With +4.7 c temperatures, the big melt begins here at Gullringstorp.
It has been a very cold night here at Gullringstorp. The sun came up to a chilly -17C this morning.
We have a heater on one end if our stable to keep the pipes from freezing. We used to carry buckets of hot water to the stable during winter months. This tiny heater keeps everything from freezing so we have water on hand for the goats and the chickens.
With the body heat of our 25 strong herd, the temperature today is just above 0C. We are careful not to open any doors unnecessarily that would let the cold in. Everyone has, by now a nice warm bed of straw and hay built up over the recent months. This makes a nice warm bed for them.This also means that in addition to their warm thick winter coats, they are cozy, not crazy warm, but very comfortable.
Outside my dinning room window I can see our covered pond is buried under fluffy snow. I know our koi are in their hibernation state and we will see them in the spring.
I can also see our garden birds enjoying their meal here at Gullringstorp. There’s seed in the many containers as well as seed spilled to the ground. Soon it will be time to refill the seeds and lard balls that sustain them during the bleak cold winter months.
Just a tiny look into winter here at Gullringstorp.
The boys needed to be out on this crisp cool morning because their box is being emptied today. I figured it was also a day for our ladies to be out and get some fresh air. They don’t have a full day, they will be in by 3 pm just before it gets dark.
Good decision, the ladies are so happy to be out. They are running, playing? Snatching mouthfuls of hay on the run and greeting old pals. They soon discovered the snow. It was fun to stand on, slide on and lick.
Another day of clean up here at Gullringstorp. Because of
the strong winds associated with this storm, we have snow blown
through cracks in our stable walls as well as our workshop. The
wind has also blown the snow into snow dunes all over
Gullringstorp, including our roads in and out of the property.
These snow dunes are not soft fluffy dunes, but hard packed snow
and ice. Our goats are indoors today. They can go out sometimes
during the winter months. If the enclosures are pretty clear, then
they can go out. Much of our snow gets moved around with the help
of our tractor. Thank goodness for it. Here you can see our snow,
snow dunes, snow in our workshop and our tractor at work.
We heard a storm would come yesterday . Our goats were kept inside but no storm.
Just past 1 am it hit with wind and snow.
Gullringstorp is once again a winter wonderland in the Swedish countryside.
Yesterday was not a day for our goats to go outside. After a couple of beautiful , warm and sunny days, our goats were not able to come outside. It’s always a shame when we start new routines like the new hay rack for the boys. They really need to have consistency with their routine. I wanted them to get used to the new location for the hay. Oh well, we can only wait for the good days to come. For now they relax in the stable:
Hilda and her daughter, mother-to-be-Peanut live in box which doesn’t get much light from the light fixtures. It was just too dark to photograph., but they were resting close together as usual.
Nanna was NOT resting at all. She was in heat. This was a relatively mild heat so far, because her cries are not nearly as loud as normal, for her. Notice he flicking of her tail, this is called “flagging”.
We hope for better weather so our goats can be out for more than one or two days at a time.
We are keeping everyone in the Northeast in our thoughts today as you endure this winter storm. We hope everyone stays safe and warm.
We here at Gullringstorp are in the midst of winter, once again. Here in Sweden, we are used to the snow. We have the infrastructure to handle great amounts of snow. Our plows are always at the ready and everyone is prepared with a variety of shovels and warm gloves etc. Even our airports function well during winter storms. Nothing stops in Sweden.
All of us who live in the countryside with animals, learn how to survive the winter and care for our animals. We know how to keep hens warm and water from freezing and keep animals comfortable.
This morning as it snowed I went for a walk with my naughty but sweet Nanna out for a walk . She hesitated at first then she really seemed to enjoy it as she walked me.
My husband was out shoveling when he made a discovery and came in to get me. I grabbed my camera and in the hedge we found something beautiful:
Please stay safe in the storm.
This was a very cold , windy and snowy morning, here at Gullringstorp. We find ourselves in the midst of yet another winter.
