January Happenings - A Farm Girl by Tess

January Happenings

So, picture this: South Dakota, land of the Great Plains, where the buffalo roam and the wind never stops blowing. Now imagine that wind chill dropping to a mind-numbing -50+ degrees. Yeah, you heard that right. The Polar Vortex paid us a visit, and let me tell you, it was no picnic.

What's a South Dakotan to do?

When faced with such bone-chilling temperatures, you gotta get creative. Mark and I, being the resourceful folks we are, decided to bring our furry friends inside. We rounded up the lambs and nestled them snugly in the barn, surrounded by a cozy bed of straw. We made sure they had plenty of food and water, even chipping out the ice and refilling it. Gotta keep those little guys hydrated, you know?

As for the ewes and bucks, we gave them the freedom to choose. We bedded them down in the barn, but if they wanted to brave the elements, who were we to stop them? It's like that saying goes, "You can lead a sheep to shelter, but you can't make it stay."

And let's not forget about our bovine buddies. The cows and calves found solace in their barn, huddled together for warmth. We made sure to bed down near all the wind breaks, because even cows need a little protection from the elements.

The chickens were pretty easy. They got fresh straw, have a heated waterer, and lots of feed. We left them in the chicken coop and just threw out the frozen eggs. No way we could get to them in time - and it was so cold there were only 3 eggs!

Surviving the freeze

Now, when the Polar Vortex hits, life doesn't just go on as usual. Oh no, my friend. School was canceled one day, and we had a late start another day. Because let's face it, no one wants to be out there waiting for the school bus when it feels like the Arctic Circle.

But despite the freezing temperatures, we made it through. Well, almost everyone. You see, our house cat, Spaghetti, thought he could handle the cold. He insisted on going outside, and well, let's just say he learned his lesson the hard way. Poor guy ended up with the tip of his ear frozen. I guess curiosity really can freeze a cat.

Looking ahead

Now that the worst of the Polar Vortex is behind us, we're looking forward to warmer temperatures. We've had enough of this bone-chilling cold, thank you very much. We're ready to shed our layers, feel the sun on our faces, and maybe even see a few birds flying about. Ah, the joys of living in South Dakota.

While we know the whole nation faced colder than normal temps (North Dakota had -70 wind chills in some areas!), we are glad it is on the waning end. Here's to looking at February!

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