It's March, which means spring is just around the corner and we can finally look forward to some sun. And hopefully, soon, all this snow will melt and we will be able to see the ground again. I'm not even sure if I remember what the ground actually looks like any more. This was, after all, a particularly snowy winter. There were several "Winter Storm 2010!" and "Arctic Blast 2011!" storms, according to the weather forecasters. What actually happened was (at least here on the Unfarm) a total accumulation of about 1/4 of an inch of snow. On many occasions there were days and days of wet, with no freezing temperatures, and then freezing temperatures but not a cloud in the sky. The two key elements to snow just couldn't seem to get together at the same time, hence: no snow. This is disappointing for several reasons: 1) I love snow and my snowshoes aren't much good in the rain 2) Kita loves snow, and I love to see him happy and comfortable (he is fairly hot with his thick winter coat) and finally, 3) if I am going to have to deal with the inconvenience of freezing temperatures - which tend to make all the animal chores twice as difficult - I should at least get the snow.
When it gets to freezing or below all the hoses freeze and are - as such - unavailable for doing animal chores like washing the duck tarp and diapers every day. And even if I could manage to get the hose thawed out, I wouldn't be able to use it at the risk of making an ice slick all down the driveway. (Which, I am embarrassed to admit, happened twice this winter, although the second time was not my fault.) In order to keep the driveway clear and still get the duck stuff clean I had to haul buckets of water over to the side yard every morning to wash off the tarp and diapers.
The rabbit litter boxes couldn't be cleaned while the temperature remained below freezing, but fortunately I have a large enough stockpile of litter boxes that I could allow the dirty ones to stack up until the temperature rose high enough to clean them all. The chickens sat around, rather dejectedly, in part because they were cold and in part because the ground was too frozen for them to dig for bugs in. And as for the ducks, there were several occasions when their ponds froze over completely and often on those days, after eating breakfast on the back deck, Minna would turn around and come back in - giving up on going outside entirely. And as Maggie generally goes wherever Minna does, I would suit them both up with fresh diapers and herd them back into the bunny room where they spend their indoor time.
So, after a depressingly gray winter, with almost none of the snow that was predicted, I hope that next winter the forecast is for 60 degrees and sunny the whole time. Then, with the accuracy of the weather forecasts so far, I think we will finally see some snow.