The First Snow

Now that all of the snow and resulting snowmelt floods have been gone for a week, I can look at the pictures without getting depressed. Last Thursday around noon the snow started…

… and by Friday morning everything was covered.

The sheep have a yearly ritual where the first snow sets off a panic that there will never be any more food ever, leading to a lot of fighting over what is left. Fortunately they got all that out of their systems Thursday afternoon, so I didn’t get knocked down trying to carry hay out Friday morning and there was only a moderately higher than normal level of pushing and shoving.

“We’re saved!”

If you’ve ever been curious about the insulating quality of wool, the snow stopped Thursday night and the sheep had just come out of the barn in these pictures, so the amount of snow on their backs is how much sat on their backs overnight without melting.

The boys were also worried there wouldn’t be enough food, even though there are only nine of them versus seventeen in the girls’ field.

The little feeder, as always, has the best hay according to both groups.

“Yummy special hay!”

Liam, in the background of this picture, has noticed lately that Lady gets private, drama-free breakfasts down the fence and has started hanging around her feeder waiting for me to fill it instead of pushing in at the more crowded feeders. With all the snow it took me a little longer than usual to get everything filled, so he eventually came back to see what the hold up was.

“Hey, where’s breakfast? I’m starving and all the grass is gone!”

It’s clear from his slim figure that he hasn’t been getting enough hay, poor guy. Granted some of his spherical shape comes from wool, but I’m pretty sure he isn’t starving.

Once everyone was fed Lady followed me down to the gate to get her “tribute” of treats. It’s a long standing tradition all the way from Princess’ reign that you can’t go through the gate without paying a toll to the queen.

“Pay up, ShepherdPerson!”

And then once she’d gotten her crunchies she ran back to her no-longer-very-private feeder to complain at Liam (and everyone who followed Liam) for stealing her breakfast.

“Hey! Stop eating that! That’s MINE!”

Today, a balmy, snowless, thirty-something degree day, the sheep got to come and eat yard grass for a while, which made them very happy.

*munch-munch-munch*

Except Nova, who wandered off on her own again to complain that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. She seems to have decided that if yard grass is better than field grass, front yard grass must be the best grass of all.

“Hey ShepherdPerson, there’s a whole lot of grass over there with no sheep eating it! It’s going to waste!”

Unfortunately the front yard is not fenced, so Nova will just have to make do with “only” the hay and the yard grass.

3 thoughts on “The First Snow

  1. What antics! a toll to the Queen, who came up with that one? Can’t believe how fast your snow melted…ours has sort of melted into ICE. Just horrid, be happy you don’t have that! Then ‘they’ would really have something to
    complain about šŸ™‚

    • Princess came up with that one! When she first came here she would not get out of my way and let me out the gate unless I gave her a treat to distract her. When she grew up and no longer cared if I was there or not, she continued following me to the gate expecting a treat every time I went out, just because she was the boss and she said so. And well, I wasn’t dumb enough to say no to Her Royal Woolliness!
      When Princess died, Nova claimed the gate-crunchies by virtue of being Princess’ daughter, and Lady claimed them by virtue of being the new queen. Most of the time they both still come down to the gate and bicker at each other until I give them both a treat, sometimes Angel comes too (by virtue of *thinking* she’s the queen,) sometimes Nova doesn’t, and sometimes the whole flock randomly decides to follow me, but Lady always comes. (Interestingly, Mira, who is generally right on my heels whenever I’m outside, almost never follows me all the way to the gate in the mornings.)

  2. Dear Sarah,
    Wondered how the sheep had fared with the first of the three snows we have had. Here in town we had 9 inches or so that first snow. It doesn’t look like you all did, which is good, because the flock might have thought that not only the world, but the universe, was coming to a whiteout end.

    Since then, I wonder if they have become more used to their green floor disappearing under a blanket that covers them, too. Thought it fascinating that the snow didn’t melt off their backs. Wool is a most miraculous covering. Please tell Mira so šŸ™‚

    Liam is easy to draw. First, make a perfect circle, then add sticks for legs… šŸ™‚

    May you have lots of hot tea at hand, and warm mittens and socks,

    Natalie

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