Saturday, December 17, 2016


Huddled outside the kitchen window are 10 head of deer.

As I write this, the double Polar Vortex is in full force. The temperature outside says 21 below zero Fahrenheit. That is 29.4 Celcius for those of you in other parts of the world. I hope our dear Sam is alright. I can't see as it is dark outside so I can only stew about the problem. Not that I'm anxious to go out there myself. It is one thing for a herd of cattle to stand out in this cold but quite another for a lone steer. Heat radiates off the backs of the herd as they huddle together and all benefit from this shared warmth. In the winter, wildlife herds build to the hundreds.

While we shifted the smaller animals around, I debated about bringing Sam in to the small area between the goat stalls and the chicken coop but alas the drifts are deep and long. He could make it but not likely would he do it. Then I also thought about how when he was smaller and stayed in this area he use to poop right in front of the goat stall doors freezing them shut. I had to chisel his frozen manure out of the way. Maybe he is better off out in the pasture shed.
Pronghorn antelope in the fall.
I remember one raw winter in our previous home where the temperature did not rise above 18 below for a solid week. The Pronghorn antelope were bunch in large herds around town absorbing the heat emitting off the houses. One morning we awoke and discovered a Pronghorn standing up all by himself. He had frozen to death. It was two days before he fell over. Sam is hardly a skinny antelope at 1300 pounds but he is my baby and so I worry like I do for all our animals.

Yesterday the wind chills hovered at -36 with the temperature  around 6 above at its highest. The wind howling and snow a blowing drifting the white stuff. Last evening it dipped below 0 and the wind chill rose to the 20's. That was somehow colder. Some of you are reading this and laughing and saying "What panty waists." or something to the effect. In my defense, I have experienced Jackson Hole, down by the river in the winter. The cold hovers in the trees in the valley and the humidity pierces you to the bone. The truth is my adrenal glands can't take that kind of cold. I just spent this past week in bed because of low vitals and major out of balance electrolytes that caused me to loose 10 pounds in 3 days. I don't need that kind of stress. While I admire those of you with more anti-freeze in your blood, I'll stay in my relatively toasty spot.

The sun is up and so are the kids. I guess I'll have to quit writing, watching the deer huddled around the house (The numbers keep rising.) fix breakfast, and feed stock. Brrrrr.....!! it won't be an easy morning outside.


  1. Oh brrrr... How do you do it?!?! I just can't imagine cold like that. And we complain when it's in the teens and windy. You're right, the humidity goes right to the bones. We don't have nearly the cold temps that you do, but we have horribly high humidity all year long. How do you keep your water pipes from freezing?

  2. Our humidity is very low thankfully. Our water lines are buried six feet deep from the well to the house. Under the house we have Heat Trace that runs along the lines which is 110 electrical tape with insulation around it. Outside you learn to not use your water spigot more than once so you fill all your buckets at once to water all the stock. If turned on and off the line will freeze because of the trickle that flows back down after every use. You don't ever leave a hose hooked up either.

    As far as humidity, I find that really hard to bare. My minor asthma issues which are allergy induced or adrenal induced just do not like the stuff. Interesting how we individually fit to different parts of the country. Good thing or things would get extremely crowded. Good to hear from you!