Sheep Lost in Blizzard!

We’re having a good, old-fashioned blizzard today. I have no idea how many inches have fallen (12? 22?) because it’s been blowing and blowing. Winds of over 30 mph. All sorts of winter nastiness. 

This morning I screwed up my courage and did the chores, which put me outside in the blizzard for an hour. (I’m grateful I did that, because this afternoon the blizzard is twice as bad.) The hardest part was slogging through the snow.

The hens and ducks and cats, all in the little barn, were fine. And I knew the llamas and the ram and the steers would be fine, for they had access to the big barn. It was the sheep, and their guard llama, Tucker, that concerned me. 

As I approach the sheep, I start counting heads. Oh, oh, I’m one short. That can’t be right. As I get closer to the hay bales, which are providing the sheep with a windbreak, I count again. Still one short.

Okay, don’t panic. She must be behind the hay bale. I circle the bale and look. No sheep.

Holy crap. I do panic now, and start scanning the pasture. The wind has sculpted the snow into drifts that are four-feet high in places. Could there be a sheep buried under one of those?

No, the missing sheep must be here, with the others. I look closer. There she is. She was always there, but was so covered in snow that I didn’t see her the first time.

Look closely. She looks like a sheep-shaped snow sculpture:

I fluffed up their hay so it will be easier for them to eat:

Sheep are amazingly hardy. Their wool is coated with snow, but when I stuck my hand deep into one ewe’s fleece, she was toasty warm. Blizzards are an inconvenience for our sheep, nothing more.

Up at the barn, the steers eat their corn, grateful I didn’t abandon them in the storm.

Chachi would like me to shut off the snow, or at least the wind.

And by the time I return home, the path I broke has blown entirely shut. But Melissa and the dogs are waiting for me at the door, so that gives me the extra energy I need to break another path through the heavy drifting.

And now? A book and a glass of wine by the woodstove….I earned it.  Wishing you an equally pleasant afternoon….

9 thoughts on “

  1. About the same scenario here. I love these blustery days when I don’t have anywhere to go but the barns.

    Wood stove, some home made Bailey’s Irish Cream and knitting for me tonight.

    Stay safe and warm.

  2. Wish you could send some of your blizzard up here. (Easy for me to say as I have no where to go but the little homestead here.) Why is all the snow going south of us again this winter? Come on, this just ain’t right! We just have very cold weather . . . -20 to -30 windchills forecast for tonight. Won’t that be fun??

    You’re doing a good job of being head farmer. Hope sweet Melissa is feeling much, much better.

  3. Love the photos! I can imagine your panic about that sheep. I keep getting photos from my family in Red Wing, that snowfall today is unbelieveable – hope you are snuggled and warm this evening.

  4. Glad you found your “lost” sheep. Totally understand you panic! My goats are not so hardy, I crowded them into the barn where they would be warmer. Their porta-hut provides shelter from wind, but with dropping temps, not so warm. Old pig barn is half buried on one side, so they should really be warm & toasty! Glad to hear you fared okay thru the storm. I94 is closed up here by us. Stay warm!

  5. Carol B—glad your goats were all tucked in. I worried about the sheep last night, fearing they’d be covered by the horrible blowing. But they were fine.

    But me! Acck, the snowdrifts I had to slog through…over my knees, and I’m tall.

    Hope everyone can enjoy the lovely snow from inside!

  6. No wonder you couldn’t see the sheep! We only got about 12 inches up here I think, but its hard to tell because, like you said, it blew around all day. Glad to hear everyone was safe! 🙂

  7. Reminds me of how sled dogs will dig into the snow and then let it snow right over them. What a hoot it would be to see a sheep bursting out of a snow drift like a dancer out of a cake!

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