Well, it’s snowing here again and it isn’t supposed to stop until Monday night or Tuesday. By the time it is done, we should have over a foot of snow. In just the last two weeks, we have gotten three feet of snow and this storm will put us in the four-foot range.
And we aren’t even halfway through February yet.
As depressing as this is for some, having a good layer of snow is actually important up here in the northeast. Farmers will tell you that more snow means less chance of drought over the summer. With our mountains, as the snow melts, the water will slowly make its way down streams, brooks and rivers until it reaches and in some cases floods the valley. Add spring rains into the mix and we will have an abundance of water for collection and use over the dryer summer months.
The snow also insulates the ground protecting tender roots from the extreme cold and keeps bulbs and flowers incubated until the earth warms and they sprout their lovely flowers again.
Outdoor enthusiasts love this time of year. They flock to our state’s many ski areas or are out on the snowmobile trails that crisscross the countryside. Some just enjoy snowshoeing through the quiet woods enjoying nature.
While some creatures hibernate through the winter, we still have a variety of wildlife that cross our fields. We see plenty of deer and often hear the coyotes in the early evenings. Once in a while you hear the deep hoot of a great horned owl. There are plenty of birds that stay all winter and visit our feeders along with a few squirrels and chipmunks.
This year Dennis and I are busy planning our vegetable garden for the spring and deciding which seeds to start early. We have ordered a few baby chicks, but have received so much interest from others wanting to buy eggs from us, we may have to increase our order. There are a couple of sheep clinics coming up that we are interested in attending and I know Dennis is interested in visiting a couple of goat farms this year.
Building plans are taking shape as we decide what size coop we need and what type of barn we need for the sheep as Dennis finishes work on the new rabbit hutch.
So, while the snow gently falls and makes travel messy, we’ll hunker down and make our spring plans. It is just a matter of weeks until spring is here and by this time next month we will see the local maple syrup makers collecting their sap. That is the surest sign of spring.