Thursday, June 03, 2010

Microburst

Last Wednesday evening at around 11:30 a freakish, massive thunder and lightening storm ran through our valley. It would have been pretty impossible to sleep through it. It was a full moon and as I watched through the window, I felt like I was experiencing special effects in a really scary movie. The storm, which they are now calling a "microburst" seemed to take forever to blow away. What was left was a whole bunch of downed trees, limbs, and electricity no more.

The next morning we awoke to 200 adult sheep in our yard. This flock of sheep had been grazing about a mile up the road. They must have been so freaked out that the electrified fence didn't hold them. By 6 a.m, they had found their way back down the hill to our farmhouse. You can't imagine what 200 sheep can destroy in a few short minutes. The wood shed was trashed and stuff was spread all over.


Cup of coffee in one hand, camera in another, I waited to hear from The Farmer about the damages up the road as I shooed and shushed the sheep away from this and that. Boy, was I glad to see him shortly before 7 a.m. I am no match for 200 sheep. Julia was still asleep, oblivious to the goings on outside (oh to be 11 again and clueless). The four of us (me, him, and the two Border Collies Phoebe and Ness) pushed the sheep up the hill.

Through the neighbor's hayfield

Up the road past the police officer's house, with a little lamb trying hard to keep up.


Across the field below the big hill


Farther out past the big ravine with Nessie close behind


Back to the electro-netted temporary pasture


Way far out across the landscape.....


And to tell you the truth, we did this exercise two more times over the past weekend. The sheep must have been spooked by the odd weather. Good thing our neighbors are patient. I'm sure it is wearing thin. The dogs are happy to help and actually look forward to doing their official work. As long as they can cool off in a mud puddle, they are happy.

Needless to sway, we lost our electricity as did a large number of homes here in Franklin County. By the end of the third day without water and lights, I was ready to stop the homesteading. When the lights went back on, we were all happy to be able to read at night without a flashlight. Good thing we have a gas powered generator to keep our freezers running. We're in the beginning of Farmers Market Season and it would have been a pretty distressing, not to mention huge financial loss to lose all that home grown product.

12 comments:

Paula said...

Oh my. Some kinds of excitement we can do without! I'm glad the sheep are okay and I hope your new studio addition survived as well. I'm really enjoying watching it take shape.

Patricia said...

Hi Kristin, one thing that amazing hubby did when we moved out into the country was get a generator. It runs off propane and it is a godsend. Except when you run out of propane after a bad snow storm. No heat, no electricity, no tv or internet!

Patty

Sarah said...

I love reading your blog and finding out what life on a sheep farm is like. Thanks for all the stories and pictures. I hope the weather calms down now for awhile after all the storms!

Laurie said...

Love that last picture - there's nothing like a border collie congratulating itself on a job well done. :-)

Hope that's the last nasty storm for you for a while. We had a doozy last night, lost power for a while...but we didn't wake up with 200 sheep in our front yard (more like half the neighbor kids' toys). LOL!!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story! And I love how you chronicled each step along the way for us. My favorite photo has got to be the happy, tired doggy in the mud.

And congratulations on your new studio under construction. It looks like it will be a wonderful space.

Chris

Kekumukula said...

How long did it take to herd up all the sheep? How strong is the jolt of the electric fence - like static electricity? How do they get through that? Just mow it down?

marit said...

Weather like that is both amazing and scary to watch! Not so much fun to get the sheep bck in...seems like your dogs are doing a great job! We've seen it here too, when the sheep get scared, nothing stops them...

Lindsay said...

That looks like quite a long walk, how far are the sheep traveling? I think it is fascinating that they head "home". You are a lucky woman.

Caffeine Girl said...

Wow! What a nightmare! I hope the weather settles down in your part of the world.

MicheleinMaine said...

Yes, we have storms and power outages like that far too often! I'm glad you have a generator and that all turned out ok. What a lot of work moving all those sheep!

Jody said...

We had the tail end (or maybe the sheep's end) of that weather burst in the northeastern NYS region and it was really really potent! But, there is a part of me that would have loved to awaken to a flock of sheep in my yard! Glad everyone was ok.

Missouri Gal Nicole said...

Wow! Sounds like you had quite a night, let alone a weekend. Those microburst are something else. Very similar to a tornado.