Friday, December 11, 2009

Four Seasons in Wisconsin

Some people claim that we only have two seasons here in Wisconsin - winter and road construction. I disagree. We do have four seasons - we begin with one or two months of mud season - you know, that time that comes after the snow melts - mud all over everything - that's usually when we lamb (see my post of April 12, 2009 for a mud story). Don't get me wrong, just because there is mud everywhere, that doesn't mean some days aren't nice, tulips blooming and all that springy stuff. I actually enjoy most of mud season - the lambs, the promise of new growth, fresh pasture, thawed hoses. Then comes the three to four months of mosquito season - can't go outside without bathing in some sort of insect repellent that probably will make me die young of some sort of cancer. Then we have a couple of weeks of real fall weather - cooler temperatures, changing leaves, the last of the garden harvest before the first hard frost, sheep eating the last of the pasture, rams behaving like gentlemen, not like the fools they become during breeding season. And then, finally, we have six months of winter. Endless cold, frozen water buckets, gates that are frozen shut, thigh high drifts (OK, I'm short, but thigh high is still too high in my opinion!).

Wednesday we had a foot of snow and blizzard conditions, now we have temperatures that drop below zero over night and we're lucky to get into double digits during the day. To top it all off, yesterday when I woke up about 7:00 am (I slept in because there was a two hour delay for school due to bone numbing wind chills), the power was out. So, no heat, no water (we have a 125 gallon fish tank that comes in very handy at times like these so we can actually use the toilet), no first cup of coffee - and, OMG, Nicholas couldn't play his Playstation! Fortunately, WE Energies (if you look at that really fast, it looks like weenergies - play along with me - think hot dogs, frankfurters) was very efficient and fixed the problem in about an hour and a half.

But, with all the complaining I do during our six months of winter, we do see lovely scenes like this:

And, because it is almost impossible to blog without including some sheep pictures, these are the two Dorset ewe lambs that we got from Don and Carol Battenburg this year:

And one of our lambs, a Polypay/Coopworth cross - I can't wait to see her fleece on the skirting table - she appears to have the finer wool of the Polypay, with the brown coloring of her Coopworth dam:

Hope your weather is warmer than ours - at least at the moment - it is supposed to get up near freezing this weekend. Hooray!


Michelle said...

I have one word for you: MOVE! Twenty years ago last month we moved here from MN after one nasty winter. Best thing that ever happened to us....

Lael said...

Michelle - you're in the Pacific Northwest, aren't you? Unfortunately, I have never been there, so can't comment on how much I might like your weather. But I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life (almost 50 years) and really do love it here! We live on the farm my grandparents purchased in the 1950's, so I have a great attachment to this particular piece of land - I have lived on this farm for most of the last 40 years. So I bitch about the snow drifts and the mosquitoes, but after travelling to parts of the American south, the east coast and portions of Europe, I still think nothing is prettier than the midwest!

Michelle said...

I was (mostly) kidding; I certainly wouldn't leave if I were living on my grandparents' farm! My grandparents' farm in KS is a very special place to me but I haven't lived there since I was a toddler; I never had a chance to put down roots as deeply as you. But we've lived here now 20 years, and I feel like this is "my" country because everything -- weather, natural beauty, proximity to beach and mountains -- suits me. Look me up if you ever have a chance to get out this way, and I'll show you around!

Amy said...

Beautiful pictures! And I love your sense of humor!!
Amy at Wheely Wooly Farm