Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, February 10, 2017

We survived!

The nor'easter came and went and left us with a beautiful 10-12". Last night the winds picked up and rattled the windows and made snow patterns on the outside. It was like being in some kind of fairy book. I have always felt our house looks like a place a fairy would live, a warm place to come to after a long journey.

I've been having some memories of winters passed, from my younger days in Minneapolis-where I can remember shoveling two feet of snow [a law in Minneapolis that you have to keep your sidewalk cleared] and then by the day's end I'd do it all over again. Growing up in Minnesota I remember winters being all snow, lots of snow, enough to build ice forts and sled and make angels. I remember winters in upstate New York when I was in college, and I wore my Wallabe shoes without socks, yes, what can I say? The latter gave me cracked heals for the rest of my life-I was young and glowing then, but not as sharp in the brain.

And in Oregon, we would get a snowstorm a year at the farm, and I can remember thinking,

Man, raising sheep in a winter climate must be horribly hard.

So for now, the winter weather is just fine with me, I like it. But I don't have to get anywhere fast, nor does Martyn. The roads here are plowed constantly-a huge difference than Oregon where the state shut down, once for two weeks, after about 5" of snow. So winter here is simply...winter, another bunch of months on the calendar.

Winter here makes me feel like I can focus more on what is inside of me. I feel it gives me a chance to go back to my root-in an artistic way. It's beautiful, pure, and I can see the bird tracks, and I now know where the bunnies live as I track their toe prints. I can see the squirrel nests high above in the bare trees, and with a dusting of snow they are like beautiful dried floral arrangements. I love our bedroom because it is so old and the wind here off the coast is an entity of its own and I feel safe in my big bed, looking out at the snow at night. You can see white in the dark, I like that.

Nobody is suffering. Last night though I worried a bit about the equines. They have ample shelter, but we are learning where the east winds come round the one side of the barn, and next year we will add one more wall. It means when I arrived this morning for feedings there was a bit more snow in the overhang area, but some good hay got everyone warm again [feeding grain is not the way to warm your horse, it's all about the hay, and the actual process of chewing creates heat in the body-I find that really interesting].

There are certainly inconveniences on a farm to a 12" snow. And I can't use my hoses so I carry the water in buckets, but the barns are closer together. Besides almost being buried in an avalanche of snow sliding off the metal barn roof, I'm surviving. And of course Martyn is here full time, keeping the fire going and plowing our drive.

The White Dogs love it. The pigs go out but mainly hang out in what is an amazingly warm stall even on this ten degree day. Their body heat keeps it tropical in there - well, it feels tropical after you come in out of a brisk wind.

I do remember the longness of winter, how it can get very old, quickly, if you are living to shovel. Then again, I feel that way about humidity and heat. Mid coast Maine is not as severe as Minnesota, we were surprised by that. Certain things grow here that you can't grow there, and while we do have a winter, I don't think it will compare to Minnesota. But, we are suppose to get two more significant storms in the next few days. I will attempt to revel in it, as a White Dog.

{I post photos at Instagram too and you can see some snow images}

I tied hay twine to my cleats hoping it would help keep them from falling off.