December 21st, 2008

Cold Weather

Frozen to death... almost

It's about 2°F (-17°C) outside, and the windchill is -10°F (-24°C).

I was carrying a large bucket of water and half a bucket of feed to the barn for the sheeps.  I didn't realize the ground in front of the barn door was solid ice, so I wasn't wearing my YakTrax (crampons).  I went down hard.  I banged my knee on the hard ice; it hurts like hell but fortunately I don't think I broke anything.  The bucket of water spilled all over me and almost immediately froze.  I was literally frozen to the ground and had to fight my way free, not an easy thing to do when you're on solid ice and have no traction.  My roommates were so engrossed in their computers they never heard my cry for help.  If I'd broken something or been unable to get up, I'd have frozen to death.  Thanks guys.

The sheep got their food, but water bucket was empty, so I guess I'm going to have to venture out there again.  I don't know how, all my cold weather gear is soaking wet.  I used a piece of a broken stall door to make a bridge across the ice on my way out of the barn, so hopefully I won't fall next time.  I'll be sure to wear my YakTrax too.
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You know it's cold when you can see the reindeer's breath.

Bottom of a reindeer's hooves. Sorry, it's a bit blurry, but that's a hard shot to get.

Both sexes of reindeer have antlers. Males usually lose theirs in December, females keep them all winter long. That means Santa's reindeer, always depicted with antlers, are all female.

This deer is eating shredded beet pulp, a high-energy alternative to alfalfa. We feed our sheep mostly alfalfa, but they get a ration of beet pulp as well. The orange disc is a Nilla Wafer; reindeer are crazy about them.