Hammered by Snow


Three days of wet snow and it hasn’t let up yet. I walked out to find the sheep this morning, a backpack on my back containing a supply of dog food for the guardian dogs. These long stretches of precipitation are becoming the new normal in this area of the prairie. I’m not sure we’re adjusting to it though. Five days ago we were out working stock dogs in 15+ degree temperature and sunshine.

Last night Bill and I barely managed to get around on the pasture with the Ranger to find the lambs and the ewes. I took BJ and Gibson along to tuck up lambs because we found a kill the previous night. Sure enough, in typical lamb fashion, they were split into three groups. Trying to walk them all home in the blowing snow and slick surface was a long shot, so I opted for moving them into shelter and making sure guardian dogs were there.

As long as the stock dogs don’t make things worse, this type of harsh weather is when it doesn’t matter to me how correctly they work, they just need to make sheep, or in this case, lambs, move.  In the wind and driving snow it took some effort for BJ and Gibson to steer the lambs and get them going.  After tucking up the lambs we headed a mile southward to locate the ewe flock. The ewes had already taken care of themselves and were tucked up into shelter on a piece of grassy native prairie.


This morning I didn’t bother to try with the Ranger, knowing I’d need to shovel to get through gates and low spots. Going on foot seemed to be an easier, although longer way to go about it. The lambs were still tucked in the long curve of the tree shelter, with Tex and Whiskey right amongst them. The ewes dropped themselves right into the thick of these woodlands and were staying put while the wind continued to blow and drive snow nearly sideways. 

It was a great spot for good photographs and I longed for the camera, but not for slogging along for two miles in the snow with the extra heavy weight on my back. I took these few photos with an older iPhone, which I jammed into my pocket in case a call came in from Allen who was on the road, leading Bill and Janice on an alternate route to the highway and heading them home.  


7 comments:

  1. Very sorry about your weather. We are so lucky here with weather in the 60's and sunshine, but no bugs to bother the livestock. I was wondering if you have had tree damage. Back around 1985 or so, Upstate NY was hit by a freak snowstorm on October 4th. We got about ten inches of snow, and all the leaves were still on the trees. Terrible damage to the trees ensued, and we were without power for over a week. Every fall, I breathe a sigh of relief when the leaves are completely off the trees, as I never want to see that kind of damage to the trees again. Hope your weather improves, as you must be exhausted.

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    1. Wow....interesting story. Nothing like that here in Missouri except with the evergreens. They snap like twigs with heavy snow and ice.

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    2. Some tree damage yes, but minimal as far as we can tell. It's unusual for us to get such wet snow/rain. We're usually frozen before snow arrives.

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  2. I wonder if it is normal to get snow this heavy this time of year. Or just snow this time of year. It seems so early even for your area.

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    1. Yep, it's early. First snow usually just before Halloween.

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  3. Ouch!! I feel for you slogging through that wet snow,snow shoes no help? I well remember the wind storm farm 'buddy' mentions,in Nova Scotia,half of a huge oak with all leaves fell on my house,but by some unknown reason did not go right through.So far having a wonderful Oct,still need rain though,certainly before freeze up.Hope things settle for you..will this be winter now,or do you hope for more decent weather before big freeze up? Make for a very long winter! (UGH!)

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    1. Wow, a near miss indeed. We dearly hope for decent weather before freeze up. Winter is long enough without snow in the first half of October.

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