Today my goats enjoyed beautiful music from Sicily, Italy. We listened to Roberto Alagna’s CD ” Sicilian” with lovely romantic and lively Italian pieces, as fresh hay , water and grain was given. I really enjoy Roberto Alagna and have bee able to enjoy him in opera several times. I am really happy to be able to enjoy his singing no matter where I happen to be, here at Gullringstorp.
Roberto Alagna is a French tenor who has performed the works of many of the world’s greatest composers, in some of the worlds most famous opera houses; Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Donizetti, Massenet, just to name a few.
Here are just some of his roles in the world of opera: Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviatta, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, Don Jose in Don Jose, Hoffman in Les Contes d’Hoffman.
I hope you enjoy Roberto Alagna’s Sicilian:
You have seen our goats. For those of you who haven’t seen my past posts, there are many other critters living with us here at Gullringstorp.
We have a Brussels Griffon named Max
We have an Iguana who was a rescue living with me on two continents for 16 years named Little Lady
We have 4 cats. 2 are ours, Pip and Tasha, 2 are my daughters who have moved to Sweden to live with us 2 years ago, Pumpkin and Juliet
We also have a neighbor kitty who loves to be in our stable
Meet the Critter Gang here at Gullringstorp:
These are just some our Critter gang here at Gullringstorp. We also have 4 fish tanks and one tank with African Albino frogs.
It’s never ending fun and excitement, indoors and out, here at Gullringstorp.
Global Warming at Gullringstorp :
We have been experiencing Global Warming effects right here at Gullringstorp. After our period of melted snow and then no snow at all, we got a light dusting of snow that reminded me of powdered sugar. It was really pretty for one day and then it all melted. Our temperatures have been so unstable. With the warmer temperatures, not only did all the dusting melt, but flies woke up and dizzily flew into walls.
How are Phillip and Winston doing in the boys’ box?
Phillip and Winston are doing really well in their new home. No more crying for mommy and they have learned which bucks to avoid and where to be able to enjoy the hay in peace. Even though they are doing so well, I do let them out twice a day while I tend to all the boxes. They get a chance to have their tiny bit of grain until they are weaned of it and a chance to play and wrestle with each other.
The first stable repairs and improvements in 2013:
Anyone who has goats knows the challenges of keeping hay in the hay rack. There are always problems with waste. Well we are no different here at Gullringstorp. We were loosing hay left and right, especially through the hay racks that were made for horses. Leif has made racks for the girls and placed hay bags up in many of the boxes. this box, however was our biggest problem. Every modification Leif made was destroyed by the boy’s horns. Finally we took it to our neighbor Bosse, for welding. The bars going horizontally help hold the hay bales in and provides a good place for horn scratching.
Welcome back for more updates from Gullringstorp.
This morning was a perfect day for the goats to be out. No wind, no rain, no snow. It will be a short day however, due to the darkness coming at 3 pm. That’s ok because the ladies were getting cabin fever and even a short day out is better than no time out at all.
The ladies got to get out but not the boys. I know, I know what about the boys? Well it’s just not that easy and it requires some time and attention outdoors which was not on my schedule today. You see the issue is, my baby boys. I will give my babies more time in the boy’s box so they feel a part of their new little herd. I have several sub-herds within my complete herd. Once I feel Phillip and Winston have been accepted completely by the others, then I will feel comfortable letting them out with the others. In addition to that aspect of buck life, my little fellas have no previous knowledge of the electric fence which surrounds their enclosure. This will be a day that requires both of our attentions. The boys will have to be “introduced” to the fence. This is a ritual that I can not do. This is my husband’s job to place the tiny noses to the fence for what will be hopefully the one and only time their noses come into contact with it.
Well today was the day for the little girls and my ladies to go out and kick up their heels a bit:
After setting the electric fence, I walked into the stable. What a strange sensation to see my empty stable. It was so quiet and empty.
It was great fun watching all my goats out and running and literally kicking up their cute little heels. With the cold temperatures we have been having, our ground feels like concrete. It feels great to walk on it and the sound of my goat’s hooves as they run is just a wonder. They sound like a herd of galloping horses.
Well my ladies didn’t make it to 3 this afternoon. The sun has not set yet, a few minutes more and it will, but, it started snowing!
My ladies had a wonderful time out today the 7th day of January in the New Year 2013.
