Let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW!

There is nothing like a new snow fall, when doing chores, to  make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The first reason is this: if it is snowing, it means the temperature is moderate. I know less-than-moderate temperatures are coming, so I enjoy the snow when it comes.

The second reason this snow makes me warmer inside that a teenage-love affair, is that I think snow is amazing beautiful – especially before people mar it up with foot prints, cows muck it up with poo and the wind casts it’s spell and turns it into a brown, dirty mess.

This morning, while the temperature hovered around 20 degrees F, I couldn’t help but take pictures. My thumb was frozen. Of course, I did forget to take pictures of the excitable bull calf causing a brouhaha with the cows. Somehow the big bugger managed to escape his Polydome. He was out for a while too; he was almost licked to death by pseudo-momma cows. He was so full of cow saliva, even my gloves were wet by the time I finished, which is why my thumb almost froze off and fell into the snow, while taking pictures.

Too Sweet!
I caught this image while I was watching the gates for Russell. Zach, our herdsman, was petting his Jersey heifer Cassidy.
There's gold in that there milk house.
Who says we don’t have class. Even the milk house has a golden faucet. I give it about a week before it looks icky. I took this picture just before I came into the house for breakfast.
Tubby
This is Tiny, the small Angus beef calf I purchased from our son Joe. I should change her name to Tubby as she is getting kind of fat. Today she was fed a different ration in an attempt to keep her lean and svelte.

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This is my, OK, our favorite dog since our Chocolate Lab Bob passed away last year. Ole is a pit bull-cross and one of the smartest and sweetest dogs I have ever owned. I owe it to the person we adopted him from. She trained him well and he loves it here on the farm.

Sadly, I lost a video I had of Gaston, the goat. He was just giddy in the snow! He was literally bouncing off the walls in his open-front pen by Tiny Tubby. So you will have to accept this image of defiance. He actually did his stunts just after I snapped this image. We love Gaston!

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It really is winter out there!

Once again the farm is getting blanketed with the soft-white-fluffy-stuff.

I have always thought snow made the world a beautiful place.

Not that I like working in it all that much, but it sure changes the scenery.

That is one of the best aspects of living here on a dairy farm. Every day I get to look out one of my many windows and see all different types of things.

The other day a pheasant was just outside my kitchen window looking for corn to eat. This is highly unusual as we have to Rat Terriers, Eddie and Digger, that think chasing a pheasant is an Olympic sport. Because it was cold, both dogs were curled up on their bed in the milk house. That’s a no-no by the way, it’s against our inspector’s wishes, but hey, it’s really cold outside.

I have also seen evidence of a bunny taking up space in our calving barn. At this time there are four momma cows waiting in there to have their babies. What’s the big deal if a bunny stops in occasionally to fill its belly with a bit of dry hay.

He needs to eat too.

Speaking of eating. Our cows manage fairly well in the cold weather. They do drop off in milk production, but that’s only because they have to use more energy to keep their body temperature in line. Seriously, I can walk into the barn to bring them down to the parlor for morning milking and they look like they are as content as content can be – even if they are covered in frost.

One nice thing about the cold weather – as soon as they cows step outside the barn and realize how cold it is, they run to the milking parlor and I don’t have to struggle to get them into the holding area. They know it will be about 10 degrees warmer in the buildings than it is outside.

Working in these winter conditions toughens a person’s soul. Sure I like to get dressed up and looking like a woman, but working in negative weather conditions makes me feel like I could handle anything. I can even handle looking like a frump in my tan Carhart coveralls.

 

Minnesota Winters on a Minnesota Dairy Farm

We all like to complain and we all like to brag.

When it comes to living in the Winter Wonderland we call Minnesota, we like to do both excessively. Living and working on a dairy farm gives my double the capacity.

We dairy farmers like to complain when it’s hot. We like to complain when it’s cold.

Right now it’s really, really cold. It’s so cold that throwing a cup of boiling water into the air, doesn’t make it vaporize; we have to watch for falling ice chunks in the shape of a coffee mug.

Just kidding. The water doesn’t fall in ice cubes.

Winter does make it a bit more challenging to get some things done. The difference between the air temperature in the milking parlor and the air temperature in the cow-holding area create clouds.

Water hoses freeze.

Cows don’t  want to leave the tepid temperature in the milking parlor to go outside into the freezing temperature. They crap more in the milking parlor, which means our clothing looks like it’s polka dotted.

We enjoy milking cows. Milking in Minnesota makes us tougher.

It gives us a reason to brag.

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