Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ice Storm 2013

I remember the Ice Storm of 1998 vividly. I was eight months pregnant with my third child, Kristen, and living in Belfast, Maine. We were without power for a couple days, but we managed just fine. With a heat source that we could also use to warm up food on, city water that never failed, an abundance of oil lamps for light and plenty of books to read, the only care we had came from keeping one five year old boy and one four year old girl occupied during the day. And finding a contractor to remove the large limb that crashed into the roof of our home from a tree that loomed over it. Compared to those that lost their power (and also their ability to heat their homes) for an entire week or longer, we were relatively comfortable.

Fifteen years later, my life has taken a widely different path. No longer a "townie" our family lives in a very rural setting. When this year's storm warning came, we expected to be among those that would be without electricity for the duration. We were not overly concerned about it. Our home is heated with a wood stove so we expected to be warm. Though our water is now from a private well, it overflows at the outside pump, so water would be available at a moderate pace. Our cooking oven is fueled by propane which allows us to cook even without a power supply. And, the cherry on top, my new "smart" phone had a 3G connection most of the time, so we could check facebook and email to keep in contact with friends and family. We even spent a little time watching Netflix on it. I don't know the exact numbers, but tens of thousands of our neighbors were without electricity for a week or more. Neighbors less than a mile away were without for 4 days. We lost electricity for 4 hours. I am afraid I have no riveting "surviving Ice Storm 2013" stories to tell you. Only images from around the homestead to share.

Our week in images:

Jasmine's hay manger was frozen to the ground and her pallet was covered with ice.
She did not seem to mind. 

Trees, heavy with ice bend with the
weight. It is going to take some time for
them to make a full recovery.
The doe's woodland pasturage is affected. The
smaller trees bend more than the larger
deciduous trees and pines. The does will have
no trouble eating the leaves
from the tops of these trees come Spring.

Tree limbs encased in ice and covered in snow. 

Mallard conference. 

Fresh hay or lightly soiled hay from the goat stalls are spread around the chicken yard for the chickens, ducks, geese, and guineas to pick through and rest their cold feet upon. We do not use hay that the goats have been using as litter, but goats are picky about their hay. If it touches the ground, ours will sleep in it, but eating it is out of the question. Our birds are only too happy to put it to good use. 

Pearl Guinea and Chocolate Guinea Fowl
In the barn, Keren Happuch and her mother, Rachel bask in the sun and enjoy their morning's hay. 
Ebony grunts warnings at the barn chickens availing themselves of her water. They ignore her and continue
 their onslaught. Sometimes, a few brave souls attempt to steal her grain. 
Simon and Charles have settled any differences and reside together in the barn.
The doe yard is untouched by goat hooves. Our goats are a little spoiled and prefer to be
snug in the barn to exploring barren pasturage. 

Ever my companions, Cassy and Delilah followed me into the pasture to keep me company while I snapped some images. 
Delilah did not want to stay in the
barn with the other goats.
She was hopeful that I came bearing treats. When
I had not, she followed me, good-naturedly, anyway.
I love these girls. ♥

Judah is a handsome and friendly buck. Won't he make lovely babies someday?
We did not lose electrical power for long, but there was a constant need to chisel out water buckets and check on our animals through the rain and cold. Though pretty to the eye, ice makes all the walking surfaces treacherous and they needed attention, sanding and salting regularly. When we were not attending to these needs, what did we do?

Board games in the evening. (Check out the chocolate guinea hanging out on the wooden goat behind Justin.)
French toast, bacon and fresh pineapples for brunch and board games in the morning.
And where was our recovering chocolate "house" guinea?
Chocolate Guinea was watching the happenings from a clothes dryer rack in the kitchen. Check out those lovely polka dots!
We also spent plenty of time snuggling Maggie's new puppies. Nearly 10 days old,
their eyes are unopened still, but they sure snuggle sweetly! ♥
All the cats take turns on the best
napping spot in the house, on top of
the piano. Talon spends the most
 time there.
Boogie enjoys keeping it warm for Talon
whenever he is away.

Our good-natured breeding stock of heritage turkeys seem confused about their move to the barn, but they enjoy our visits. See how curious our hens are of the camera. Both toms, Aquila and Lazarus, were all puffed out and showing off for me. Take a look....

As we reflect on how blessed we are to have come through the storm in good order, our thoughts and prayers are with those who are still dealing with the aftermath of this storm while preparing for a new bout of 10-14 inches of snow expected Sunday night into Monday morning. Winter is sure making a grand entrance this year. Stay tuned to see what happens next!

Thanks for visiting today. We're really glad you did.
Sonja ♥


  1. Stunning pics of the outdoors! I remember ice storm 1998. Our neighbor's cows got out and they were strolling down the road (I grew up on a dirt road). They kept slipping! It was like cow walk, walk, walk, oops! Back up, try again, cow.

  2. Sounds like you had a cozy, relaxing couple of days. Love the video's

  3. Love the pics of animals, trees, and family! Also enjoyed the snowflakes with the voices of you and Sean.
    Glad you're surviving.