Ah the joy of winter…lots of snow with high winds that make the below freezing weather feel like the North Pole on a warm day! Then there is the morn, afternoon and evening ritual. I put on my pink Carhart jacket with matching pants, hat and gloves, pink rubber boots that go up to my knees with the little brown horse’s on them, a scarf to wrap around my face 4 times and a prayer on my lips. I fight my way to the barn as the biting wind slams tiny ice particles onto my exposed face I couldn’t cover. On the way to the barn I repeat to myself, “I love these animals, they are worth the effort, it’s good exercise”. I then proceed to push a horse or a donkey (usually both) away from the barn door so I can get in without slipping on the ice. My favorite word is now being heard by all…”NO” or “stop it”. The animals are now circling the feed bag, some grunting, some stomping and a few nips at each other! Then there is little ol me, in the middle trying to formulate an escape plan in case they go to war. I hand out food rations which is never enough, I sneak to the hay bale before Dunkay gets there and throw little piles of hay everywhere so they all think they have their own food that nobody else can see! I let out a huge sigh of relief because I just survived another feeding. Now it’s time for the chickens and the black bunny who lives with them, helping to keep the eggs warm. And the ducks? They are in the yard quacking making hundreds of snow trails from the back porch to their shelter waiting for me to fight my way to them,unhappy because I didn’t feed them first.
This is what I have discovered with the first real snow fall of the season….no animal will come out of the barn. They all sit or stand inside, huddled together which is an amazing feat since the horses and Dunkay don’t like each other and that the goats don’t want to be around anybody but themselves. However, our Llama Stormy, does keep up on his non-stop run or shall I say guard, along the fence to make sure the boys are not planning to ‘jump’ over to the other side where HIS girls are. The only animal I found that the snow does not bother, are the ducks who seem to enjoy the drifts, leaving behind weaved webbed tracks! Yep…them ducks are all over the yard. I found duck trails going from one side of the snow covered yard to the other! They never stop moving or quacking.
Well the ducks have figured out that the puddles on the other side of the fence is wetter! The gate was open and they decided to waddle out and quack their way to a new and bigger water hole….down the street! And who gets to chase them? Yep, that’s right, Farmer Nancy! I go after ducks, they go after water. I yell at ducks to ‘come back’, they quack ‘no way’…I threaten ducks with the thoughts of replacing my Thanksgiving Turkey with duck meat, they laugh and keep going! One human, three ducks, a busy street and slowing down cars with folks shaking their heads thinking, ‘yep, there goes those wacky people again running down the street waving arms at birds and putting on a pop corn show!