Look how much of the ice and snow had melted into puddles on the ground by yesterday afternoon.


All night it blew hard,  by this morning the remaining ice and snow is gone.  As I write, the temperature is 56F/13C, by midnight this will have dropped to 17F/-8C. On the way through tonight, the wind will glide around to the North and the temperatures will spirit the falling rain into falling ice and freeze the puddles of rain already fallen Tomorrow the ice will be laid out in a pretty sheet once more and we will be skating through the chores again.

Days like this I am glad I don’t have bees anymore.


I have been milking Del daily since I returned from New Zealand. Initially, she milked nothing at all, just the tiniest of spray from each quarter. tt is way too early in her milking arc to be drying up. Her calf was sluggish when I arrived home.  Sleeping too much. She is still slower than the others. Now Del is milking about just under gallon a day and last night I pushed her baby out of the creep and she went straight to her mother and began to feed loudly and with a little more enthusiasm.

After much observation and thought I have surmised that in the bad cold that settled down in here while I was away (as low as -20 for days) the calf began to struggle physically. It is possible that she was almost overcome by the cold and stopped feeding from her mother.  Del almost dried up because her lethargic baby had stopped eating. This will have given Del some trouble. I am surprised she did not go mastitic but her milk is clean now. Who knows what she has overcome.


Now the calves are eating grain, (I seldom give calves grain at all but this baby needs to build up fast in this weather), Del has begun to recover her milk and baby is getting some milk to drink again. Next, I look forward to seeing this calf running about the fields.  I think that we almost lost her in that cold. The temperatures are dropping again so I will be watching her closely and will continue to milk Del to even out her production.

My pig lady was in yesterday and she actually lost a calf to that cold and was grateful she only lost one.


This is the last day above freezing for a week or so which means I have to finish cleaning out the barn today, fill all the water troughs and get in the fresh straw for bedding for the next cold spell.  A good hard working day.

I hope you have a lovely day.



Thursday 01/11 80% / 0.29 inWindy with showers this morning becoming a steady rain during the afternoon hours. High 57F/13C. Winds SSW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch.

Thursday Night 01/11 40% / < 1 inLight freezing rain this evening … continued cloudy overnight. Low 17F/-8C. Winds NW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precip 40%.

7:16 am 4:45 pm
Waning Crescent, 26% visible2:24 am 1:10 pm


22 Comments on “SLUSH

  1. Okay, those frigid temperatures and icy paths don’t appeal at all, glad the little calf is ok. Be careful out there. Laura

  2. Yep, same temperature plummeting is happening down here today! Too crazy to have the temp going from 62 today to 36 tomorrow! We won’t have it as cold as you (thank goodness!), with temps dipping below freezing during the day only a couple of times in the next week. Then we get (supposedly) another warming spell. Just love the barn shots! Looks like a painting party is in order to preserve it. I know that would be a big expenditure though. It makes me sad seeing so many of the old barns falling down, a common sight in these parts.

  3. Good luck with the calf. Those barns look beautiful all weatherbeaten like that – I wouldn’t want it to fall down, but there’s aesthetically something to be said for buildings being reclaimed by nature.

  4. I am glad that you have had a few days reprieve from that bitter cold to get your barn back in order.
    It is very fortunate that you returned home in time to save your little calf. I look forward to a sunnier, warmer day when she can romp around her field.
    Be sure to wear your crampons(sp?) for those icy patches.

  5. Yes, trod very carefully. Remember your tailbone. Very glad you came home in time to rescue Aunty Del & her calf, & had helpful weather. I send my best hopes for them. Here in Asheville we are in the 50s & 60s tomorrow during the day, then down to 17 overnight. Such a dreadful drop is not fittin’ for man nor beast nor plants nor any living thing. I hope the bumbles & honey bees who’ll come buzzing about tomorrow looking for early dandelions will survive it. We get warm winds up from the Gulf & they get slammed by Arctic air coming down across you all. It happens over & over again here.

  6. My word, that looks cold… I’m imagining red noses, raw hands and dead white toes, and that’s just the humans. Good job that calf had a Celi to look out for her and notice there was a problem. Another one saved. Next week, we’re getting temperatures in the 40sC for days on end, high humidity and thunderstorms. I’ll push some of that heat up your way, shall I…? I’m pretty sure you won’t need the humidity or thunderstorms.

    • OK – Ardys and Dale and I and am sure a number of ‘quiet’ readers from Down Under will also huff and puff like mad . . up here in the socalled Southern Highlands I have never known it to be quite so humid . . . .

  7. You came home just in the nick of time to save the little calf and Aunty Del too. Thank goodness!

  8. Weather like what is coming makes me wish I was retired and staying inside the house! 😬

  9. Can you give Del’s calf a bottle of her milk as well to supplement the udder and the grain? I hope you have those spikey shoe thingies for your boots still. Be safe and stay warm.

  10. Tomorrow will be one of the warmer days here but by Saturday they are predicting -15°C again. We’ve already booked our next trip to Arizona, and it can’t come soon enough.

  11. Sounds like little calf needs one of those warming coats like Big Dog had…do they make them big enough for calves? I bet it’s on days like this that you wish you were back in NZ! Stay warm out there C and remember…no winter lasts forever…no spring misses it’s turn! 🙂

  12. Good save with Aunty Del and calf. Del seems like such a sweet cow. I’m sure that bitter cold had a lot to do with the difficulty. Watch your footing with the ice. We are ice free today, but will be stuck again tomorrow. Yes, we did the grocery shopping today since there’s no telling when the front walk and driveway will be passable again. I do find winter here at the temporary quarters rather trying.

  13. oh my…good save with Del and the calf. You have such instinctive skills with your animals. Be safe…no slipping allowed!

  14. Farming can be so difficult to work with. You cannot travel or make plans because all of your work is weather dependent. You cannot say “I will be at this place on this weekend in March”, no matter how far in advance you plan it, because that may be your only dry weekend to plant your cold weather crops in time. And if you make extensive plans, you can be sure that nature will make things difficult while you are gone. It’s tough.

  15. Winter can be so harsh. We don’t think about the harshness of it living on a farm. Please stay warm my friend and safe! XOXO – Bacon

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