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December 6, 2022: Snow and Warm Temperatures

We have a foot and a half of snow on the ground and the temperatures are now in the high temperatures. I’m holding my breath; I don’t want it to get any warmer because then it will rain. Cold, sleety rain isn’t good for the horses. Then again, I don’t want it to get too cold. The higher temperatures are best for Ranger, who undoubtedly would succumb to the cold.

Ranger continues to rally. We had to lift him up again this morning – I take the front end and Pete takes the back end. Ranger totters, gains his balance, then looks around for his slurpee.

Snow on Jim's garden

This morning I cleaned the goat pen and chicken roost – both were onerous chores, onerous because I’d put them off for so long. The goat pen, usually the crud compacts into a single layer, which I grasp in my hands and roll into a bundle much like sod. This time, there were three layers. And phew, the ammonia made my eyes water.

I loaded up the manure sled nine times and took seven of the loads to the winter dumping grounds, up behind the hoop house. I left the last two for Pete to dispose of. After a few runs the snow was packed – but when I stepped off the trail, I sunk in the snow up to the middle of my thighs.

I finally got the job done. I was pleased because now all the goats and the chickens have fresh bedding.

We went to town; I rode with Pete to the Meeting House because I’m not as good a winter driver. Beforehand, I put Ranger in Sassy’s nighttime enclosure.

I was elated to find, upon returning home, that Ranger was still standing. I gave him another slurpy, which he drank down really quickly.

This evening I put him back in the larger enclosure, with Swampy, and put Sassy back in the small pen.

Pete and I both spoke with Zach, our veterinarian. Early on, Pete let Zach know that Ranger wasn’t doing really well. This evening, I let Zach know that Ranger was doing just fine.

It really is a miracle. When a goat goes down, it usually means that their time either has come or is coming. Ranger is obviously wanting to stick around. I wish I could put him on a plane and fly him to a place where the grass is green and lush. People who have millions of dollars do this sort of thing, and don’t even consider it to be frivolous. This is the kind of life that I’d like to lead.

The snowfall is such that the manure appears to be buried. In a few days it will all surface, and of course I will curse because it will take some time to clean up.

There’s a part of me that wants the snow to keep falling and another part of me that wants it to stop. I am enjoying it now, but also know that tomorrow I’ll be spending most of the day shoveling.

Next: 336. 12/7/22: Early Winter

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