Periscope Up!


Snow Cap

This is the snow on the roof of the old farm house kitchen. In the twenty years we’ve been here we never used that chimney so I capped it off with insulation. With the snow it makes me think of a submarine surfacing. Since I took that photo the snow has pack down – it was two feet of very light and fluffy powder, followed by another half foot but now it is only about a foot deep.


Tree Root Melt

I’m seeing signs of melting up from below around the trees. The wind blows snow away from the base of the trees a bit but most of this activity is caused by the warmth of the sap. As the sun warms the tree it draws up the sweets from below which melts the snow. Sugaring season is here.


Berries on Fence Line

These berries are along the south field fencing that I was walking to get it ready for spring. The winter snows, fallen branches and berry bushes all serve to ground it out, cutting the charge from 10,000 volts to about 0.5KVolts.

During the winter the fencing is not much of an issue since the animals don’t wander far. The snow is too deep for them to want to go anywhere except on their established paths and in the winter paddocks where they have packed the snow down. Sheep in deep snow flounder and sometimes even float on all that wool. Pigs, with their short legs and pointy feet, are justifiably hesitant about snow banks although when worse comes to worse they can plow through bulldozer style. It just isn’t worth it to them – little benefit for all that effort. Pigs don’t have much stamina. Soon though the snows will be lower and fallen fences little inhibition.

Thus I walk the lines now in preparation for the spring to come. Spring is a theory and a good one although after so much winter I sometimes wonder if it is really coming or not. I’m acclimated and used to a white world so spring will be like a new color.

Outdoors: 34째F/24째F Cloudy
Tiny Cottage: 69째F/63째F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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8 Responses to Periscope Up!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does the cap keep snow out of the chimney or does it blow in?

  2. Anonymous says:

    ooo- love the banner photo! Although the piggies were very cute!
    Sal

  3. Gail in Montana says:

    Wow, Walter, a lot of interesting facts there on your post this morning!!! Are those berries that birds would eat? I'm an avid birder, also love all wild animals. Love domesticated, too, lol. I'm just plain an animal person. Love flowers, too, of course. Can't believe it's sugar time already there!! I hate to even mention what our temperature is going to be today. 60 degrees, maybe even higher. Our March is coming in like a lamb this year. Going to be nice for the next week and longer. I keep telling people we live in the banana belt of Montana ;-) . Have a great day!!!!!

  4. Glenn, Bolton Landing, NY says:

    Periscope Up! Big brother is at it again. I'm sure you and Will might have some interesting ideas; can you get a square casing out of a hog? Or, maybe a light hearted comment to the following headline from a recent NPR story: Group Seeks Hot Dog Redesign To Prevent Choking; The American Academy of Pediatrics has a message for parents — Hot dogs can be dangerous to young children — and it's calling for a redesign.

  5. I read that article with some astonishment.

  6. Nance says:

    I like your theory, Walter. Your theory that there will be a spring. In Iowa, we have set snow records this winter. Like we really want to set snow records! In Madison Co, Ia there is an ice statue of Al Gore with chances being sold on when Al Gore will melt. I hope this link works . . . http://madisoncoiagop.org/
    if not, search for Madison Co, IA Republicans. I'm putting my chances on April.

  7. Farmerbob1 says:

    Found some more Chinese characters hidden in the temperature lines of this post, Walter.

    You indicate that pigs don’t have much stamina. As your fields have gotten larger, have you noticed the pigs maybe getting a little fitter? Or do the subdivisions in the new fields pretty much keep them from too much trekking about? Specifically, I’d imagine the dominant boar of a group would be wandering back and forth through the entire area he and his sows are in, just checking on things.

    • We started with about 10 acres of pasture and now have about 70 acres of pasture but any particular pig is still only about the same pasture area as before – that has not changed greatly. I think their stamina has more to do with the species’s genetics although undoubtedly the stamina of a pig on pasture will be better than one who lays around on the couch all day. However I don’t think it has changed much for ours over the years. Certainly not that I can observe.

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