Friday, February 07, 2014
Pig snow dance
As a former Minnesotan, I get a little embarrassed when we have what my old homeland would consider a slight snow accumulation. But out here, even a dusting causes great excitement and dread. Last night I was in stitches watching a weatherman outside in Portland with a pencil, showing the viewing audience how-Good God!-the snow was halfway up the pencil. Of course when the infrastructure of the whole state lacks plows and de-icing, it is havoc from the get go when snow does come, especially since the cities are built on hills and valleys.
Out here, snow like this means one thing-hauling water to all the stalls and paddocks, twice a day. The worst is over, as the winds were so fierce on Wednesday night I had to move the elder ponies into the goat barn as their hut could not keep the snow and wind out, causing both of them to be layered in 4" of snow! And the winds made it impossible for them to stay warm. All the shelters were adrift, so the goat barn became one giant sleepover-with little pigs, old ponies, and Great White walking around, with his befuddled llama look. Ernest the pig was having a great time though–it was as if he was the little kid who got to hang out with all his old cousins for one whole night.
But it is all cattywampus in the barns. I have specific areas to feed everyone so no one gets too piggy, so with the ponies and the llama in the barn now, it makes it all the more problematic. But we all got by. Hoping for warming tomorrow, as the sheep have not been in the fileds for two days-and we are entering the final month of gestation for some of the unborns. Rosie is probably the only one who suffers-her favorite bed area is now where the ponies are for a couple more nights, which means the pig princess has to recreate her bed, and-gasp-sleep near Moose and Goose, the latter two who have been displaced from their sleeping area due to the fact The Great White and his sidekick Scooby are bedding down there for now.
So, I went out to try to take some photos this morning, which is always hard in snow. I have a hard time seeing what I'm focusing on in the view finder. The fields were not only animal-less, there weren't even bird tracks. It was all so quiet since everyone was in the barn-except for Doris and June, who remained in their pig hut. It reminded me there might be a time when there would be no animals in the fields, and it felt kind of lonely.
But Pearly June came running out of her hut, and reminded me of how glorious it is to experience snow for the first time. We get so jaded with weather, but what a beautiful, remarkable thing it is. Each little flake unique onto itself, drifting and accumulating into sculptural land art. So, I thanked Pearly June for reminding me of this-and I wondered what I looked like when I first saw snow. My mother must have been amused, and perhaps she too had a moment with me as I had with my pig this morning-stopping to embrace the wonder of it all.