See-sawing Temperatures

Over the past week the temperatures have dropped far below zero and then shot mysteriously high. Last night it was mild and raining. Today the farm is coated in plate ice and the wind is howling in gusts of 50 mph.

Overnight the wind smashed my chicken house door to smithereens (twisted it off one hinge and then banged it until it fell apart) . One of the heavy sliding barn doors blew off one bolt and is hanging. Thankfully, two years ago Allen sank steel pipes in the ground to keep those big doors from blowing off entirely.

I left everyone inside today because the hay would just fly into the air. The temperature has dropped ten more degrees since 7 AM. It is now 9° F, but feels much colder in the wind. Tonight it is due to be -12°.

Keeping baby Opie, my bull calf, warm and dry through all these changes has been a challenge — especially considering my reluctance to use a heat lamp due to fire danger. However, he has a fake sheepskin jacket turned inside out and tied on with baling twine, and so far, bolstered with regular bellyfuls of warm milk, his eyes remain clear and bright.

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