Beginning Of The Storm

It starting raining last night. When we woke up the animals were cold and hunched. The temperatures were hovering right at freezing and everything was soaked through. A beautiful way to start out the storm.
I went to check on the horses only to find the cold and wet. They have lots of shelter but freezing rain makes everything miserable. I took them into the barn.
When I went out to check on them it was raining, freezing sleet and rain. It blew sideways with the wind, even here at the buildings behind the windbreaks. By the time I came out of the barn it had turned all the way to snow, wet stinging snow. The puddles everywhere were starting to crust over with ice, the brown patches that showed through where the rain melted away the snow, were turning white again.
The cattle, left out in the bigger, farther away pens for the night were now stuck out there by the rushing river that separated them from the buildings. One of the reasons we had planned to bring them up in the first place. In leaving them out where they had room to spread and were more easily fed, we had not counted on this much rain combined with the snow melt. Getting them through the water would be a battle.
There is lots of shelter out there and the pens are up higher, on a hill, so not full of the puddles that have filled the rest of the corrals. We wanted them up for our convenience as much as anything. They will be ok out there we will just have to work harder to get out to them, no short walks protected by wind break.
The snow is still fairly light, no whiteout conditions yet. We still have electricity! It is getting farther below zero. But snow is easier on the animals than rain, better still if they weren’t already soaked. I need to get back out and check on the horses again. We’ll see what this storm does and if it really gets as bad as they are predicting!


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