Well I always wanted to be properly snowed in, defined in my personal dictionary as not just being sensible and choosing not to risk life and limb by going out but actually being totally stuck. Well we are properly snowed in.
Winter baptism of fire as a welcome to Lanehead seems to be the consensus amongst the neighbours so after a sample of 1 we can look forward to referencing the bad winter of 2017/18. Anyone who has seen my facebook live videos will already know just how wild it has been up here with snow drifting and still getting deeper as I write this from the home office. So we welcome the first day of Spring surrounded by literally feet of snow in all directions and my car, although at the top of the drive, still snowed in with no signs of tarmac and even the snow plough has given up trying to get up here today. As you can see from the photo there was no need to put young Spider on his lead this morning as we ventured up to the main road to assess conditions.
For the first time in my 5 year sheep keeping career I have had to shut them inside for their own good. My particular worry is that the snow seems to be drifting into very deep areas on both sides of all the walls so there is a real danger of them getting buried even if they follow their instincts and shelter downwind. I might still be acting with too much caution and owners of the Swaledale flocks out on the moors might chuckle at my worries, but I am much happier knowing I wont need to go digging out frozen ewes in the morning.
The ever skittish Kerry Hills were not happy about going inside but when I saw the amount of snow against the stable door this morning having had to climb over gates that would not open I think I made the right call. They have hay, water and are out of the snow, we can worry about their mental well being later.
Today is also marked as L-5 weeks in my Ovine calendar which means that the true marker of Spring for me is still 5 weeks away when hopefully our first Lanehead lambs will start to appear. For that reason mainly I am ready for this snow to “piss right off” as my Mum would say, so that the weather can warm up a bit and get some grass growing before the flock doubles in size and needs something fresh to eat.
Stay safe everyone, more soon X