First real frigid snap! And we seem to be doing quite well! Phew! The temperature went down to -20’C last night and this morning – with the wind chill it was -32’C. But we have learned around here … not to worry about the wind chill if we can keep all the critters sheltered.
Speaking of sheltered … I discovered that the door to the ‘Goat Cafe’ was very breezy on these kinds of days. Dottie and MayMay have been sleeping in the main room for almost a year now. We decided it was time to add a ‘vestibule’ to that structure. I just whisper ‘building project’ to Edie which makes her mind go directly to the lumber yard in her head. Two days later we were hauling plywood and two by fours out to the hillside.
At one point I looked over my shoulder to see my 72 year old beautiful wife hauling her circular saw, tool bag and two extension cords through the back gate and up over the rocky hillside. Truly – made me stop and smile – here she is – STILL – at 72 working away out on a winter’s day. I didn’t get that shot – I was too busy noting my warm heart. But I did get this one of her up on the roof of the almost finished addition. We noticed right away the temperature difference in the Goat Cafe. Now there is no direct wind into their exit door. We also used more of Heidi’s windows to make sure the vestibule still let in the morning and afternoon sunshine.
This is the view of the addition (furthest uphill) as you walk up from the back paddock.
Above is the view from the uphill side of the Bully Road. Structure to be ‘beautified’ in the spring. I’m sure Ede would want me to point out that the hanging piece of clear tarp has been trimmed. I got musing that we really DO have a ‘barn’ here. It is just done in the tropical style of no covered hallways. 😉 So here you can see the goat vestibule, the Goat Cafe (so named because of its fancy string lighting), the goat sleeping room (blue door) and then the back paddock hay barn. And there is the beautiful rooster painted by Arlene Uens. She creates beautiful murals for barns, and fence lines and gates.
While up on the vestibule roof Ede took this shot. You can see the ‘Chicken Palace’ to the left (tarp topped with snow), the chicken coop in the middle (grey doors) and the chicken ‘porch’ (aka morning roosts before lazy Wendy gets out of bed to let them out) on the right. The grey sided structure attached to the back of the chicken spaces are the donkey barns. On the right their sleeping barn (Bully Barn) and on the left (with the raised roof) their eating barn. Behind all that – in blue – I’m sure the critters would say is the ‘People Barn’.
On freezing days like these the donkeys like to hang out in the run in …
… or in their sleeping barn. You can see the heat lamp is on above Rosie in the background. Until the temperatures come up above -20’C I leave heat sources on throughout the shelters. The jennies and the goats can get painful frostbite on their ear tips. The chickens can get it on the tips of their combs. Once the temperature sits above -15’C they don’t need any heat – day or night.
This past week we had a great visit with our niece and a classmate of hers. They are studying nursing at Queens University and were able to slip away for a break and some family time away from the stress of student housing at exam time.
Goldie and Rosie are great therapy animals!
Now we Meadow Mice are on the downward slope toward Christmas holidays. We’re looking forward to catching up with family from far and wide. While I count down the days I love sitting in my rocking chair in front of the Christmas tree listening to carols play on the stereo. (Yes – we still have one of those!)
Sending love out from the Meadow