Old Man Winter took a big shot at us in the Pacific Northwest late last week. Places hit worst were the foothills of the Cascades as well as Thurston and Pierce counties. Our farm happens to be in both the foothills and Pierce county so we took quite a beating. We had warnings a big snow storm was on it's way but it was immediately followed by an unpredicted ice storm, (also known as a silver thaw, I'm told).
These pictures were taken after the frozen rain hit the 17 inches of snow we had last Thursday. The ice formed a crust atop the snow about 3 to 4 inches deep that seemed to hold the snow on the roofs together like one huge blanket.
You can see in the barn picture how the huge heavy mass stayed intact even as it slid down the steep grade. I couldn't believe the blanket stayed together even after it left the roof. We worried all that weight would cause damage but all our structures held up, thank God.
We lost power before the icy rain even arrived and didn't get it back until sometime early Sunday. Our cable, phone and internet didn't come back until late Sunday evening.
Without power, we also have no water since our well runs off electricity. We did have some water available in stock tanks but with this number of horses and the length of time our power was out we actually used everything that was available near the barns. We were quite relieved when the power finally came back. Taking no chances, Dave headed straight to the barn to fill water.
The horses seemed to weather the storm and the resulting outages better than the humans. When the thaw did finally come most horses didn't seem to mind the sound of the snow and ice breaking up and falling to the ground. A couple even seemed to be enthralled watching the snow as it hung there waiting to drop. You just never know what will intrigue them.
Before the ice storm arrived, a couple of the boys got out to play in the deep snow. Storm has been in the snow before and he had great fun cavorting in the white stuff. Andy has not been out in the snow and he wasn't quite sure what to think at first but it wasn't long before he was bucking and rearing and rolling, having a great time.
I wish I had pictures of their antics but at the time, I was busy getting what I could ready in the house so we could be as comfortable as possible under the conditions. Thanks to our wood stove we stayed warm and were even able to have a couple of simple, but hot, meals.
I'm really glad it's over but I'm told by my friend who works closely with the National Weather Service that this is only round one. I'm thinking it's going to be a very long winter.......