Snow Day!

Last Thursday morning when we woke up there was no snow on the ground. The weather reports all said it was coming, though. Around 7 am, it started. Our employee Aaron arrived early and got the cows in and stayed to help with chores.  Between the three of us we finished all of the outdoor chores by about 11:30.  In the meantime, 8 or 10 inches of snow had piled up. This storm was no joke.

We sent Aaron home after chores, and David and I sat down to lunch around noon. The snowfall slowed, but it continued lightly for most of the afternoon. Our preparations had paid off and allowed us to get our outdoor work done early.  We had plenty of things planned to do indoors during the afternoon. Funny thing about plans, though.

About halfway through lunch David’s mom called: there were 4 Holsteins in her front yard. We thought we might take a trailer over, but thankfully, we decided to check out the roads with just a truck first. The road in front of our house was ok, but the first turn put us on a road that had been plowed and then badly drifted. The county hadn’t made it to the road his parents live on yet, and there was a big drift in front of their driveway. We made it, but we quickly realized that no trailer could make that trip, and really, we didn’t want to risk it in the truck again either. The safest option was to walk with the heifers back to our farm. So our adventure began.

The heifers darted into the woods at the first opportunity. There is a road just off to the left.

We hiked roughly 2 miles in a foot of fresh snow, through the woods, along the lake, in and out of creek beds (still dry from the drought) until we finally reached the pasture where the heifers belong. The whole way we had to guide the girls, who were clearly lost – they didn’t recognize the way back until we were very close. It was about a 2.5 hour trip. Also, I owe a huge thanks to David for taking them through the pasture to the other cows while I walked the more direct route along a dirt road back to the farm.

We took the scenic route along the lake.
The heifers weren’t sure which way to go to get home.

When he got back to the farm I was still trying to get the 4 wheeler through the drift behind it to go pick him up. We still don’t know where or why these heifers got out; they had plenty of hay where they belonged.  It was quite a journey, but we survived. And so did the heifers. An hour later we pried our tired selves off the living room floor and milked the cows and did evening chores. And neither of us accomplished any indoor work.

David and the heifers head the long way through the pasture to find the other cows.

I talked about our normal winter routine a few weeks ago, but a winter storm requires extra preparation, and even small problems can turn into big adventures. Today we prepared for another incoming winter storm. Hopefully this one will be less eventful.

Did you have a snow day this week? How did you spend it?

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