Remember just a few weeks ago, I posted photos of SNOW? I mean tons of snow.. Well we had a beautiful White Christmas. There was so much snow that my husband had to use the tractor to move it off our 2 roads and move it into the goat’s enclosure. Needless to say, with all the wide gates open and all those snow mountains, the goats were unable to enjoy the enclosure.
New Year’s Eve we celebrated without snow! After dropping to minus temperatures, we shot up to plus temperatures. In one day, we lost ALL our snow! It looked like a waste land with little sad piles of snow scattered around Gullringstorp.
After sadly looking at our land and seeing the grass and gravel, we woke up to this today after a night with minus temperatures. While walking back from the stable last evening, I really enjoyed the crystal clear sky with all its bright stars. I am never unthankful for the beautiful nature I live within. I knew by the clarity of the night that it would be a real COLD night and it was.
This is what we woke up to this morning:
Not so sure we should be having temperatures that yo-yo up and down within a day or a couple of hours. Just doesn’t seem right.
Feels like Global Warming to me…
What do you think?
In the beginning , even before we started milking our goats, I made the decision to get a hand milker. It was a product that would help older hands and would solve the problem of tiny teats of our littlest goats. No one told me that your hands would survive the pumping, but your arm would soon just drop off! My husband and I have what feels like arthritis symptoms in our hands, so hand milking these ladies was not really an option. We decided it was time to make a change and make the investment in a real milking machine. We made a long drive further down south to visit the couple selling the new milking machine. It was a lovely drive with spectacular woods covered in beautiful snow (snö in Swedish)
I really had fun taking those photos with my iPhone, from the comfort and warmth of my passenger seat in my little car.
When we arrived we met the goats and the new prized cow. Man of the house did not like goat cheese , so no more milking the goats, great for us! A cow was purchased for her milk instead. I apologize for the quality of the photos taken in a very dark barn area with my iPhone and not my camera.
They had an old Swedish breed, Väneko. This cow known as Väneko is a rare breed brought back from the brink of extinction. This breed named after a village (Väne-Ryr) in the province Västergötland. They are found in the region near one of the largest lakes in the South West, Lake Väne. Väne cattle are remnant of the old South Swedish peasant breed and often also called Allmogeko. The breed was discovered in beginning of the 1990s.
Ok yes it’s true I love, love, love animals , hence all the cow photos, but here is my real true love:
I just can’t stop smiling….
I know, I know , it’s a nightmare for my husband and all the other husbands and boyfriends and mothers shoveling this kind of snow. But what can I say , but I just think it’s beautiful. It’s still snowing and has been all day .
When it rains , we say, “it’s raining cats and dogs”. What do we say about snow? It’s snowing bunnies and teddy bears??
Any ideas, please share…
Anyway, I find Gullringstorp during the winter months all lit up and draped in snow, enchanting…
If you have snow, I hope it’s manageable…
If you are waiting for your snow,, I hope it comes…
We had a warning yesterday that during the evening we would have at least 12″ of snow fall during the night. Well the night came and no more snow … We thought we were off the hook… We were not !
This morning we got slammed with snow, snow, snow and more snow. It is 1521 and it is STILL snowing!!!
I hope wherever you are, you are not buried under snow. But if you are, I hope you have someone strong and caring to shovel for you…
Thank you Leif…
PS. Leif just came in from his last shoveling of the day before the darkness at 1515 to tell me that in his estimation, we have had between 40″-50″ of snowfall today.
After nearly 2 weeks in bed with a horrific case of Sinusitis, I went to the Internet to look up ways to protect my nose. I go out to the stable with a scarf wrapped around my face looking like I could rob a bank.
When I am out on the town during winter months I cleverly wrap my wool shawl around my face to be able to breathe in warmer air. Since I have been blessed with both asthma an Sinusitis, it’s important not to breath cold, dry air directly in my nose. Believe me, it sounds easy, “inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose”, it’s not. It’s a bit like hopping on one foot while twirling a hula hoop or blowing bubbles all at the same time. You start out fine then all of a sudden you are inhaling through your nose!
