Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Blizzard of 2011

Sorry I didn't post sooner, but it's been crazy around here the last few days! Yes, we survived The Blizzard of 2011! It was a scary mess. Visibility grew shorter and shorter as the shelters in the pastures disappeared one by one until I could only see the red chicken house, which is the closest building to our house. As the sun went down Tuesday, I felt like we were moving into a tunnel and started to feel a little claustrophobic. The windows gradually grew whiter and whiter as the snow whipped right through the screens and stuck to the glass. The windows also rattled, which was a little unnerving.

The college didn't close until 4 p.m., so Mike (husband and professor) and Katherine (daughter and student) drove home after it had already started. As they attempted to pull into our driveway, they found themselves stuck in the snow with most of the car still in the road. Although we weren't really worried about anyone coming by at that moment, we knew that it was only going to get worse as we had heard two feet of snow predicted, and we're just south of a wide open cornfield. We concluded it would be better to dig out a foot now, rather than wait until the whole thing ended the next day. Jonathan had attempted to get the driveway shoveled, but it was fruitless, so Mike finally managed to get the car moved into the end of the driveway, where at least it wouldn't get run over by a snow plow.

Then we realized that the lady llamas' shelter was filling up with snow, so they needed to be moved. Although I can normally see everything in their pasture with no problem, it was completely white by then, so I couldn't see anything. Katherine and Mike volunteered to go out there, halter them, and bring them into the barn. Llamas are not the friendliest animals around, but they cooperated far better than ever before. Katherine easily haltered Katy, although Katy initially balked as Katherine had to first walk her straight into the storm. Once the llama realized they were headed for the barn, she practically bolted. It was nerve wracking sitting in the house, having no idea how the move was going, so I was relieved when Mike and Katherine finally came back inside and said the lady llamas were in the barn.

If you were interested in the storm, I'm sure you got your fill via the media. Interstates, schools, and businesses were closed, because the snow was simply coming down too hard and fast for anyone to be able to keep up. Even after the snow stopped falling, the wind continued to make a mess of things. Because we're on the south side of a wide open field, the snow had nothing to stop it until it hit our farm -- and boy, did it hit!

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go. This was our west driveway on Wednesday afternoon, and that's a four-foot fence on the horizon. My husband's car was stuck outside the gate.

Mike finally got it cleared out by Thursday around noon . . . 

This is the front yard. The four foot picket fence is buried under all the snow. And those little pine trees -- they're actually seven to eight feet tall.

The three-sided shelters in the pastures completely filled up with snow. I'm glad we didn't have any animals in them!

Having a big horseshoe driveway seems cool in the middle of summer, but not very cool when you've had a blizzard. As of this morning, Mike is almost done with the east driveway! Once he gets past the gate, there is a bank of snow that's about six feet high from the snow plow. Yep, he did all of this with a shovel.

Overall, I can't complain. All the animals and humans fared well. I feel like we need T-shirts that say, "We survived the Blizzard of 2011 on Antiquity Oaks!"


SkippyMom said...

Holy Crap! It was the only thing I could say when I saw the pictures. WOW. That is simply unreal and the fact he did all of that with a SHOVEL. WOW.

Kudos to y'all - but especially to your husband. I hope he is inside, feet up, with a cocoa and slippers.

Take care and stay warm.

Mama Pea said...

Gosh, you should live in northern Minnesota! We haven't seen anything like your storm in I-don't-know-how-many years! Your pictures are fantastic. I can't believe your husband did all that shoveling by hand! He must be in really good shape. Glad you all (humans and animals) made it through with no real problems.

Jane said...

I think your husband must be super man! He deserves a medal. I don't believe I have seen so much snow before. Glad everyone is safe,animals too. It does sound scary. Hope you don't have any more for awhile. Blessings jane

Nancy K. said...

My back hurts just thinking about shoveling all that snow!!!

You really do amaze me. It sounds, from this post, like you managed to stay inside (busy, I'm sure, but inside, none-the-less!) through the worst of it.

I am SO grateful that that storm went south of us...

Velva said...

Oh wow! Living in Florida, I am always enchanted by other people's snow. That was some snow storm. Hope all is safe and well. Spring will be here soon.

Stay warm.

LindaG said...

Glad to hear every person and creature survived!

Rain said...

Oh my gosh, I hope Mike isn't too sore! Beautiful pictures!

Sharon said...

I've just found your blog and I'm enjoying reading back at all your adventures.
My Hubby and I just gave up the city life and moved to our homestead in December. Just like you we know nothing starting out. Your blog's going to make great reading for the both of us.

My hubby is especially interested in the Guinea hog, because he eventually wants a pig or 2 and Tamworths had been of his list.


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