Fierce April Showers

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One for the record books here today! The video above gives you a hint at the sounds of the rolling thunder and the falling ice. Both of which have lasted at this point for eight hours already! Likely another five to go.

When I first woke up this morning I thought ‘Phew! It missed us.’ Then I woke up half an hour later to the roll of thunder and the sound of giant hail hitting our metal roof. I had tucked all of the critters in last night with extra food and extra water … just in case. This storm currently ranges all the way from Manitoba through Quebec. The western area is getting snow. We, in Ontario, are getting severe thunderstorms and freezing rain and Quebec is coated in ice. The power has been blinking on and off … but so far we’ve still got it.

I think this ranks as the second strangest morning I have ever had in the paddock. (Right after the 50cm snow fall … but that is an old story.) It even ranks ahead of the Gypsy Moth spring. When I stepped out all I could hear was the crackling of ice. No rain … That sound is likely a bit of a trigger for any of us that remember the Ice Storm of January 1998. I figured I’d be making four trips – one to each shelter. Water bucket in hand I started off to find the donkeys. They were more than happy to stay inside as you might have seen in the video at the start. I’m glad I left the paddock piled thick with straw and hay. I’ve been watching this weather system develop and had noticed all the warnings on the Weather Network. It was easy walking – but sure would NOT have been had I plowed down to the ground.

The goats were nervous … they don’t like thunder. They had both been tucked down in their small sleeping room. But when I showed up they had the courage to come up for a while. They are cozy with lots to eat and drink – and their house is open to the hillside should they want to explore what has happened … likely NOT.

The ducks were pleading their case for free ranging today. They’d likely enjoy it! But it would also mean they’d chase the donkeys out of THEIR barns. So – it is an indoor day despite all the great puddles. Soon we will be opening their side yard and on rainy days they can play to their heart’s content without any interference.

Today’s weather presented the perfect ‘training set up’ for the treadle feeder in the chicken run (aka The Clubhouse). At this time of year we have a terrible time keeping the spring wild birds out of the chicken feeders. There is the added expense. But more to the point they bring mites and lice and diseases that can wreak havoc. Over the winter I’ve had this feeder in their coop set to stay open all the time. They know there is food in there. A month ago I set it to the first ‘training level’ which had the lid halfway closed – so they’d learn not to be afraid of it. Today I set the treadle so when they step on it the lid opens WIDE. It makes a real ‘clanging’ noise … I sat and watched for a while. So many different reactions. Loved that the Brahmas (well, mostly Lady Bird) so nonchalantly stepped on board – no problem. Paddy figured it out fairly quickly and the others took advantage of his holding it open. I laughed right out loud when one of the brazen ‘Reds’ strutted over and stamped on the treadle like she was daring it to give her any grief. Those little Red Sex Links are bold as brass.

I left the donkeys to their warm and dry hideaway and headed in for an ‘indoor vacation’.

Mostly it has been a chillaxin’ afternoon. A little time for math (my hobby). A little time for music (another hobby) and lots of time for working with videos and photographs (my main hobby). Smokey has been along for the ride. Not affected by the storm outside the study windows.

Oz, on the other hand, has been finding hiding spots close to where I’m hanging out. His first choice was under the couch in the fireplace room … where he got stuck when I lay on the top! I had to help him squeeze his big body out the back flap! While I’ve been working here he has listened to the thunder from under my desk. Poor guy!

Hope you are finding this day interesting and not traumatic in your neck of the woods as well.

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