After hours on the Internet we finally found a site to be able to purchase this item in Sweden and not have to import it.
This item is called Airtrim Cold Weather Heat Exchange Mask
AirTrim masks are designed to help people breathe easier in cold and/or dry conditions — this includes exercise induced asthma in these conditions. This light-weight mask has a filter that absorbs some of the heat and moisture from your own breath to re-heat and re-moisturize the air when you inhale. This helps keep you warmer and makes breathing easier. Often called a cold weather mask or heat exchange mask.
Invented in Sweden for skiers, runners, cyclists and others involved in cold and/or dry outdoor conditions. Athletes with cold, exercise induced asthma will find this mask helpful in training and racing. AirTrim is an Offical Supplier to the Swedish Ski Team to help them train in the cold. There are many athletes in Canada who have started using AirTrim so they can continue training in cold and dry conditions. Mountain climbers have used the AirTrim mask too.
This mask can help you if you :
- exercise in cold weather
- work outside in cold weather
- work in the refrigeration industry
- are sensitive to cold and/or dry air
- active in a dry to extremely dry environments
- climb at altitude
- have cold weather asthma
- have exercise asthma
Here is my AirTrim mask with a special Asthma filter and an extra filter and a cute little tote that arrived in the post this morning:
We are now in the beginning of a real winter. We have had nothing but rain all Autumn long with mild temperatures. December has been rung in with not only low temperatures -14c but SNOW!
I love Gullringstorp in Spring and Summer but Gullringstorp really shines during the Winter!
This snow has caught us all a bit off guard. Like everyone in the countryside, we are now scrambling to get everything done that needs to be done before being buried in snow.
We have stocked up on hay and straw supplies in the stable, Leif has weather lined the stable doors that needed it and covered our pond the has many koi. Of course all the shovels have been activated and the chains have been placed on the tractor which is needed for moving large quantities of snow around Gullringstorp.
Max has worn last year’s winter suit and I realized that little Max, like all of us has put on a few pounds, so I have been in the market for a new winter suit for him. My husband laughs when Max gets “dressed” to go out but, he is not a big dog and he does get cold. Not now, because he has a new warm winter suit!
It is important to get all the supplies need for the goats, they need fresh hay and straw especially during winter. Any hay or straw that fall to the box floor, is added cushion and warmth during the cold winter months. Our goats, like all goats love to ear hay and straw and some of it will and always does hit the floor. We don’t mind.
I hope your winter is beautiful on your eyes and heart…
I felt snow in the air for the past couple of days. I never knew I would be able to tell when there was snow in the air, but I can ! How cool is that?
Leif has started to rake up the Autumn leaves after the rain finally stopped. I could see leaf piles appearing at Gullringstorp.
One of the first clues to the coming snow, was the gray skies, then the temperature.
I know it’s not much , but it was so wonderful to look out the windows at this snow as it fell. It was windy sand very cold so it was a beady snow. I watched the snow from my desk out my office window. It fell like tiny beads that were blown around by the strong wind. then it was fun watching a those beads of snow hit the roof of the garage and bounce off to a new destination.
First beads of snow then the flakes will come.
It was a beautiful , bright ,, cold morning. It had snowed all night long and the snow was gleaming in the morning sun. In some places you could see the snow melting away under the strong Swedish sun. In other places, the snow is there for a while longer. It was quite cold this morning at -4 degrees, but the sun was determined to shine. That made everything sparkle, here at Gullringstorp…
We will have to enjoy and accept the Winter conditions and know that eventually, the sun will shine on green grass and full hedges and apples, and cherries and lilacs , once again. It always does …
It is Spring, I know , but it feels like Winter here at Gullringstorp! Our goats did not come out yesterday, nor did they come out today. I am sorry for them but they would not like it out. They spent the day happy, warm and cozy in their boxes, inside.
Well, the snow has continued all day long and it is 11 pm and it is still snowing!
Springtime at Gullringstorp !
Winter decided to come to Gullringstorp during the night. White hell for my husband but a beautiful sight for me and just plain fun for Max:
The weather reports call for more snow… Our little herd is inside the stable, comfy and warm.
How is the weather where you live?