Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow storm in KY

I'm a bad blogger. I've been so busy with the farm and work that I haven't posted here in months! But today is a slower day, due mostly to the big snowstorm (bearing in mind that "big" is a relative term.)

Here in KY a "big" snowstorm is anything over two inches. Now, I've lived in the north most of my adult life. I grew up in Cleveland (noted for its lake effect snow); went to college in Syracuse, NY; lived for five years in New Hampshire; then six years in Sasaktoon, Sask. (western Canada); two years in Janesville, WI; then five years in Duluth, MN before moving here. So I will admit to being a snow snob.

The real problem with snow in rural northern KY is that there just isn't the snow removal equipment to deal with it. So roads get slick and icy, people aren't used to driving in it, and accidents happen.

So my general plan during snowstorms here is to hunker down and ride it out. We have a cistern, so should the power go out (which it has done in previous years), we can always haul water to the animals from it. We don't have a wood stove yet, it's on our list of Things To Get Someday, but we have a good kerosene heater and a big generator, and between those and a lot of oil lamps we make it through.

Normally it's not snowstorms but ice storms that are the worst for this area. Last Feb we had a horrid ice storm which took power out for some folks for as long as ten days. We were very lucky and only lost power for about four hours at the very end (I figure they took the grid down to fix it.) Ice does terrible damage to trees and plants, snow is not so hard on things.

As I look out the window of my office I can see the horses out in the south pasture with their butts to the wind, snow accumulating on their backs. They won't go into shelter in this sort of weather, it's freezing rain that is hard on them. As long as they have plenty of hay (we feed round bales in the pastures) they are fine in the snow. And it's easier to walk on than mud, that's for sure!

Frankly, I'd rather have two feet of snow than an inch of ice any day. Snow will pack down and the horses and people can walk through it pretty easily, and it actually insulates the chicken hoop houses to keep them warm. And being a northerner at heart, I love a pretty white snow field, makes me feel content.

Stay warm and safe out there everyone...

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