So far, this winter has been trying our mettle here in Maine. An ice storm right before Christmas deposited 1/4″ of ice on every surface, coating branches, weighing down trees and causing power outages. Bone cracking cold followed with the thermometer plunging to 20 below zero F four nights ago. The farm animals needed extra care that night to stay warm. The thermometer didn’t budge beyond 4 degrees during the daylight hours for several days.
One bright note: on the coldest day of the winter, one of my pullets began laying and we got our first egg from the new hen flock. It was frozen and cracked before I found it, but still made a lovely fried egg sandwich. Another little hen has joined in, her first egg is pictured to the right. We’ve gotten three new eggs. The pullets were on the nest when I did chores this morning, so more eggs should be waiting for me. I’ve been expecting the laying to start for nearly two months now, so the relief of no longer having to eat store-bought eggs is immense.
Yesterday, the temperatures climbed to a shocking 42 degrees and the rain poured all day. Finally, the ice burden was relieved from the poor trees, power lines and roofs. One’s body becomes so accustomed to the cold that 40 degrees feels tropical.
Much of the country is now dealing with an “polar vortex” that is swirling arctic air all the way into the deep South. Brrrr. Luckily, Maine will be spared what the Mid West is enduring, wind chills to 40 and 50 below zero.
The Jet Stream must be flowing directly over us because the endless, constant, dull roar of high level winds drills its way into the house and slowly, over the hours, drives me crazy. Time to play some music to drown it out.
Spring, sure hope you hurry, or at least the January thaw!