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.