Sweet Harmony Farm

  (Deerfield, New Hampshire)
Simple joys of the alpaca life ...........
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The Calm Before the Storm

Oh what an absolutely beautiful day today!  The sun has been shining and not a cloud in the sky.  The sky is so blue, blue, blue making this weeks’ additional 1 foot+ snowfall look so white, white, white.  Best of all it’s been just above freezing this afternoon, about 34 degrees, and the snow is really melting, running down off the roof like a stream.  It feels like Spring!

We thought it would be a good idea this weekend to clear out a lot of the snow from around the barn and the house in preparation for the upcoming rainstorm headed our way on Monday.  It’s supposed to be a little warmer with ‘significant’ rainfall.  We want to be sure the rain and melting snow are directed away from the barn and pasture and our cabin.  A warm and rainy Spring in New Hampshire, and especially Spring-like weather in January, could easily mean flooding due to all that fast melting snow.  The weather people are probably doing the usual ‘doom and gloom’ forecast, but this is our first experience with our little alpaca farm and rain with melting snow and we just don’t want to take any chances.

Our tractor has been good to us for working on our pastures.  We’ve moved rocks and roots and stumps, and leveled the loam for seeding it.  We’ve dug swales and made berms for drainage.  Now we have come to realize that it is an invaluable tool for moving snow!  Having the bucket in the front and the blade in the back allows us to move snow much, much more quickly than using just a snowblower would.  Watching Dan play (oops I really mean work) with the tractor today, I am so happy we purchased it while setting up our farm.  We’re using it more now in the winter than we did in the summer. 

Dan cleared out the entire paddock (again) and made long paths through the pasture (again) for the alpacas to pronk.  And pronk they did!  They romped around the tractor.  They all ran up and down the paths.  Coty wrestled with Arlo for the first time!  Bo managed to find green grass in the paths to graze on.  Guinness did his signature ‘rolling’ in front of the tractor.  When he finally walked away, Arlo laid down and rolled too.  Copycat!  And such a cute copycat he is.   We’re so happy that he’s finally grown enough to ‘play with the big boys.’  It was great to see them out in the sun after days and days of staying in the barn with snowstorm after snowstorm.  When they tired of pronking, they all went into the barn for a good hay fest on the fresh hay I’d just put out to distract them so Dan could work.  Julio instead stood near the hayfeeder, eyes glued on Dan working.  The path out of the paddock leads over to the main swale through the pasture, so runoff is directed right to it.  There’s a bit of an indent in the snow where the swale runs down the pasture to the back fence.  We’ve created huge snowbanks in the front corner where the fences from the 2 pastures meet and the swale begins.   

When Dan was done with the paddock, he cleared an area alongside the tack room end of the barn.  This will now direct runoff from the path to the barn, past the tackroom and over to a narrow swale under the snow.  This swale runs on a diagonal away from the back of the barn, under the fencing, and into the woods. 

Phew!  We’ve had so much snow already that we’re running out of room to put more.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we’re done with snowstorms for this winter!!            

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