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Entering the Vortex

The near nation-wide "polar vortex" has hit Western New York, and we're ready (just in the nick of time!). Mike is out of town (Florida no less), but I really wanted to get the barn completely closed up for the predicted -30 to -40 degrees and 3 feet of snow over the next two days. All the animals fare the usual elements well with our open-door barn, but this is just too extreme.

So I put my father-in-law to work! Dave is a great farm hand, and I really appreciate him bundling up this afternoon and heading out to take care of sheep. I also really appreciate Jude (my mother-in-law) for staying warm inside with Kat so I could work!

He got the black plastic weather-proofing re-stretched, and then we hung some heavy tarps. I loaded the barn up with two full bales of hay so that tomorrow all I have to do is fill up the water buckets and get back in the house! A nice, fresh layer of straw went down, and the barn was ready.

However . . . . 

Some sheep aren't all that smart.

See the snow on their faces? See the open gate behind them? They simply refused to go inside. The goat just followed me back and forth, hence the distinct lack of snow.

Shetland sheep, in particular, are very difficult to direct. They don't herd. They follow. So I got their attention and walked in. However, the tarp was proving to be an insurmountable obstacle. 

Terrifying, isn't it?

This took forever, but they finally headed in.

And llamas are smarter. They'd been enjoying the barn the whole afternoon.

At this point, I tried to edge behind them to get to the gate and close it. Wasn't going to happen. They all turned, and ran out again. I finally left to go check the mail, then went through the pasture to the back of the barn. They were all in again, and I was able to close the gate from the outside.

Everyone was finally, permanently, in. Doesn't Starr (the llama to the left) look thrilled? "Who let the stupid sheep in?"

However, sweet little Violet had been munching away the whole time, happy as a piggy. Not all sheep are stupid.

Now that the barn is all snug and cozy, we're ready to wait out the storm. I think the older kids and I will watch "Day After Tomorrow" tonight. Seems appropriate!

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Reader Comments (1)

Look, the chicken are in as well! Smart chicken. I love the way they are staying away from the sheep and llamas.

January 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPetra

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