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!