I am just so grateful that this drift down into deep freeze is only for a couple of days. Some people choose to live in temperatures like this. Not me though. I am not set up for it.

I have heard terrible stories of ducks being frozen into ponds lately so for the next few days the ducks have been shifted into the old milking room.

We went up above freezing yesterday and a lot of the ice melted which the ducks loved – but when the wind swung to the north the water began to freeze so fast – literally over the course of an hour – so I moved the dumb ducks back into the barn.

The wind coming from the North was strong and very cold – and I kept finding random ducks back outside freezing cold so I threw down some straw deeper in the barn and I herded the lot into the milking room and shut the door on them.

They settled right down very quickly which surprised me. Anyway they can stay there until the bad cold has passed. By Friday the cold has passed – by Monday they are forecasting 48f.

We are on a roller coaster. One week in the deep freeze the next week almost 50 degrees. Bonkers.

It is unsettling to say the least.

The climate is changing we know this and I have always said we need to accept it and deal with it. Change our lifestyles so we don’t make it worse and create new ways to live in this new volatile weather- scape and get on with it, but I am struggling to find a rhythm to my farming this winter.

Sheila and Poppy. Topping and Tailing. That is Poppy’s face we see.

The hose running across the snow was so incongruous I took a picture for you. All the troughs are full now and the hoses are emptied and coiled up in the basement. These warm days may be unsettling but I use them fully to get caught up.

I know many are plodding through much worse weather than me – good luck to you! Hunker down, we have a few more months of this to go yet.


Oh and someone asked me the other day where did I get my weather from – I triangulate the weather just like I triangulate the news, ( you should never trust only one source nowadays when news and weather have become entertainment) so I do read multiple forecasts but this screen shot is from wunderground – I like their graphics.

46 Comments on “THE ARCTIC DESCENT

  1. So cold! We’re not supposed to get above zero (Fahrenheit!) for a few days here. My chicken coop has a huge window, so it was staying above freezing during the day, as long as the sun was out, but it’s supposed to be cloudy now. Glad I invested in a heated water dish this year!

  2. Happy to read the power is still on, worried about you with no wood. Holding thumbs that those horrible temperatures pass you by very quickly. Laura

    • So far so good – and of course John’s flights have been cancelled and nothing free for days – but we will push through – it will be warm again before we know it.

  3. Do you have a gas heater, or only your stove/oven. Keep warm as you can during those freezing temps. Laura

  4. Cecilia, Sending warm thoughts from Tucson! Saul

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. And I always wonder how settlers and pioneers managed – There have been cycles of brutal winters and even years with no summer – Hardy, determined people.
    We are supposed to be in Spring like temps next week. (Thank you for gathering up the ducks – that was a worry)

    • I often think of that too/ even in an ordinary winter – talk about tough but I guess many of them quite simply died too if they were caught out or unprepared

  6. Poppy and Sheila have a natural rhythm, though I suspect it involves Sheila herding Poppy in first.
    It’s getting colder here, but I think we have sleet coming, so hopefully it won’t settle.

  7. You are such a good caretaker of your animals. I admire you and your peaceful, accepting, and capable attitude. Thanks for it all!

  8. I love the picture of the cow above (not sure which she is). I think cow eyes are my favorite–so soft and gentle. 🙂 The cold weather here is about the same as for you. I have been gathering our extra blankets to hang up over the windows to help keep the house just a bit more snug. My uncle and two cousins farm beef cattle in western Michigan and have been struggling with the cold too. I saw them about a week and a half ago and talked to my Grandma (who is matriarch there) yesterday and the weather has just been brutal. It is like they shed whole bodies when they come in for lunch–more cold-weather clothes than person there, I think. Take care! This too shall pass.

  9. HELLO! Philosophermouse……….think of the history of Donner Pass – tragic, but as you said, ‘hardy, determined people’.!

    Ceci, you have a virtual Noah’s Ark in your barn – bet there’s a lot of racket! Layer up in the down, gal!

  10. I’m glad Poppy and Sheila have each other for warmth and company. And yes smart action to herd the ducks inside. There’s something so sweet and innocent about the ducks. Maybe it’s the way they look and move. Well that seems to be true of all the creatures. Does Jude sleep with anyone special? Wai Wai. Of course!!

  11. I think you had the right idea, talking about moving in with the animals to sleep if you lost power. I suspect a lot of settlers relied on animal-powered heating too. It’s not for nothing that in medieval times many homes were built above the animal accommodation, and a thatched roof is warmer any day than tile or steel. I’m glad you’re staying warm and hopeful so far. We’re ‘enjoying’ torrential rain and flooding right now; the Bruce Highway is under water in several places north of where we are, flights are being cancelled and for a miracle, farmers in the west of the state are getting their first rain for years. I’m not complaining…

  12. And lucky Poppy has her very own “gas” heater to lie near and keep her nose warm 🙂

  13. These are some serious temps. I always worry about people not so fortunate as we are and worry about the animals. Great photos of all the animals today.

    • You know, since John has been gone I have not wanted meat of any kind. I am actually living on coleslaw and fruit salad. And yoghurt. My favorite things – I am just so happy not to be cooking big dinners.

      • It sounds like what we’ve been living on in this heat! You have inspired us to regularly include coleslaw on our plates, we love it… and muesli, yoghurt & fruit. And left to my own devices for meals I prefer cheese, eggs, veges, nuts to meat.

  14. Oh my…. Love the Poppy and Sheila photo! Jude doing okay in this cold? Does anyone want to cuddle him? Ton doing okay? My arms hurt just thinking of your water chore! ouch.

    I am sitting here with a tissue stuffed up my nose. (Nice look, not!) We were 72 on Saturday, 68 Sunday and 65 yesterday but by nightfall down to 30! Windchill is was -8 this morning. But thankfully it is dry – and lots of Mountain Cedar to go up the nose. (well not thankful for the cedar…)

  15. The weather really has been messed up lately. I will admit that I have had a bit of scepticism that humans are directly causing climate change, after all the planet has been through cooling and heating phases for millenia. It also seems to be used as a political agenda for some. But lately I have become more convinced that humans are certainly making climate change happen at a faster rate than previous centuries, which doesn’t give animals or humans the time to adapt to the changes like they have been able to do previously. I do think that more money needs to be invested in looking at ways to minimise the impact of the changes and less spent on trying to stop it, but regardless, looking after the planet we live on makes sense whatever your viewpoints on climate change are.

    • The political divide around the climate makes no sense at all. And will probably be the ruin of us all. We need to all pull in the same direction to succeed. And pollution – even pollution of our precious sea is so profound now. If we just focus on pollution instead of this ludicrous battle over what words to use to describe the damage, we would be well on the way to a happier planet. Our planet is so small.
      Thank you so much for this great comment Kitty. I agree that we can’t stop it now- we have to find ways to work well and cleanly in a changing world climate.

  16. Sitting on a library chair in nought but a thin, floaty nightie I am honestly trying to remember when I last felt a temperature lower than about -2C . . . the cold of your present days, read here and heard from other friends around your area, seems totally inconceivable for life. Hate the look of all the water you have to carry, do hope Big John makes it home fast to help and pray you do not lose your electricity: sleeping with four-legged friends may seem sound almost exciting but the whole household would be up the proverbial creek without that paddle . . .

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