right, one row of blackberry brambles are visable.
So, aparently, snow is an oddity here. Actually, I guess we do get the occasional snow dusting...it's the week long temps that won't break the freezing mark that has everyone baffled around here. Personally, I LOVE it! I was so afraid that our move to the PNW wouldn't afford me days like today - snow on the ground (that squeaks underfoot when you step on it), temps in the 20's and crystal clear sunlight. Ah...the beauty that is winter...
I could do without the 2 inch thick ice coating all the roadways though. It took me over an hour to drive the 19 miles to work today. And if you count the time it took to warm up the car and remove all the snow (our garage is not in use as a garage at the moment), then it probably would have been faster to bike here. Of course, that would probably mean certain death with the way people handle driving in this weather...so there really is no winning. Ah well, I made it here safe and sound eventually.
So this weekend, in anticipation of this cold snap, we took a few cold weather precautions. The first is that we installed the temporary floor in the chicken coop and sealed up all the cracks. I'd cut a floor out of heavy cardboard (gotta love those 'dish pack' boxes from the moving company!) a couple of weekends ago. I installed in on Saturday and covered it with pine shaving bedding. While I did that, my H used that expandable foam sealant to seal all the openings along the corners where the boards meet. These two tasks now ensure that our chicken coop is warm and comfy.
Snow just beginning to fall on Sunday morning. You can kind of see the foam sealant oozing out of the corners of the chicken coop.
In prep for the cold temps, we also fired up our oil furnace for the first time this year. We wanted to make sure that it was working properly before we actually needed it. The plan is to use it as a back-up only. We will still heat the house for comfort with the woodburning stove...the furnace is there to keep the pipes from freezing in the middle of the night. With normal PNW temps, this would not be a concern, but because the nighttime temps will be in the teens this week, the perimeter of our house (where one of our bathrooms is located) is subject to temps that are just too cold when the stove goes out. The thermostat is set to 55 F and is located in the center of the house. At 55F in the middle of the main room, the outlying walls will still remain above 32F - even in these cold evenings. We also made sure to stack the wood in the house high enough to last through the 'storm'. I also made a point of scouring the yard for all fallen branches and dumped them in a bucket in the garage - for kindling. I did it so that they would dry out - I didn't even think that I'd need to do that because they'd be covered with snow by Sunday night!
And so it begins...this was taken as I was milking the goats on Sunday morning.