Wednesday, February 2, 2011

After the Storm

This afternoon, the snow finally left and the wind dropped and the sky cleared.  It was practically peaceful after the howling winds and horizontal snow that we'd had all last night and this morning.  Temperatures weren't too bad - in the low 20sF, with wind chills in the single digits.  Our county has declared a state of emergency, so all non-essential travel is discouraged.  By afternoon, the roads in our development were open to at least one lane, so that was progress.

Here are some photos I took from my house after the storm had abated.  Here's one of our windows:

Here's the adjacent window, with a view of my truck:

Here's the view out our front door:

Our neighbor's house:

Out one of our back windows:

The front walk after it was cleared:

I walked over to the barn - driving was out of the question.  The horses went out about noon, after some heroic shoveling and snow removal efforts by several of our younger boarders.  I feel bad that I can't help with these activities, but snow shoveling and my not so great back don't go well together - even walking through the deep snow can be a strain.  The horses did much pawing, rolling and leaping through drifts until they settled down to eat hay.

Here's the giant drift at the south barn door, with one of our boarders for scale.  There was a small gap between the drift and the door that was shoveled out to make a path, and that's the buried manure spreader behind the tractor:

Here's the aisle up to Charisma's and Pie's paddocks:

Here's Charisma showing how much snow was in her paddock - her water tank was partially cleared out so she could use the paddock:

And here are two views of Pie's paddock:

His water tank is in the farthest right hand corner, so I don't think he's going to be out there anytime soon.  The good news is that Charisma only uses her paddock during the day - she's insulin resistant and prone to gaining weight so she's in a paddock for turnout where her hay consumption can be controlled - so Pie will be able to use her paddock at night (once temperatures warm up) until his own is available again.

Here's the aisle up to one of the (now unusable) dry lots:

The water tank to the lower dry lot is under a huge drift to the right of the fenceline where the drift is highest - that's a 5' fence - so a temporary unheated trough was put out today for the geldings so they'd have some water today for a bit of turnout.

Here's the path that our heroic shovelers cleared to the arena so the mares could have some turnout:

Here are Dawn and Misty turned out in the arena with temporary water and some hay - they're peaking over the top of another large drift behind the barn:

As I walked home from the barn this evening, there was a beautiful sunset and the wind had completely died away - it was just lovely.  Tonight temperatures are supposed to drop to - 11F (-24C) with wind chills of -26F (-32C).  There's not supposed to be much of a warm-up tomorrow through noon Friday, so the horses will likely be spending most of their time inside the barn.

To everyone affected by this storm in many parts of the country, stay warm and stay safe!


  1. Whew, that's a lot of snow. Our little 3 inches of snow pales in comparison.

    Have fun.


  2. Too cold for my blood! Glad to see you folks could make it out to take care of the horses.

  3. Wow! Those drifts are shocking. If the horses were in the paddocks, it looks like they could just walk right over the fences.
    Your fellow boarders sure are hard workers doing all that shoveling. That's back breaking physical work and looks like there's no end in sight at your barn.

    We only got a foot of snow, but these temps are killing me. We've never had temps below 7 degrees, even up here at 7,000 ft, but today it didn't even get above 4 degrees and I came inside and realized I almost got frost bitten. My toes were painful as they thawed.
    Having to haul hot water up the steep hill through depp snow to the barn twice a day is exhausting.
    Tonight it's already 13 degrees below zero, but with the wind chills it -27 degrees. That's too dang cold!!


  4. Holy snow !!!!! I haven't seen that much since my early adult days in northern Michigan. My husband never has he is just amazed !

  5. Wow! that is a lot of snow in a short time! We have had some amazing storms this year too,the weather is all over the place. Stay warm and safe!

  6. Wow...those are crazy photos. I grew up in Minnesota, so went through similar stuff growing up. Stay warm...eventually it will melt:-).

  7. I cannot even fathom that much snow. Glad you're getting the horses out while you can, before it kinda-melts and kinda get stomped down into miniature glaciers and gets too dangerous for them. :)

  8. No one is getting much outdoor riding done in all this white stuff!

    What great photos..gave me chills just looking at them.......LOL

    Beautiful animals!

  9. Good grief that is a TON of snow!!! Wow! I'm glad everyone is okay. Stay warm!

  10. Wow! That's a lot of snow!! Crazy!
    Stay warm!

  11. Looks all to familiar, I fear. You have a lot more drifts than I had which makes it even worse. My sympathy.

    Some of that snow is so deep I'm not even sure a machine could handle it, unless you have a huge front end loader...bulldozer??? I had to admire the shovelers. They've done an amazing job.

    Good luck. Hoping this is the only storm like that you have to face. *sigh*

  12. wow what a lot of snow, great pics Kate, keep warm.

  13. I take my hat off to you living in those conditions - I couldn't even imagine snow like that! I am yet to even see snow falling!

    I find it interesting that in America you don't seem to use combo rugs? Why not? Is it because most horses live inside at night?

    I think Sam and I would freeze in those conditions! I hope Pie doesn't get too cold tootsies!

  14. We had about as much snow in England before Christmas, honestly I never thought it would go away!

    I hope it melts away soon so you can enjoy the warmer weather :-)


  15. Wild amounts and drifts...I can't say that I haven't seen that nutty snow before, but I haven't seen it recently and I am happy about it.

    When I was little I used to try to imagine what it would look like to have so much snow that when you open your doors, it would be in a solid pile 2 feet high. In 1993, I found out! I had a very long driveway and I would walk on top of the three foot mass and "fall" out onto the plowed street. My friends snowshoed over and "stepped" over my 5 foot fence!

    I don't think my mare got outside for 3 days. It was terrible.

    You all look like you are making the best of it. Stay warm and enjoy the inside time.

  16. Incredible! This time when you sent your weather, it missed it's mark. We only got about 7 inches and then a couple more fluffy ones. Getting cleared out is going to take some serious effort. Hope all goes well for you.

    The verification word is unity. Just what you will need to get the job done.

  17. Looks like you got hammered with this storm. Looks familiar. The snow drifts make it so much harder to get anything done with the horses. I hope it warms up and melts soon. Stay safe and warm.

  18. That's some nasty! I know what it's like, Ive been through storms like that and the biggest thing is making sure all the animals make it through ok. It seems you have a pretty good set up at your barn. I hope you can get a front end loader in to clean up the snow. I used to run snow plows and loaders for living, so I actually like doing the clean up- as long as I don't have to shovel! Those youngsters did a great job clearing paths.

  19. Holy Cow!! That's an amazing amount of snow! I think I'lls stop complaining about the cold here in Virginia... lol. At least for a few days. Way to go younger boarders! I pet Pie and Dawn were happy to see their Mom.

  20. Holy cow! What's worse is that you'll get slammed again when that melts. Which is worse- snow or floods? Ick either way.

  21. Snow like that is the reason I moved south to NC! Wow! The drifting is the worst, too. Stay warm!

  22. Looks like more wind than snow, although some of the drifts are pretty impressive. Anyone in your neighbourhood got a PTO driven snow blower ? We got snow and wind like that every winter...often several times...and that's what we used to get rid of the snow and to keep it from drifting again when the wind got up again as it always seemed to.

  23. I was thinking of you and your horses while the blizzard was raging! Good thing you are within walking distance. Stay safe and warm :)

  24. Kate, What amazing pictures! You got an incredible amount of snow! Thank goodness for the boarders/helpers who helped shovel and take care of the water issues.

  25. Um. Br. And holy drifts, Batman!

    I see why the horse publications talk about how to recondition your horse after winter and admit we are super spoiled here in California.

    I will never complain about rain again. Not ever.


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