After surviving the "Deep Freeze of 2014" earlier this month, we've had to brace ourselves and our farm for yet another blast of frigid Arctic air. The temperature may not fall quite as far or remain below the freezing mark for as many consecutive hours as it did previously, but today's weather brought a menace the first hard freeze did not. I'm talking about that four-letter word that the mere mention of will send people rushing to their local grocery store to buy all the milk (a good thing!) and bread they possibly can. I'm talking about cloud dandruff, The White Death,...SNOW.
|Lamar County snow drift, 1/28/14
As you can see in the photo to the right, snow drifts developed along the side of the county road between my house and the dairy barn. Driving conditions were treacherous, making my 0.6 mile commute seem like a 0.65 mile drive. But despite all the problems caused by the snow and freezing weather, the cows had to be milked.
And milk them we did.
The cows didn't seem to mind the weather one bit. Save for a few slobbersickles (and one very impressive, four-inch long boogersickle), you would have never known by looking at them that it was a miserably cold day. Two or three small sheets of ice formed in the back of the milking barn prior to the cows' afternoon arrival, but they quickly melted. We did have one incident in which slow-moving traffic in the milking barn's outbound lane caused a significant back-up, but we did not attribute it to the same conditions that stranded thousands of motorists on Alabama highways today.
|"Slow traffic has caused a back-up in the outbound lane. Authorities say it is not weather related, just cows being cows."
On a serious note, a "dusting" of snow might be an over-exaggeration of what we got this morning. The freezing temperatures have and will cause a few problems and delays around the farm, but the snowfall proved to be inconsequential in our area. But even if the "worst-case" winter weather scenario were to befall us, we would do whatever it takes to keep our cows fed, watered, and milked. That's the way it has to be, and that's the way it is!